The 4th Global Meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) took place in Brussels, from 14 to 16 March 2016 with more than 160 representatives attending on behalf of civil society organizations (CSOs) and Local Authorities (Las), the private sector, representatives from the European Union, European Union institutions and Member States. UCLG Africa was represented in the debates by its secretary general, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.
The PFD members have met in this 4th global meeting to talk about development of the EU Development Policy, the latest update on the Cotonou Policy, key events in the global agenda and how CSOs and LAs can work together to enhance an enabling environment.
In fact, the first session addressed the future of the Cotonou partnership and the way a future agreement could better balance the role of each actor to strengthen partnerships and improve public policies. The panel’s contributions raised a number of relevant issues concerning the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The results of this agreement should be evaluated based on the benefits is has created and put a strong focus on the challenges of the future rather than assessing the past. All the panelists agreed that the content of the new partnership should be made according to new tendencies in the world, including climate change, migration pressures, economic development and the Sustainable Development goals.
A second panel that included UCLG Africa secretary general discussed the expectations in any future agreement. Issues such as the importance of common consensus and the involvement of all stakeholders in discussions on the new partnership were debated by the participants. The need to localize the new partnership for effective implementation, the necessity of a vision and the importance of the CSOs and all non-state actors to be involved in all stages of the political dialogue were also highlighted.
The participants also had the opportunity to share perspectives on upcoming global events UN Habitat III and the Second High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC HML2). The Habitat III conference, among other things, should support the realization of Agenda 2030, look at combination of good governance with national process of decentralization and reach an agreement on the role of social organizations that are at the forefront of the problems in cities.
The participants at the 4th PFD meeting took the time to examine the aspects of an enabling environment needed to increase the full participation of all actors as equal partners in the implementation of the SDGs.
A session was dedicated to present the most recent elements and challenges to updating EU development policy and developing the EU Global Strategy. The participants constituted PFD regional groups to discuss ways the EU can improve its efforts to achieve Policy Coherence for development and strengthen its partnerships to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
After working in thematic groups, the PFD members gathered in plenary to present key remarks and recommendations.
The key messages from the 4th PFD meeting can be accessed here.