States must deliver on promises made at Accra aid forum – UN official

UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis

5 September 2008 – The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged countries to make good on the promises they made this week at a high-level conference in Ghana devoted to making international aid more effective.

In 2005, over 100 countries, international organizations and civil society groups came together at the Second High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to examine how to improve aid delivery and effectiveness.

They agreed on the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which includes 56 partnership commitments to strengthen ownership, harmonization, managing for results, and mutual accountability.

The Third High-Level Forum, held this week in Accra, focused on taking stock of progress since the Paris commitments. The meeting concluded yesterday with the adoption of the Accra Agenda for Action which aims to deepen implementation of the Paris Declaration and respond to emerging aid effectiveness issues.

“We are happy that the discussions in Accra went beyond aid quality and addressed the development context and the catalytic role of aid,” said Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group, which unites 28 UN entities to deliver more effective support to developing countries.

“The Accra Agenda for Action calls for an urgent response: we must follow through on these commitments. We cannot wait,” he added in a statement issued yesterday.

Mr. Dervis stressed the need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the set of anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015 – and “make a difference in the lives of poor people.”

The Administrator added that the commitment and urgency with which the promises made in Accra have been made must be carried forward to the high-level event on the MDGs to be convened on 25 September in New York, as well as the Doha Financing for Development Review Conference at the end of November.

“These opportunities do not come every day, or indeed every year,” he stated. “This is the year not only of commitments, but of action through better quality aid, more development resources and visible results.”

According to a new UN report released yesterday, trade and aid are still major barriers to achieving the MDGs, despite significant progress in debt relief for the poorest States.

“Delivering on the Global Partnership for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” – prepared by the MDG Gap Task Force – found that donors will need to boost their development assistance by $18 billion a year between now and 2010 if they are to meet the Goals.


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