The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) Steering Committee met on 3 and 4 September in Mexico, hosted by the Mexican Minister of External Relations. UCLG Champion on Development Cooperation, Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener and Vice-Treasurer of UCLG, supported by the CIB Working Group Secretariat, attended the meeting on behalf of the local and regional constituency represented by UCLG WS and FOGAR in this forum.
The Steering Committee convened to discuss on the ways in which the GPEDC can play its role in ensuring the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be achieved through effective development cooperation. The monitoring exercise on effective development cooperation to take place in 58 countries, and the preparations for the upcoming High Level Meeting in Kenya (November 2016) were also on the agenda.
The role of the GPEDC in achieving the SDGs
The Dutch Co-Chair Ploumen, Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation, made a call on the Steering Committee members to strengthen the focus of the Global Partnership on knowledge sharing and learning, particularly with a view to effectively implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Steering Committee members highlighted that effective multi-stakeholder partnerships will be crucial for their attainment of the goals. There needs to be genuine broad-based ownership of development processes.
Local governments request meaningful participation
UCLG representative Mayor Vrbanovic recalled the importance of ensuring focus of the Partnership in monitoring the quality of development cooperation in order to contribute significantly to the New Development Agenda about to be approved in New York this month. He further requested more recognition for the important role that local governments play in all processes of the GPEDC. He also highlighted the importance of including local governments and other stakeholders in the national dialogues on defining and implementing national development strategies.
This plea was echoed by various stakeholders, such as CSO, parliamentarians and trade unions. The European Commission representative, Klaus Rudischhauser called on a group of pilot countries in which this model would be implemented. This proposal was supported by the Steering Committee members. El Salvador already has made progress on such a model and could be an example in this regard.
Furthermore Mayor Vrbanovic held meetings with civil society representatives and expressed UCLG commitment to collaborate with all stakeholders.
Towards the future
The local and regional governments constituency will continue supporting this agenda through:
- the promotion of the localization of the SDGs as part of the effective development cooperation agenda;
- providing overviews of good examples and challenges of how local governments are or need to be included in national strategy definition and implementation and ensure participation of local governments in the upcoming monitoring round on the commitments of the Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation;
- organizing a local government preparatory session prior to the High Level Meeting in Kenya (November 2016) and ensure active Local Government delegation in Kenya
- continuing the strategic partnership with CSOs, parliamentarians and trade unions.
The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) was established during the Fourth High Level Forum (HLF4) in Busan (2011) to ensure that development cooperation has the maximum possible impact on development results. The Partnership succeeded the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (2008). The discussion about effective development resulted from the wish to ensure more impact from development cooperation and more efficient achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Whereas the MDGs were the “what”, the Aid and Development Effectiveness Agenda tried to define “how” to achieve that. The current Partnership is supported by OECD and UNDP and chaired by Malawi, Mexico and The Netherlands. UCLG/FOGAR have a joint seat in the Steering Committee since April 2014. Efforts have been made by UCLG/FOGAR, with active participation of the UCLG Committee on Development Cooperation and City Diplomacy and its CIB Working Group, to promote the role of local and regional governments in development and decentralized cooperation as effective mechanism to strengthen them.