Nothing About Us, Without Us

ACT Press release from the High Level Forum 4 on Development Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea

Negotiations in Busan on the Outcome Document have come to a deadlock for civil society. The Busan Outcome Document, as it stands now, has been watered down for the participation of China and drummed up for the involvement of the private sector – both actors reluctant to join in the proposed new Global Partnership for Effective Development. But civil society, the main carrier of development efforts on the ground is struggling to get its voice heard in the final negotiations.

Civil society has been a member in the preparations and negotiations of the final Busan Outcome Document on the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan. But on day 2 of the negotiations it is clear that the door to the negotiation room is no longer open for civil society.

In Busan, ACT Alliance is advocating for upholding democratic ownership as a pillar of effective aid. And civil society’s room for manoeuvre must be not only protected but also expanded. That is why ACT Alliance is calling together with more than 300 civil society representatives from around the world present here in Busan in one voice: Nothing about us, without us

“Busan amounts to leaving the unfinished business of strengthening government institutions, not having to purchase the donor’s equipment with the donor’s aid, reducing conditionality on aid and instead turning to private sector promotion”, says Gwen Berge, Policy Head of the Norwegian Church Aid and Co-Chair of the Developemnt Effectiveness Working Group of ACTA.

Rt. Rev. Mokiwa, Bishop of the Anglican Church in Tanzania and President of the of All African Council of Churches insists that the High Level Forum results in development policies and practices which are based on human rights. He says: “An enabling space for civil society and faith based organizations to operate and fulfill their development roles and protect their fundamental rights – such as freedom of speech and assembly is critical for our contribution to development.”

Fred Degbee, General Secretary of the Ghanaian Council of Churches demands that the private sector involvement in development contributes to development without having their investment risk ensured by precious overseas development assistance and respect international labour standards and conventions”

For more information, contact: Martin R. Pedersen, ACT Alliance spokesperson, +45 29 91 69 30 – mrp