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Busan outcome and beyond: partnering for progress in aid effectiveness

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness drew to a close on December 1 in Busan, reaffirming commitments to global development and calling for renewed partnership.

Held under the motto “Building a New Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation,” the intensive forum addressed key issues associated with development cooperation goals and practices such as transparency, good governance, and leadership, while stressing a more inclusive global partnership alongside the emergence of new actors in the increasingly complex architecture for development aid.

Representatives of developing and developed countries hailing from over 150 nations discussed the latest thoughts on development assistance over the course of the three-day run. The in-depth deliberations of participant nations representing different stages of development resulted in a new global development partnership that recognizes the distinct roles.

Pursuant to the foundations laid by previous High Level Fora, alongside those set out in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Accra Agenda for Action, the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation embraces a new political consensus taking into account a wider group of development actors. The new outcome document supplements the agenda by underpining diversity and the paradigm shift from effective aid to cooperation for effective development.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) delivers a keynote address at a private sector forum on November 30 at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan (photo: Yonhap News).

At the heart of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation lies a set of shared principles and common goals, already familiar in the dialogue on development aid, with a series of “differential commitments for effective international development.”

The forum’s success entails in its inclusive agreement and its building blocks. Aligned with the inclusive approach, the Busan outcome document is characterized by involving a greater number of state and non-state actors, calling for strengthened donor-recipient partnerships. Not only does the document highlight South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development with active debate by emerging powerhouses like China, India, and Brazil, but it also emphasizes the complementary traits of transparency, resilience, ownership, and accountability for reaching common goals.

The document urges all stakeholders to commit and take initiatives and relevant steps to modernize, deepen, and broaden cooperation, aimed at better quality and effective delivery of development cooperation in the road ahead.

“There’s never been such an open, engaged, inclusive process behind development,” remarked OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria during the closing ceremony. “The process of development has become more complex. The HLF4 outcome document leaves us with homework and responsibility.”

The Busan forum also reaffirmed the global commitment in the wake of the “urgency of achieving strong, shared, and sustainable growth” in line with and beyond the Millennium Development Goals.

President Lee Myung-bak gives a welcoming address at the opening ceremony of the Busan Forum on November 30 (Photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

During a welcoming address on November 30, President Lee Myung-bak emphasized the fact that the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is less than four years away. The Korean leader pledged the Korean government’s unstinted commitment to achieving the MDGs and making a better world for all. Korea plans to double its official development assistance (ODA) in the four years to come.

As the fourth and last High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness wraps up, the world now turns its eyes upon the post-Busan implementation.

The participating leaders decided to establish a new, inclusive, and representative “Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation” that will serve as an open platform aimed at supporting and ensuring accountability for the fulfillment of the commitments. They called for continued high-level political support and to this end called on the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness to convene ministerial-level representatives and stakeholders slated for June 2012.

For the post-Busan implementation, the OECD and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are expected to co-endorse the effective functioning of the Global Partnership and leverage the impact of development cooperation.

Korea’s Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria unveil the Busan outcome document during a press conference before the closing ceremony (Photo: Yonhap News).

“The global partnership will include participation by emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil -- all non-members of the OECD -- as well as the private sector,” said Korea’s Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan at a press conference before the closing ceremony. The new partnership will further extend collaboration and sharing capacities in areas of respective comparative advantages.

Meanwhile, the host country, a once-struggling nation which has experienced a dramatic transformation into a donor partner, is evaluated to have once again successfully played a mediator role following its placing of development on the agenda for the Seoul G20 Summit.

For more information, please visit the official website at: www.aideffectiveness.org/busanhlf4 (Korean, English, French and Spanish).

By Hwang Dana
Korea.net Staff Writer

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