A Global Partnership to enhance effectiveness in development cooperation

Bern, Press release, 29.11.2011

Increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation is the theme of an international conference that convened today in the South Korean city of Busan. A delegation from Switzerland, led by SDC Director-General Martin Dahinden, is among the participants. Representatives from government, civil society, and private industry hailing from both donor and recipient countries will seek to form a new, stronger partnership to enhance the efficiency and the effectiveness of development cooperation.

The Busan Conference being held from 29 November to 1 December provides Switzerland with an opportunity to make known its experiences. The Swiss delegation will, for example, present a brief portrait of successful projects conducted in Nicaragua and Nepal. The delegation led by Martin Dahinden, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will, in addition to members of the SDC, also include representatives from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), a member of Parliament, and a representative of Swiss relief organizations. Switzerland supports the Busan Conference Declaration. Ever since the Paris Declaration of 2005, Switzerland has been playing an active role in coordinated international development cooperation. And it intends to strengthen this commitment, especially in unstable partner countries and regions such as North and Central Africa. The ultimate goal in all regions still remains that of poverty reduction.

In the course of but a few decades, the host country of South Korea has gone from being one of the poorest developing countries to becoming one of the most dynamic economies in the world, transforming itself from recipient to donor in terms of development assistance. It thus represents a successful example of effective international cooperation.

One of South Korea’s motivations in organizing this Conference is that it wants to make its experiences available to other countries. In former times, development cooperation was primarily an activity of the industrialized countries from the north. Coordination was a simpler task since these countries pursued similar interests and shared a common vision as to development goals. This situation has radically changed over the past years. In certain cases, emerging countries such as China, Brazil, and India have been injecting enormous sums into development cooperation. They are not limiting themselves, however, to merely providing funds; they are also setting new goals in their partner countries. In addition, large, private foundations have also appeared on the scene with new modes of operation and new objectives.

To satisfactorily respond to these new realities, the Busan Forum intends to create a partnership for development that includes all of the new actors, while simultaneously defining the principles for effective cooperation in the developing countries. For the first time, a structured dialogue will be conducted with all donor and beneficiary countries with the goal of forging a common basis for enhanced coordination. A pivotal element characterizing this new coordination is the understanding that development can be successful only if the development priorities are set by the government and the civil society of the developing country itself. It is also crucial that the private sector be adequately recognized as an important driving force behind development. The Busan Forum continues the work begun in the previous rounds which set down principles for classical North-South development assistance.

Information FDFA +41 (0)31 322 31 53
SECO/FDEA: +41 (0)31 324 09 10

Further information:

Conference in Busan
Engagement of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
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E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
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