Third Global Partnership Steering Committee meeting, Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, 25th-26th of July 2013
Message from Justine Greening, Co-chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation and Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom
I am delighted to be able to speak to you today at the beginning of the third meeting of the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership. I would also like to extend a special welcome to all the new observers and foundations in our partner countries.
I hope that you feel free to input directly into the Committee’s deliberations. Your experience and perspective is vital.
I am sure that you can imagine how disappointed I am that the change in the date of the meeting means that I can no longer participate today.
Alongside developing the successive framework to the Millennium Development Goals this is one of the most important processes underway in the international community and my role as co-chair is a top priority for the year ahead.
However, I am delighted that the African Union is hosting the meeting. African countries — their governments, parliamentarians, civil society and businesses — are key to making the partnership a success.
And I know that my fellow co-chairs Madame Ngozi, Ibu Armida along with Madame Dlamini-Zuma will ensure that this meeting is productive and stimulating.
As a contribution, I would like to suggest three major priorities for the meeting.
First, the decision of the Mexican Government to host the first ever meeting of the full Global Partnership early next year is fantastic. It gives us a real opportunity to inject momentum into our work. It also gives us an opportunity to make it as inclusive as possible.
I know that President Pena Nieto has a clear vision for Mexico’s international objectives which I also believe coincide with our aims.
Our challenge is global – the elimination of poverty. All countries and organizations have a stake, not just governments but also parliaments, regional and international organizations, businesses, civil society and foundations; because of the poverty level in their own countries or because of their commitment to global stability and prosperity.
Our first ever meeting needs to be attractive to leaders from all of these groups as well as government ministers and my request is therefore that over the next two days we come up with concrete plans on how to truly listen and to respond to all stakeholders.
I would encourage you also to review how the Post-2015 High Level Panel and the G8 teams did this working civil society and online consultations, holding regional town hall sessions, creating hackathons and other ways of creating awareness. Let’s be just as creative, if not more.
My second priority relates to the post-2015 agenda. The UN General Assembly will agree in September how to organize the negotiation process to agree the successor to the Millennium Development Goals. Our first ever meeting as a full Partnership will therefore need to contribute to the debate on the post-2015 agenda and the best way to do this will be to demonstrate what partnership really means in the post-2015 period.
I think that a major element of this is ensuring that we are addressing challenges that really matter at the country level, both through the commitments we made in the past and through any new deliverables. This means getting more countries and organizations involved in our work and pulling together a coherent political story of change since the Partnership was created, and the remaining challenges. We will not succeed by staying at a technical level.
Progress in tackling global poverty or any other unfinished business is a political agenda ultimately and I hope that our observers will be able to help us to consider these issues.
My final point is about the way that we work. We have enough time to prepare, but only if we are efficient and I plan to meet and talk to my fellow co-chairs more frequently to provide the strategic oversight that we need.
I also intend to champion one of the proposed agenda items: improving the role of business in development. The Mexican Minister should of course become a fourth member of our group.
What does this mean for Steering Committee members? My request is that over the next two days you come up with a clear plan with roles and responsibilities for handling each task, ready to communicate to the rest of the partnership now.
Let me conclude by wishing you well for the meeting you are about to start. For those of you who will then start your holidays may I also say that I hope that they are enjoyable and that I hope you get a chance to be well-rested.
The months ahead will require hard work from all of us but it will make a real difference to the lives of millions of people around the world.