ABUJA, Nigeria—Civil society representatives expressed concern over the lack of ‘clearer commitments’ in implementing Busan agreements during the 5th Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) Steering Committee (SC) meeting last 13-14 February.
“If you look at the preparations towards the HLM, there is a tendency…to put the onus on the developing countries and forget the responsibilities of development partners,” said Antonio Tujan Jr, CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) Co-Chair and Civil Society Representative to the GPEDC.
“[T]here has to be clearer commitments towards the HLM in Mexico,” he added.
The Abuja SC Meeting aims to solidify the political vision, logistical preparations, and key messages for the upcoming High Level Meeting (HLM) in Mexico City.
During the opening session, Nigerian Finance Minister and GPEDC Co-Chair Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emphasised the importance of mobilising domestic resources as a means to eradicate poverty. According to the finance minister, the Global Partnership plays an important role in helping developing countries “boost domestic resources and collect more taxes to fund their own development.”
Indonesian Minister of State for National Development and GPEDC Co-Chair Armida Alisjhabana concurred with Okonjo-Iweala’s statement saying that effective use of domestic resources remains a critical challenge among developing country governments.
Meanwhile, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) CSO Observer Matt Simonds signalled caution on the participation of private sector in development. He reiterated the need for a human rights-based participation of the private sector while remaining optimistic on the ongoing process of shaping the substance of the HLM focus sessions.
Simonds also pointed out a number of CSO gains from the Abuja meeting one of which was to open the discussion in securing a place for trade unions in the GPEDC. CPDE Co-Chair Roselynn Musa also alluded to efforts of the CSO Partnership in demanding for an expansion of the steering committee in the spirit of inclusiveness and transparency.
The two-day SC meeting marks the final official assembly of the GPEDC before its 1st HLM this coming April 15-16 in Mexico City where representatives from various regions and sectors will converge to discuss ways forward to global development cooperation.