South Korea holds 2019 Busan Global Partnership Forum

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea held the 2019 Busan Global Partnership Forum from December 4 -5, 2019 in Seoul, Korea. The Forum brought together a number of stakeholders on development and development cooperation from both global north and south, civil society organizations and parliaments. With the theme of 'revitalizing the global partnership for the attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs)', the forum covered a number of issues including:

  • Reflecting on the relevance of development effectiveness for the attainment of the SDGs;
  • Outcomes of the latest 2018 global partnership monitoring results;
  • South-south and triangular cooperation;
  • SDGs and the private sector engagement; and
  • Outreach for the development effectiveness agenda.

Representatives from China, India, and BRICS Policy Center joined the Forum to share their perspectives on the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) and the development effectiveness agenda.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

Event website – Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation

South Korea

Dutch government publishes guidelines in English for next round of CSO funding

The Dutch government published the guidelines in English pertaining to the next funding round (2021- 2025) of four of their seven instruments to fund civil society worldwide, which fall under the 'Strengthening Civil Society' policy framework. The documents relate to the following four funding mechanisms: 

  1. Power of voices;
  2. Power of women;
  3. Women, peace, and security; and
  4. SRHR partnership fund.

The government also published the English version of the eligible countries as well as the theory of change that guides all seven instruments under their policy framework. 

Press release - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands

Australia to cease bilateral development assistance to Pakistan in favor of Pacific recipients

The Australian government plans to cease all bilateral development assistance to Pakistan in 2020- 2021. The resources will instead be used for support to the Pacific. Australia will continue assistance to Pakistan through its regional and global programs, including in-Australia scholarships.

The cessation of bilateral development assistance was flagged in the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Aid Program Performance Report on Pakistan for 2018- 2019.  The current bilateral program includes support for poor women and girls, reproductive health services, and gender-based anti-violence assistance. In addition, the program focused on improved water, food, and economic security,  and supporting stabilization and resilience. Australia provided US$27 million (A$39 million) in bilateral funding to Pakistan in 2018- 2019.

News article - Sydney Morning Herald

Aid Program Performance Report on Pakistan - DFAT

Australia Agriculture Nutrition

If victorious, Conservative party will hold significant review of UK’s foreign and defense policy after election

Boris Johnson, leader of the Conservative Party, has announced that if his party wins the next general election, it will hold the biggest review of the UK’s foreign and defense policy since World War II.

The review will include a look at the armed forces and intelligence services, counter-terrorism forces, and organized crime. It will also consider Britain’s foreign policy, and how best the UK can use its huge expenditure on international development.

News article - Defense News

United Kingdom

EU doubles funding for DRC's Ebola epidemic

The EU announced it would provide an additional €50 million (US$55 million) in humanitarian assistance to help address the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on top of the €47 million (USD $51 million) it has already provided to humanitarian assistance organizations for this current outbreak since May 2018. The funding will mostly support health care in the DRC, with €40 million towards the provision of free and high-quality health care, including for malnutrition. The remaining amount will go toward improving food security and access to clean water. The EU is also providing experts, access to its humanitarian flight service, supporting vaccine development and research, and providing training in medical evaluations. 
The latest outbreak in the DRC has seen more than 3,000 people infected and has resulted in more than 2,000 deaths. 
This EU funding announcement closely followed a call for the EU to step up its role for the post-Ebola efforts by David Gressly, the United Nations’ Ebola emergency response coordinator. Gressly said that while the EU had provided some funding, it was not as much as some of the EU’s member states or the World Bank. However, the UN is in talks with the EU to play a key role post-crisis. Gressly also stressed that the UN is not only in the DRC for Ebola, and that funding is needed also for malaria, cholera, measles, and other diseases. 
Press release - European Commission

Finnish Council presidency proposes compromise draft deal on next long-term EU budget

The Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU proposed a compromise draft deal on the next long-term EU budget ahead of the December European Council meeting, where EU heads of state will provide guidance for the ongoing Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations. The proposal, or ‘negotiating box’, includes budget figures for the 2021- 2027 MFF that represent 1.07% of EU gross national income (GNI). The Finnish proposal reduces the overall budget size while safeguarding the proportion of funding for cohesion and common agricultural policy. By contrast, it cuts the proportion of the budget going to development and increases it for research. 
The Finnish Council presidency proposal requests €103.2 billion in 2018 prices (USD $114.6 billion) for Heading 6, the budget area for all EU external action, and €75.5 billion in 2018 prices (US$83.8 billion) for the Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), the primary development instrument proposed for the 2021-2027 MFF that includes the currently off-budget European Development Fund (EDF).
The negotiating box acknowledges that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” EU insiders suspect a final MFF deal will not be reached until the latter half of 2020 during the Germany presidency of the Council. 
News article - Euractiv
MFF Negotiating box - Finnish Council presidency

EU Agriculture Global health R&D

Far-right German AfD elects new party leaders

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has elected Tino Chrupalla as the new leader, succeeding Alexander Gauland. Chrupalla is considered a compromise between the two political poles of the party; he maintains strong contacts to the farthest right members but also the right-wing 'conservatives' of the AfD.

The furthest right wing of the AfD is currently under investigation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, for statements misaligned with the liberal and democratic principals of Germany. AfD is known for its strong anti-immigrant and right-wing populist platforms. Factions of the party are associated with neo-nazi and identitarianist movements.

News article – Tagesschau (in German)

News article – Zeit (in German)


German development minister refuses to travel to the UN Climate Conference, decries excessive CO2 emissions

The German federal minister for economic cooperation and development, Gerd Müller, criticized the 25th UN Climate Conference, the Conference of the Parties (COP25), taking place December 2– 13, 2019 in Madrid, Spain, and refused to travel to the event. Instead, his ministry will be represented by a small delegation.

Müller pointed out the hypocrisy inherent in the CO2 emissions of 25,000 people flying into Madrid, criticizing the large size of the event leading to inefficiencies, and the unnecessary frequency of the annual meeting. He emphasized that in its current form, the COP25 is neither modern nor environmentally friendly. In his view, the investments and commitments are in place, but actions must follow. He called for a more effective format focusing on technical solutions.

COP25 brings together political leaders from around the globe to discuss actions to mitigate climate change and to limit global warming to 2 degrees or at best 1.5 degrees annually, as determined by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

News article – Spiegel Online (in German)


Spain's Sánchez calls for strengthened multilateralism at COP25

At the opening session of the UN's Madrid-based Climate Change Conference (COP25) on December 2- 13, 2019, Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for strengthening multilateral cooperation and adopting ambitious measures at the domestic and international levels in order to tackle climate change effects worldwide. Prime Minister Sánchez also emphasized the importance of fostering women's empowerment and of achieving Agenda 2030 for sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

Press release – la Moncloa (in Spanish)


France supports care center for female victims of violence in Central African Republic

French Development Agency (AFD) has joined forces with Fondation Pierre Fabre to establish a comprehensive care center for female victims of violence in Bangui, Central African Republic. 

The four-year program will help victims of sexual and gender-based violence, providing them with access to comprehensive quality care, using a coordinated and holistic approach at the 'one-stop treatment center' in Bangui. This €4 million (US$5 million) program will be financed by AFD (€3 million) and Fondation Pierre Fabre (€1 million). 

Press release - French Development Agency