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26-27 November 2013Brussels - Tour & Taxis

Vulnerable countries in the post-2015 framework

News & Views

  • Article

    Interview with COHAFA Chair Rosita Šorytė

    Currently you are chairing the meetings of the council working party on humanitarian aid and food aid (COHAFA), uniting the humanitarian experts of the member states. How do you see the role of COHAFA vis-à-vis other parts of the council and EU institutions? I first participated in these... more

  • Article

    Why Central African republic is still the world’s most serious forgotten crisis

    The Central African Republic (CAR), already one of the world’s poorest countries, currently faces a complex humanitarian and political crisis which threatens to destabilise the whole region. On 24 March 2013, the rebel coalition, Seleka, took control of the capital Bangui and overthrew President... more

  • Blog

    South Sudan: Removing mines and other explosive threats in the world’s newest country

    After 20 years of civil war, South Sudan seceded from Sudan, becoming the world’s youngest nation – and one still reeling from the fall-out of the fighting. Swaths of the new country remain contaminated with landmines and other explosive remnants of war, causing the land to lie fallow and... more

Speakers

Gyan Acharya

Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, United Nations

Year(s) of participation:

Arancha González

Executive Director, International Trade Centre

Year(s) of participation:
2013

Patrick Guillaumont

President, Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International – FERDI

Year(s) of participation:
2013

Serge Tomasi

Deputy Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Year(s) of participation:
2013

Tertius Zongo

Former Prime Minister of Burkina Faso and Senior Fellow, Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherchessur le Développement International - FERDI

Year(s) of participation:
2013

Videos

The story behind USAID’s new resilience strategy

When Devex spoke with Nancy Lindborg in October, the U.S. Agency for International Development assistant administrator said the USAID policy and program guidance on resilience would be out "in the next few weeks." That time has come (Dec. 3 to be exact). Speaking with Devex President Raj Kumar at the 2012 European Development Days, Lindborg shared some of the behind-the-scenes activities that led to the crafting of the strategy, like bringing together relief and development people from the Horn of Africa and Sahel to find out the key drivers of vulnerability and how to address them. She also touched on what the new guidance specifically hopes to achieve. "In the Horn of Africa, the plan that was produced says that by 2017, we would directly benefit 10 million people and move a million people off the emergency case load the next time a disaster hits in a focused geographic area in the dry lands of Kenya and Ethiopia," she said, adding that USAID understands such a big goal will only happen through collaborations with other international development agencies and map it against country plans. Watch the conversation between Kumar and Lindborg on how the new strategy will impact the work on resilience of USAID's implementing partners and her tenure as chief of the agency's Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. This is part of a series of conversations we video-taped with global development leaders in the center of the action at EDD12 in Brussels. Check out our complete coverage of European Development Days 2012.

Fragile states, peace & security

In order for development cooperation to be effective and sustainable in fragile and conflict-affected countries, it needs to address the root causes of conflict and crisis. This was already reflected in EU development policy with the ‘Agenda for Change’ – adopted in 2011 – which stated that the EU ‘should ensure that its objectives in the fields of development policy, peace-building, conflict prevention and international security are mutually reinforcing’ [and that the EU's] ‘objectives of development, democracy, human rights, good governance and security are intertwined’. The Agenda calls for a concentration on, amongst other areas, tackling the challenges of security, fragility and transition. 

In the ongoing programming process, the commitments outlined in the Agenda will be reflected in the new EU development instruments for the period 2014-20, which will be more flexible and responsive in fragile and crisis situations. In 2012, EUR 2.9 billion in bilateral development aid was disbursed for fragile or crisis countries by the EU’s Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid. Payments in fragile countries constitute more than half of total EU aid, placing the EU with its Member States as the largest provider of development aid in fragile states.

In its February 2013 Communication ‘A Decent Life for All’, the EU outlined its vision for the post-2015 framework, which could be constructed around a number of main elements: ensuring basic living standards; promoting the drivers for inclusive and sustainable growth; ensuring sustainable management of natural resources; promoting equality, equity and justice; and fostering peace and security. Addressing peace and security issues in the context of the post-2015 overarching framework should build on the work of the ‘New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States’, first outlined at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea in November 2011, which advocated for the inclusion of peace-building, state-building and security issues.

