PICs participate at the High Level Forum on aid effectiveness

Busan, Republic of Korea– As the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) got underway in the southern Korean city of Busan, Pacific Islands Forum countries shared their positive national and regional experiences as well as remaining challenges in development coordination during the thematic sessions on lessons learned over the past 6 years.

In his contribution from the floor on the thematic session covering Aid Predictability and Transparency, Niue’s only delegate to the meeting and the Minister for Justice, Lands, Survey and Public Works, Hon. Kupa Magatogia said countries in the Pacific region have over the past five years, increased their efforts to integrate and reflect aid on their national budgets.

“While a step in the right direction, our efforts in this area are being hampered by lack of transparency and availability of complete and timely information from some of our development partners and from of our government line Ministries,” Hon. Magatogia said.

“This is particularly problematic in some of our Smaller Island States with a high reliance on development assistance where donor funds contribute to more than 50 % of their national budget. Aid predictability, or the lack of it, affects our government’s ability for forward and annual national planning, budgeting and ultimately the implementation of our national development priorities.”

Hon. Magatogia stated: “A revealing finding in the 2011 Paris Monitoring Survey highlights that one of the areas with the least progress was the predictability of aid where the progress made was only a mere 1% more than the baseline of 42% in 2005. The target for 2010 was 71%.”

“To that end,” the Niuean Cabinet Minister, Hon.Magatogia said, “my government supports the commitments made in the Draft Busan Outcomes document that calls on development partners to deliver on their promises in Paris and Accra, for more timely and accurate and transparent information on all aid provided and forward estimates for each country. We further support the provision of timelines for delivery on these commitments.”

Hon. Magatogia said that the Niuean government is committed to this and will work with its development partners to set and monitor national targets on aid predictability by the end of 2012.

Other Forum countries who participated in the thematic sessions held on the first day of the three-day meeting included Samoa and New Zealand, as the current Forum Chair. Both countries were on the panel in the session on Ownership and Accountability where the Samoan Minister of Finance, Hon. Faumuina Faaolatane Tiatia Liuga spoke on the reforms that his government had undertaken on public financial management and aid effectiveness. New Zealand’s Head of Delegation and Deputy Secretary International Department, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms Amanda Ellis spoke on the early successes of the implementation of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination (Forum Compact) since it was endorsed by Forum Leaders in 2009.

In 2007, the Pacific adapted the Paris Principles on Aid Effectiveness and agreed on its own Pacific Principles of Aid Effectiveness, which among other things calls for more predictable and transparent information on aid resources from development partners and countries.

Forum Leaders also endorsed the Forum Compact to strengthen the Pacific countries efforts on development coordination and aid effectiveness. A key objective of the Compact is to improve the planning, budgeting and utilization of government domestic and external donor resources to accelerate efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The Forum Compact will be showcased during the three-day High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan through a Side Event organised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the African Union agency NEPAD and a Mini-debate within the Knowledge and Innovation Space at the meeting which will highlight peer reviews, an innovative feature of the Forum Compact.

ENDS.

For media enquiries contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Officer on email: johnsonh@forumsec.org.fj