As world leaders meet in Busan, South Korea, this week, for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, the Commonwealth is calling on participants at the international gathering to ensure that the outcomes help drive more effective development.
“This summit represents a milestone for international development and is a defining moment in the provision and use of global aid in a manner that will revise and set standards for aid and development finance policy for the future, said Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith.
Mr Smith, who is currently in Busan, said that that while progress has been achieved in strengthening aid effectiveness in recent years – a step that has contributed to better development results -- it is generally agreed that while aid recipient countries have generally progressed quite well in the last five years, the donor community has moved far less swiftly.
“It is important that this Busan forum addresses this imbalance, and comes out with clear guidelines for improving transparency and mutual accountability between the donor and recipient community,” Mr Smith added.
He added: “If Busan is to be successful it will need to set out a framework which responds to the needs of the day and to the contemporary challenges which the global community faces.”
The Deputy Secretary-General explained that Commonwealth Heads of Government as well as finance ministers have, at their recent meetings in Perth, Australia and Washington DC, respectively, highlighted a number of key areas where further reform in managing aid is needed and made a number of recommendations which should be considered at Busan.
“They called on the international community to strengthen mutual accountability backed by transparency and noted that success at Busan will involve concrete commitments on these two elements,” he said.
On her part, Ms Samantha Attridge, the head of International Finance and Capital Markets at the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “Our aid recipient partner countries have signalled clearly that the international community needs to go much further than just renewing their commitments at Busan but need to agree to a series of prioritised concrete actions to ensure that these commitments are met in a time bound manner. The Busan agreement should be supported by a post-Busan monitoring framework which ensures that this can be monitored.”
Ms Attridge, who is also in Busan, added that as well as building on the principles and procedures of the previous High Level Fora in Paris and Accra, it is equally important that discussions shift to consider aid in the context of the broader development challenges that the global community face today.