Aid Effectiveness Conference: The World Descends on Busan


    BUSAN, South Korea – One of the largest and most influential gatherings in the world takes place this week in Busan, as delegates from around the world are in town to attend the fourth high-level forum on aid-effectiveness. The forum will take place from November 29th through December 1st.

    Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Jordan’s Queen Rania, OECD Secretary Angel Gurría, and some 2000 Forum delegates – including ministers from developed and developing countries and civil society representatives – will discuss new partnerships for development.

    The previous three forums, which take place every three years, have been held in Rome, Paris and Accra. Five fundamental principles were set out to make aid more effective. Ownership: developing countries set their own strategies for poverty reduction, improve their institutions and tackle corruption. Alignment: donor countries align behind these objectives and use aid recipient systems, eg their own budget process. Harmonisation: donor countries co-ordinate, simplify procedures and share information to avoid duplication. Results: speaks for itself. Mutual accountability: donors and recipients are accountable for results. Accra brought civil society into the process and agreed to push ahead with the Paris Declaration.

    UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be in attendance.

    Delegates here will review global progress in improving the impact and value for money of development aid and make new commitments to further ensure that aid helps reduce poverty and supports progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

    The aims of the forum are to:

    • assess global progress in improving the quality of aid against the agreed commitments;

    • share global experiences in delivering the best results; and,

    • agree on a Busan Outcome Document to further enhance efforts globally and within countries to make aid more effective in reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

    The meeting in Busan will review how the expanding aid effectiveness agenda has progressed. And to help the discussions, the OECD conducted a survey earlier this year to see how far the aid effectiveness principles had been applied. The OECD mentioned that 'The results are sobering', as only one of the 13 targets set for 2010 had been met.

    According to news reports, progress has been made on the other 12 initiatives, but with the recent economic downtown in Europe as well as the United States, obtaining aid for developing countries has become difficult. However, with the emergence of the Brazilian, Russian and Indian economies, there are more donors who are able to contribute.

    The first draft of the Busan Outcome Document has been prepared, which was discussed at the July meeting of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness. The conference will have difficulties though, as China has been noted to raise questions about transparency, as well as the problems of large countries, emerging markets and individual and foundations who are jostling for relevance.

    The conference looks to be a lightning rod for the world aid community looking to better address persisting global needs.

    For more info on the conference visit the official website here.



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