Ministers Emelia Pires, Timor-Leste’s Minister of Finance and member of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons advising the United Nations (UN) on the Post 2015 global development agenda, and Mr. Christian Friis Bach, the Danish Minister for Development and Cooperation who co-hosted a meeting of the Inequalities Consultation on the Post 2015 process, spoke on the latest developments regarding fragile states in the post 2015 development process last Monday, April 22, at the International Peace Institute in the UN Church Center.
Together they spoke about fragile states and the need for them to be engaged in the post 2015 agenda. Both Ministers Friis Bach and Pires stressed peace-building as paramount to the discussion of development in fragile countries. Minister Pires spoke about how the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were missing goals for peace-building and state-building, both of which are crucial for fragile states.
Central to their discussion was the “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States,” an agreement endorsed at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, in November 2011. It is a culmination of two years of work by members of the International Dialogue on Peace-building and State-building and has been hailed as a major breakthrough in efforts to seek a new approach to development assistance to fragile states. Both Ministers spoke about how the New Deal was not currently reflected in the post 2015 development agenda and why it is vital to include as governments develop a new framework for development to follow-up on the MDGs.
When the New Deal was launched, “it was a turning point,” said Pires, “because it brought fragile states to the same table as development partners.”
“It has given us space to bring everybody together in country. I can speak for Timor-Leste, for example, we brought not only the civil society, but the private sector, the people in the districts, in the rural areas coming together when we did our fragility assessment. So, it was not just government officials sitting in the national headquarters saying, ‘Alright before we didn’t even do that at all, it was the development partners who did it on us.’ Now, we are actually doing it with our own people, with different stakeholders saying, ‘Where do we think our country is, what are our problems.’ So, all this has kind of contributed to us to have the same kind of understanding of where we are, which was missing in the past. And therefore, we are now owning our problem and finding the solutions ourselves.”
We are now owning our problem and finding the solutions ourselves. ~ Emelia Pires, Timor-Leste’s Minister of Finance and HLP member
Although the New Deal has made great headway for fragile States, there is still much work to be done and many fragile states are concerned about meeting development goals.
According to Pires, “most of the fragile states will not meet any of the MDGs goals, and that was a worry, not only for the fragile states, but for our development partners as well. And therefore, the Post-2015 development agenda needs to be aware of that, because otherwise we’re going to be living behind again; that’s 1.5 billion people that were left behind during the MDGs time.”
Most of the fragile states will not meet any of the MDGs goals, and that was a worry, not only for the fragile states, but for our development partners as well. ~ Emelia Pires, Timor-Leste’s Minister of Finance and HLP member
In lieu of this, both Ministers promise to continue work in this area and to push forward agendas that are mindful of the delicate circumstances faced by fragile states.
In his concluding remarks, Minister Friis Baach’s said, “We need to break down the silos, and here, the Post-2015 development agenda must reflect this, and push us to break down the silos between peace and security, and development and institutions, and that’s exactly the inspiration we get out of the New Deal. So, we definitely will push for a strong conclusion of peace-building-statebuilding elements in the post-2015 development agenda.”
The Post-2015 development agenda must reflect this, and push us to break down the silos between peace and security, and development and institutions. ~ Christian Friis Bach, Danish Minister for Development and Cooperation
After the event, FTF representative Erica Carlino presented Minister Pires with the Gender Equality to End Poverty Statement.
This statement was initiated at a session entitled, “Poverty and Gender” at the “Advancing the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda: Reconfirming Rights, Recognizing Limits, Redefining Goals” Conference held in Bonn, Germany, March 20-22, 2013 in which a core group of women and men articulated the interlinkages between and among gender and poverty. The FTF compiled input and further developed this statement into a call for “Gender Equality to End Poverty” to present to the High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
To listen the their full discussion check out the audio file here on the IPI Global Observatory
Reported by Erica Carlino, FTF Visual Coordinator