Lab 3 Wednesday 27 November 2013 - 09:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Combining universality of scope with differing realities

It appears likely that the post-2015 development agenda will be conceived with a universal perspective.

However, this orientation should not overlook the specific needs of the most vulnerable poor countries, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs). To ensure its legitimacy and coherence, the post-2015 framework must also build on the reality of the situations of these countries.

Ahead of the 2014 debate on financing for development, it seems important to discuss the implications of a universal perspective for vulnerable countries. Whilst building a universal development agenda is broadened to include global issues, it is also appropriate to...

Combining universality of scope with differing realities

It appears likely that the post-2015 development agenda will be conceived with a universal perspective.

However, this orientation should not overlook the specific needs of the most vulnerable poor countries, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs). To ensure its legitimacy and coherence, the post-2015 framework must also build on the reality of the situations of these countries.

Ahead of the 2014 debate on financing for development, it seems important to discuss the implications of a universal perspective for vulnerable countries. Whilst building a universal development agenda is broadened to include global issues, it is also appropriate to debate how specific features of LDCs and other vulnerable countries could be taken into account in future goals, targets and indicators, as well as for the allocation of resources.

More informations
  • Global statistics and reports on the Millennium Development Goals hide a deep discrepancy between the achievements of other developing nations and those of least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDSs).
  • The principle of universalism for the post-2015 agenda will continue to disadvantage the countries that need the greatest help.
  • Different criteria must be used to calculate results, taking vulnerability factors into account.
  • Greater coherence is needed in post-2015 engagements. The Istanbul Plan of Action adopted by the 4th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries must find its place in the new agenda.

 

Gyan Acharya, United Nations High Representative for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), was unable to attend European Development Days, but sent a written statement that launched the session.

All speakers agreed that LDCs confront the greatest challenges in meeting poverty eradication goals, but that their struggle is obscured in the global figures for marking achievements in meeting the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the reasons for this is a ‘new geography of poverty’ where 50 % of the world’s poor are now in emerging or middle-income countries. Research by Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International (FERDI) shows these poor have a statistically greater chance of escaping from poverty than those living in LDCs, specifically because of structural vulnerability factors.

On MDG 1, to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, LDCs reduced poverty by 29 % while the figure is 49 % for other developing countries. LDCs need more targeted support and a differentiated approach when measuring poverty and setting goals.

Arancha González, Executive Director, International Trade Centre, outlined a trade-based approach to poverty reduction in states ‘where the market can’t address poverty’. The different causes of vulnerability – structural, situational, external or internal restrictions – demand different solutions. In landlocked countries transport costs for operators can be 77% of the value of the goods they export.

Technology, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as a vector and trying to build regional markets are three ways to help the countries tackle this. When it comes to post-conflict vulnerability what is needed is ‘not just reconciliation but creating engines of growth to anchor the reconciliation’, she added.

SMEs have a vital role to play and NGOs and policymakers must focus on facilitating cross-border trade with action on tariffs, encourage cooperation between trade bodies, investors and start-ups and fostering diversification.

Like González, Burkina Faso’s former prime minister, Tertius Zongo, also evoked the words of Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson at the European Development Days opening plenary. He spoke from the heart of the challenges facing less developed countries. He advocated greater participation of vulnerable countries in building a post-2015 framework and deeper consultation to help the international community understand their problems, as well as to emphasise the responsibility of leaders to improve institutions and help themselves to grow.

What happened in Mali also shows that aspects of security must be strongly integrated into development objectives. It is important to look at vulnerable countries not in isolation, but in the context of their neighbours. Donors must start to realise that the classic results-based system is not helping vulnerable countries. Equally important is to examine how we view the results of development aid, rather than imposing penalties by snatching aid away when countries do not meet targets they lack the capacity to achieve.

The Millennium Development Goal target on climate change is another area where a universal approach causes imbalance. Aid tends to go to the emerging economies to help them combat the causes of climate change, rather than to the vulnerable countries that are suffering the consequences. Burkina Faso’s former prime minister Tertius Zongo went back to the village to express this.

‘We are not living climate change in the same way as you. When I was very young in the village, the peasants had signs. When we sowed our seed it had to be done by 14 July because the rains would come. But today there is no rain on 14 July. When you went down 1 metre there was water. Now you need machinery, and our women must walk further and further. Our solutions are not your solutions. It is more a question of adaptation.’

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