Bangladesh has made a 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.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who led the Bangladesh delegation at the global congregation on development cooperation, highlighted the benefits of South-South Cooperation 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 Summit on April 15 and April 16 to discuss the progress made so far in development cooperation and to anchor the global partnership in a post-2015 development framework, according to a press release issued in Dhaka yesterday.
The Bangladesh delegation also included Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, ERD Secretary M Mejbahuddin and Member of Parliament Kazi Nabil Ahmed.
Governments, businesses, private foundations and civil societies came up with a joint communiqué and 28 new initiatives during the meeting to push forward effective development cooperation worldwide.
The finance minister made a case for domestic resource mobilisation for development during the meeting. Giving example of Bangladesh, he said the tax and GDP ratio of Bangladesh had gone up from 10.5 % in 2009 to 13.5% in 2014.
Earlier on Tuesday, he held a bilateral meeting with the UNDP Administrator Helen Clark where they discussed a Bangladesh plan to establish an “International Institute on Southern Innovation” in Dhaka.
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 administrative devolution in the country.
The two-day 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 Cooperation 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.
Bangladesh also made strong interventions regarding the aid transparency issues in the Mexico meet, urging donors to be transparent on the aid they invest in developing countries.
Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan who was a panelist of the focus session on “Managing Diversity for Effective Development Cooperation,” said despite some progress in this regard, development aid in Bangladesh is still significantly fragmented in terms of sectors and the number of donors involved.
He said, 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 Mohammad Mejbahuddin who was closely involved in the preparation of the “Mexico Communiqué,” emphasised the needs of tackling both structural and funding constraints in Least Development Countries in line with the commitments of “Istanbul Programme of Action”.
Kazi Nabil Ahmed MP, who took part in a meeting of parliamentarians from participating countries, discussed the oversight role of parliament in effective development cooperation.
Overall, the international community represented the meeting reiterated its commitment to the Busan principles reached in 2011 and identified practical ways to translate these principles into reality.