- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Name: Reality of Aid Asia Pacific
- Submission Document: Download
Asia Pacific CSO Statement on Development Cooperation for Sustainable Development 15-17 August 2011 Bangkok, Thailand
Poverty and marginalization have increased significantly through multiple crises in food, employment, environment and economy, fundamentally exposing the failure of the free market model of development. The systemic proportions of these crises have not only aggravated the situation of the poor and marginalized but also threatens to further worsen their conditions as the financial crisis centered in the advanced countries continues to unravel with severe consequences for the rest of the world.
Rather than seize the opportunity presented by the current crisis to break from the failed neoliberal development strategy that has dominated official policies and programs for over three decades, political leaders are making a renewed push for corporate-led growth of the global economy. We in civil society urge our governments and international institutions to abandon the current model of development in favor of new approaches that are people-focused, rights-based, democratic and ecologically sustainable. In simple terms this means a model of development that directly responds to the people?s needs ? including realizing their right to food, land, free education, and access to health services and overall human development. A radical transformation of existing power relations within and among countries lies at the very basis of such a new system.
The 4th HLF in Busan presents an opportunity to reform the existing aid architecture to embrace sustainable and people-centered development approaches, which is essential in pursuing a new development path and abandoning the failed models of the neo-liberal era. Only by empowering the poor and marginalized to claim their rights can a development path be built that is both successful in alleviating poverty and sustainable in the long term.
Reforming the ODA regime requires strong political will, drive and leadership to take on entrenched interests and inertia. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play a crucial part in the reform process representing the voices and carrying the demands of the impoverished and marginalized. Consequently, if Busan is to achieve any meaningful result there is a need to first reaffirm the crucial role of civil society as development actors in their own right, while strengthening their roles and increasing their space in development processes through institutional changes.
In fulfilling these roles and claiming their space, CSOs around the world are calling on donors and governments gathering at Busan to:
Fully evaluate and deepen the Paris and Accra commitments through reforms based on democratic ownership.
Strengthen development effectiveness through development cooperation practices that promote human rights standards and focus on the eradication of the causes of poverty and inequality.
Affirm and ensure the participation of the full diversity of CSOs as independent development actors in their own right.
Promote equitable and just development cooperation architecture.
In addition to these CSO Key Asks, civil society from the Asia Pacific that gathered during the Regional Conference on Development Models: Promoting a Transformative Agenda on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Thailand from August 15- 16, 2011 are also calling for the following:
On Private Sector for Development
The current thrust towards inviting private sector participation in development ? including through private-public partnerships (PPP) ? must not erode government?s obligation to ensure the right to development of the people.
Private sector involvement in ODA-funded programs and projects should be development effective. At the minimum, private sector actors in development should abide by existing standards on human rights, accountability and transparency.
PPPs should focus on public goals including poverty eradication, social equity and environmental protection rather than the pursuit of private profits.
Private sector participation in development should be subjected to public scrutiny and accountability. There should be democratic people?s participation at every stage from needs identification, risk assessment to project or program implementation and evaluation.
Public funds and aid money that go to the private sector should promote sustainable livelihoods and catalyze productive economic development of small-scale enterprises and cooperatives that provide direct and immediate benefits for the poor and marginalized.
On Climate Finance (CF)
CF must be development effective. The parameters for financing for climate justice and environmental justice must be defined within the frame of genuine sustainable development, biodiverse ecological agriculture, human rights and genuine peoples? participation especially of marginalized sectors including indigenous peoples.
CF should be over and above traditional aid flows (development aid) and it should be adequate and predictable
The World Bank should not be allowed as manager/trustee of the Green Climate Fund. The greening process should not be used as a tool to impose policy prescriptions.
No to market-based mechanisms, including carbon trading and ODA-financing for large scale biofuel production that adversely impacts the environment
Governance of CF should be democratic, participatory, transparent and focused on the global South.
On South ? South Cooperation (SSC)
South-south cooperation or cooperation among developing countries should: 1) ensure the well-being and development of the people of cooperating countries; 2) follow existing international frameworks and conventions on human rights; 3) observe transparency and accountability and ensure people?s meaningful participation throughout the undertaking.
Strengthen the UN?s role in monitoring and setting norms for SSC. The role of other stakeholders including parliaments and other elected bodies should also be strengthened.
SSC should prioritize cooperation on common issues and problems of peoples of the South such as hunger, poverty, migration and climate crisis, among others.
People?s cooperation and people?s solidarity efforts should be supported by governments as part of South-south cooperation (SSC)
There is an urgent need for a development model that would provide enduring solutions to the systemic crisis that beset us today. Development policies in the past have been guided by the free market paradigm, evade redistribution of wealth and ignore the social dimensions of development. Its failure to deal with recent crises has emphasized the need for a development model that prioritizes people?s well-being.
Given these challenges, the HLF in Busan must advance to development effectiveness, and tackle other urgent development challenges confronting the world today. To have lasting relevance, Busan should usher in a new development cooperation architecture that is inclusive, democratic, equitable, sustainable and just. CSOs have a crucial role in ensuring that these calls are heard and that Busan truly contributes to eliminating the causes of poverty and promotes people?s sustainable development.