Closing of the French Conferences of the Development

Paris, 1st March 2013.
Interview with Mamadou Faye – Chairperson of the Platform for Non-State Stakeholders for the monitoring of the Cotonou agreement, member of the Confederal Bureau of the CNTS in charge of the cooperation department – regarding the French conferences on development and international solidarity.

The French Minister for Foreign Affairs under the leadership of Mr. Pascal Canfin, Deputy Minister for Development, organised an evaluation session for the Conferences on Development and International Solidarity on the 1st March.
The aim was to conclude the conferences that had for four months brought together all Development and International Solidarity actors, in this case: State, NGOs, trade unions, private companies, foundations, local government representatives, parliamentarians (national and European), research bodies and partners from the South.

What were the objectives of this evaluation session?
The objective of this evaluation session was to create a framework for exchange on several subjects pertaining specifically to the transparency and effectiveness of public development aid, coordination with state and non-state stakeholders, decentralised cooperation, the international development aid agenda, research, technical and social innovations, the coherence of public policy in relation to development aid, the inclusion of French aid for sustainable development in the South and women’s access to development aid.

What was the programme of events on the closing day of the Conferences?
Pascal Canfin delivered the opening address and highlighted that the Conferences enabled all development actors, from the North and South, to examine all development and international solidarity related issues.
Key development figures attended and formed a panel. They included Mrs. Christalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response and Mr. Boubacar Alpha Ba, President of the Association of Municipalities of Mali.
The presence of this panel enabled us to revisit rich experiences which the panellists highlighted through their activities.
A second panel met subsequently, it consisted of representatives from each development association (regional authorities, NGOs, trade unions: represented by Mr. Marcel Grignard, CFDT National Secretary for International and European Policy, parliamentarians, researchers, companies).
The panel members spoke again about what had been the quintessence of their work in relation to development.
Following the work of this panel, the President of the Republic François Hollande closed the session reiterating the meaning of development aid effectiveness and international solidarity, revisiting several issues relating to public development aid (PDA) to developing countries. He concluded his speech promising to maintain the budget for development, while at the same time establishing a permanent dialogue with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including trade union organisations
What were the principal recommendations from the Conferences?
Three recommendations were drawn up:
 Implementing a more effective development aid policy involving the CSOs and the trade union organisations, particularly in the South.
 Put a monitoring/evaluation system in place with more involvement from the Southern partners to ensure the effectiveness of development aid programmes in order to significantly reduce poverty.
 Further empower women.

As an actor from the South, what did your organisation gain as a result of your participation at the Conferences’ closing ceremony?
We were able to meet representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the GRET, from Coordination Sud and the CFDT. We also had a telephone conversation with Mr. Evin from the French Development Agency (AFD).
The different encounters helped us to lay the foundations for a successful partnership between our structures but also to enlist their support for the organisation of the 2nd University of Non-state Stakeholders
What do you take away from these Conferences?
These Development Conferences enabled us to have a better vision of development, including after 2015, and an in-depth discussion on transparent and effective aid but also to strengthen the partnership between state and non-state stakeholders to improve the coherency of public development policies.