The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will be a precious opportunity to build a new global partnership making development more effective in aid recipient countries, a South Korean government official said.
Park En-na, director general of the development cooperation bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, represents Korea in the group of sherpas who are to finalize the outcome document in the final meeting of the so-called HLF-4 on Thursday.
“In the past, aid and development efforts were dominated by a small number of actors. The efforts were generally made between the donor country’s government and the recipient’s government,” Park told The Korea Herald.
“But now, the role of emerging economies who are both recipients and donors has become important. Korea will suggest a new global partnership which will involve a variety of stakeholders including civil society, private sectors and parliaments.”
Park En-na, director general of the development cooperation bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.(Kim Yoon-mi/The Korea Herald)
The new partnership will also cover support from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations Development Program, she said.
Park said participating countries have basically agreed on the direction of the outcome document and the detailed content will be released Thursday.
While both donor and recipient countries focused on how development aid was going from country A to country B in the past, the focus of the Busan forum will be recipient countries’ “ownership” of aid ― on setting a growth target on their own, setting related economic strategies and policies, matching them with investment and pursuing policy coherence, she said.
For example, a donor country does not always have to give money to a poor country but has to offer other diverse options such as imposing no tariffs and no quotas in trade, or invest in a certain country and share consequent risks, Park explained.
In line with diverse and effective aid, the Busan forum will also seek a new dimension in promoting a partnership between the private and public sectors, she said.
Normally, the corporate sector makes investment in a certain region for profit but a partnership with a government will enable them to set up a sustainable long-term goal, Park said.
“Let’s say we want to build a road in a poor country. A private company, which sees a potential in the market, can finance the road construction project,” she said.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the Korean government suggested countries hold a private sector forum, as its role is important in international aid, especially when major economies, including the U.S. and European Union, are finding it difficult to expand aid during their economic downturns.
The ministry official said both developed and developing countries are expected to declare a joint statement of private and public sectors at the forum to come up with ways for a better partnership in development aid.
Park also stressed that a special session on gender equality and empowerment for women on Wednesday will be an important opportunity to share with developing countries both successful and shameful experiences Korea went through regarding gender issues over the course of its industrialization.
By Kim Yoon-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org