High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness
Ministerial Segment, 4 September 2008
Eckhard Deutscher, Chair of the Development Assistance Committee
Dear Minister Baah-Wiredu, dear Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great and very special honour to join my friend Minister Baah-Wiredu in concluding this third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Ghanaian Government for their tremendous hospitality and for the enormous effort of organising this Forum. And I should also very much like to congratulate the Ghanain government for the great success we have achieved over the last three days.
We have three very interesting, enriching but also intensive days behind us, so let me get straight to the point: The High Level Forum in Accra is a turning point. We have achieved a real breakthrough with the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA). But in fact we have achieved even much more. We have seen and heard so many ideas, experiences, success stories and initiatives that are key outcomes of this meeting. Even if they are not an integral part of the AAA, they are key contributions and outcomes of the High Level Forum. And they will play a key role in advancing with the aid effectiveness agenda.
It is impossible to list them all here and now. But we will do this in the Chairs’ summary of the High Level Forum in a couple of weeks. Let me just highlight a very few aspects:
The High Level Forum here in Ghana is based on the broadest consultation process that we have ever seen in the field of development co-operation; and we can see this if we look at the more than 1500 participants at the Forum. More than 50 developing countries have conducted monitoring of the Paris Declaration in their respective countries. Preparatory events and regional roundtables in all regions of the world have ensured that everybody has the opportunity to input into the preparation of the High Level Forum. A dedicated consultative group has allowed inputs from CSOs all over the world – I am told that this has reached more than 3500 NGOs. The preparations were done in close co-operation with other international organisations. And we have also seen increasing engagement of a broad range of development partners, notably providers of South-South Co-operation.
Their contribution to development, and to the aid effectiveness agenda – through resources, experience and new perspectives – is very welome and important. And it will become even more so in the future. They bring true assets, they bring action for development. And, as is underscored in the AAA, I hope we can all work together to deepen this engagement, to deepen their participation and contributions, in our effort to make aid more effective ----- Because at the heart of what we do is a commitment to better development results and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
And the Accra Agenda for Action gives us key breakthroughs on a number of fronts that we have needed to get faster progress and better results:
Agreement to use country systems as the first option when delivering aid – we do have more ownership now!
Agreement to make aid more predictable and transparent, and thus to allow partners to better budget, plan and implement their development strategies.
A fundamental change of conditionality, where donors will determine conditions jointly with developing countries and on the basis of their development plans.
And, last but certainly not least, clear and substantial progress on untying aid.
All of these points would not have seemed possible even a few years ago. Now we have achieved them with the Accra Agenda for Action.
And this is what we need now: Action! We do not need more words. We have a clear set of objectives. We have a clear path of how we want to reach these objectives, and we also understand that we need flexibility in applying what we do to a very diverse reality. We have an ambitious agenda in front of us that will require overcoming old habits, and it will require a lot of political will. Let us now prove that we can act, collectively and individually, on what we have agreed. Let us translate what we have achieved into action and into development results!
Let me finish by also committing to action as DAC Chair. I take it as my job, and as the job of the DAC, to encourage donors, to monitor them and drive them forward in taking the necessary action to meet the commitments they have taken here in Accra and in Paris in 2005.
Once again, I would like to express my congratulations and thanks to our Ghanaian hosts, and to all of you who have made the success of the 3rd High Level Forum possible with your participation and your commitment to effective aid.