Civil Society statement on the Second High Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC)
28 November - 1 December 2016
The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) welcomes the Nairobi Outcome Document (NOD) and commits to further advancing the effective development cooperation agenda.
CPDE, an open platform for civil society organisations (CSOs) worldwide and as a member of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, attended the HLM2 with a delegation 400 strong. Civil society representatives led and participated in the planning of all plenaries, as well as numerous amphitheaters and side events. We spoke in panels and in interventions from the floor. We raised our voices and chanted our messages in collective action. We made formal submissions to all versions of the NOD. All this was done so that with one united voice we are heard in our key asks:
(1) that effective development cooperation commitments made since Paris are upheld and applied to all stakeholders through a monitoring framework that recognises different dimensions of development;
(2) that shrinking and closing spaces for civil society be recognised and addressed, and GPEDC recommit to providing an enabling environment to maximize CSOs’ contribution to development;
(3) that all members of the Global Partnership ensure that the private sector exercise accountability in its development interventions, especially in aspects of labour, environment, and other human rights standards;
(4) that the integrity of GPEDC’s mandate as an inclusive multi-stakeholder platform to ensure effectiveness of development cooperation be upheld, as this contributes to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and
(5) that the inclusive character of the platform expresses itself in parity in representation and leadership, including governance arrangements that allow for a fourth non-executive co-chair
We see significant progress in many of these areas. The NOD recognised that implementing previous commitments is central to moving forward with the effective development cooperation agenda. It commits to reverse the trend of shrinking and closing civic spaces and help develop the full potential of CSOs to contribute to effective development. It also advanced the role of the GPEDC in implementing existing effectiveness commitments as well as advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We recognise that these gains were made possible through the hosting of the government of Kenya, which oriented the negotiations of the NOD in the spirit of partnership. Through its leadership, stronger language on gender equality, women’s empowerment and youth’s role in development was made possible.
Despite these achievements, CPDE remains concerned about the absence of references to democratic ownership as a shared action agreed in the Busan Partnership Agreement, the dilution of civil society’s role in holding governments accountable (Para. 41f), and the lack of emphasis on the importance of each country’s ownership of its own economic and social development (Para. 36). Further, we are concerned about the lack of clarity of purpose – i.e., eradicating poverty and reducing inequality – in the use of international public finance for private sector development (Para 23). CPDE intends to follow up on these concerns in the GPEDC.
CSOs worked hard throughout the process, and in the conclusion of the HLM2 we have achieved some significant commitments from the Partnership that can be used as a basis for holding all the Parties of GPEDC accountable, including ourselves. Beyond the HLM2, we commit to applying the language and spirit of the NOD to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and address country realities. For our part, we take to heart the many commitments we made in the NOD. We will continue to be guided by these, as well as by the Istanbul Principles on CSO Development Effectiveness.
Finally, we note that political will, backed by high-level engagement, is needed for the implementation of the new commitments. Civil society acknowledges the HLM2 as a milestone in the GPEDC’s continuing evolution, and commits to engage all partners in the effective development cooperation agenda. We will do this at all levels in order to help build political momentum. We will move forward in this unique multistakeholder platform, celebrating our successful contributions, but never resting until we see better results for the poor, marginalised, and those living in vulnerability.