Sharing development ideas with the South

Apr 17, 2014

Finance Minister Mr. AMA Muhith was leading the Bangladesh delegation at the global congregation on development cooperation. Photo: UNDP Bangladesh.

In line with the inevitable global shift towards emerging South, Bangladesh has made a timely call for better sharing of ideas and Information on development successes among the Southern nations at the first High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership that ended in Mexico on Wednesday, April 16.

Finance Minister Mr. AMA Muhith who was leading the Bangladesh delegation at the global congregation on development cooperation, highlighted the benefits that South-South Cooperation can bring in the field of trade, investment, labour migration and knowledge sharing.

Over 1,500 participants from over 130 countries came together at the two day long Summit on April 15 and 16 to discuss the progress made so far in development co-operation and to anchor the Global Partnership in a post-2015 development framework.

Led by the Finance Minister, the Bangladesh delegation also included Cabinet Secretary Mr. M Musharraf Hossain Bhuyan, ERD Secretary Mr. M Mejbahuddin and the Member of the Parliament Mr. Kazi Nabil Ahmed. Governments, businesses, private foundations and civil societies came up with a joint Communiqué and 38 new initiatives during the High-Level Meeting to push forward effective development co-operation worldwide.

The Bangladesh Finance Minister also made a strong case for domestic resource mobilisation for development during the High-Level Meeting. Showcasing the example of Bangladesh, he informed that the tax/GDP ratio in Bangladesh had gone up from 10.5 per cent in 2009 to 13.5 per cent in 2014.

Earlier on Tuesday, Finance Minster Mr. AMA Muhith held a bilateral meeting with the UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark where they discussed the Bangladesh Government’s plan to establish an ‘International Institute on Southern Innovation’ in Dhaka.

During the meeting, they also discussed the economic growth prospects of Bangladesh while also exchanging views on the government’s plan to develop a road map for increasing devolution in the country.

Cabinet Secretary Mr. M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and ERD Secretary Mr. Mohammad Mejbahuddin were also present during this bilateral meeting. 

Bangladesh also made strong interventions regarding the aid transparency issues in the Mexico HLM, pleading for donors to be transparent on the aid they invest in development countries.

This is essential for recipient countries to do solid development planning, monitoring and to coordinate development partners in a meaningful way- it was observed.
The two day long High Level Meeting was formally inaugurated on April 15 through a formal opening ceremony which was attended among others by Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurría and President of Mexico Peña Nieto.
The meeting included five plenary sessions and 28 focus sessions on a range of critical themes for development.

This is the first High Level Meeting organised by the Global Partnership for effective Development Cooperation or GPEDC. Launched in Busan, South Korea in December 2011, GPEDC helps nations, businesses and organisations work better together to end poverty.  

Cabinet Secretary Mr. M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan who was a panelist of the Focus Session on ‘Managing Diversity for Effective Development Cooperation’, said that despite some progress in this regard, development aid in Bangladesh is still significantly fragmented in terms of sectors and the number of donors involved.

'Such fragmented aid comes with high transaction costs while also increasing our focus on small project results rather than on broader national priorities,' the Cabinet Secretary said.

Mr. Bhuiyan further informed that in response to this aid fragmentation, Bangladesh has developed Local Consultative Group Mechanism, Joint Cooperation Strategy and a Development Result Framework which allow greater collaboration and ensures alignment with government priorities.

ERD Secretary Mr. Mohammad Mejbahuddin who was closely involved in the preparation of the 'Mexico HLM Communiqué', emphasized the needs of tackling both structural and funding constraints in Least Development Countries in line with the commitments of 'Istanbul Programme of Action'.

The ERD Secretary also urged to review the current levels and modalities of official development assistance to help the LDC countries in achieving sustainable and inclusive development goals.
Member of the Bangladesh Parliament Mr. Kazi Nabil Ahmed, who took part in a meeting of parliamentarians from participating countries, discussed the oversight role of parliament in effective development cooperation. Participants in the meeting also underscored the need to develop strong capacities of parliaments in this regard.

Overall, the international community represented at the High Level Meeting reiterated its commitment to the Busan principles reached in 2011 and identified practical ways to translate these principles into reality.