The OECD has been hosting a meeting of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness in Paris this week – the last before the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan from Nov 29-Dec 1.
The discussions have been critical for determining the success or otherwise of the Busan meeting and passages of text for the final outcome document at Busan have been negotiated. The process will continue with ‘sherpas’ representing Working Party members, which leaders will rubber stamp at the meeting. As such, the wins or losses on the aid effectiveness agenda are all to play for now; not in 6 weeks time.
There has been pushback in the area of aid transparency from a handful of members. Portugal and Japan would like references to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) removed; Australia and Italy want to get rid of timebound commitments. There was a disappointing silence or lacklustre interventions from IATI founding members Ireland and Norway, and The U.S. was also disappointing for not building on its important foreign aid commitments under the Open Government Partnership.
However, the co-chairs of the working party have responded to this unexpected dynamic by stressing that commonality of standards is crucial, that IATI is important, and that a political agreement without dates for implementation is really unacceptable. They also stressed that commitments are so far unbalanced, with much more on partner countries than donors.
The final meeting and agreement at Busan is still 8 weeks away and we can turn this round. Please help us spread the word to prevent a rearguard action by a handful of countries from undermining the hopes of a successful meeting in Busan and sign the petition at www.makeaidtransparent.org which will be delivered to governments in Busan.