“In an increasingly urban context, local and regional governments will need to provide basic services to hundreds of millions of new urban dwellers in the next 20 years and will need to facilitate local economic development initiatives. Priority should be given to empowering local governments to fulfil their potential as development actors to ensure effective, coherent and accountable development through bottom up and demand driven cooperation.”
This is what Hubert Julien Laferriere, deputy mayor of Lyon and UCLG Champion on Development Cooperation said in Mexico during a plenary session of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, held in Mexico on 15-16 April.
Julien Laferriere referred to the fact that local government development cooperation has in a large variety of cases contributed to creating an enabling environment for strong local governance, enhancing trust of and accountability to citizens, civil society and the private sector. He stressed that the Busan’s principle of inclusive partnership can only become a reality when putting local governments at the heart of this partnership, as it is at this level where the four pointed ring of business, academia, government and civil society can be coordinated and facilitated to address the challenges of rapid urbanization.
“Sharing challenges and experiences can be a highly effective way to enhance mutual learning and thus contribute to the development process,” said Julien Laferriere. He mentioned that local governments from middle income countries cooperate with those of development countries, often with support from European local government associations and that it would be important that the international community starts to recognize and support these initiatives as well.
The Communiqué of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation emphasizes the role of local and regional governments in development. The conclusions of the two day meeting mention the importance of enabling local and regional governments to take on greater roles in policy making, and service delivery in relation to effective development.
The meeting brought together heads of state and government ministers, local and regional governments, parliamentarians, leaders of international organizations, civil society groups and development professionals with the aim of assessing the progress of the implementation of the Busan commitments on aid effectiveness. The sessions covered the ‘how’ of development co-operation, including examples of country-led development, linking aid to budgets and how to best work with the different development actors.
The Dutch minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms. Liliane Ploumen, was appointed as co-chair of the Global Partnership for the next period.