SLM must commit to deepen people’s rights for effective development cooperation

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13 July 2019, New York – Previous commitments and today’s emerging issues in development cooperation require deepening commitment to people’s rights, according to IBON International, a Southern CSO engaging governments and other stakeholders at the Senior-Level Meeting (SLM) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) in New York.

“Amid today’s worsening inequalities and increasing corporate power, we must stress people’s rights and a rights-based approach as the foundation to fully implement development commitments,” according to Amy Padilla, director of IBON International. “The people’s right to shape development paths must be strongly upheld to democratise development at country-level, create results for the people, strengthen their inclusion in partnerships, and ensure the accountability for state and big private sector actors,” Padilla added.

According to reports by the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), there is a need for greater progress in actualising the Busan principles for effective development cooperation,fully untying aid, prioritising country systems, ensuring accountability for all stakeholders, and creating an enabling environment for civil society.

“Civic space challenges today range from ‘terror-tagging’ to state violence against rights defenders,” CPDE Co-Chair Beverly Longid said. “As declared in Nairobi in 2016, there must be real commitment to widen the room for people’s engagement as a necessary condition to address systemic barriers in sustainable development,” she added.

According to CSOs, other emerging issues in development cooperation today include the erosion in country policy spaces, the “modernisation” of official development assistance (ODA) in relation to migration and security issues, and the allocation of ODA to leverage private finance. The CSOs also call attention to the principles of effective private sector engagement in development cooperation, or the Kampala principles, launched at the SLM.

“With just over a decade before the Agenda 2030 deadline, ODA must improve in quantity and quality. We must rethink when partnerships and ODA are oriented for the benefit of big investors in the name of the SDGs,” Jennifer Malonzo of IBON International said.“It must be ensured that different modes of development cooperation are coherent in‘leaving no one behind’,” Malonzo added.

“Our engagement with the private sector would maximise development results by supporting Southern farmers, and small formal and informal enterprises to build their productive capacities in the global South. This would complement widening democratic spaces to strengthen people’s participation for development,” Malonzo said. #