On Thursday, 8 February, the Prime Minister convened the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID). It was the first meeting of the President’s five-year term of this coordination committee tasked with delivering his commitments regarding development and international solidarity and shaping a partnership-based policy for a shared world that should focus on young people, particularly those living in Africa.
This policy is partnership-based in that it intends to be coordinated with all public and private stakeholders including the State, local government, agencies in charge of development and international expertise, civil society organizations, international volunteers as well as higher education and research institutions and companies. In this regard, a great deal of input from national and local government representatives and the civil society particularly at the National Council for Development and Solidarity (CNDSI) on 14 September and 20 December 2017, chaired by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, contributed to the preparation of the CICID meeting.
The CICID set out the objectives, resources and procedures for this revitalized policy.
It aims to make partnership-based development and solidarity policy a key objective for the next five years. It reaffirms the overarching objective of poverty eradication, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the protection of global common goods. It covers five thematic priorities, namely international stability, the climate, education, gender equality, and health.
To achieve these priority objectives, an unprecedented increase in resources devoted to partnership-based development and international solidarity policy was decided in order to reach 0.55% of GNI for official development assistance (ODA) by 2022, its highest percentage since 1995.
To target more effectively France’s priority countries, and mainly least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa, the Government will increase the portion of donations in order to establish a new balance in aid instruments.
In addition, it will scale up the bilateral component of ODA, which will receive, with regard to the ODA budget, two thirds of the additional resources from now until 2022. In 2019, thanks to an additional €1 billion in commitment authorizations, the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) will be able to begin a large number of bilateral projects in our priority geographic areas. More extensive coordination between our bilateral and multilateral action will also be sought. Our increased multilateral contributions will enhance our role and our influence in international organizations.
To help France live up to its commitments to tackle climate change, reduce inequalities and end extreme poverty, the Government has decided to change its method in order to work more closely with people in the field and become more attuned to their needs. This method should be developed with shared responsibility in mind and therefore set higher standards for beneficiaries. It should mobilize young people of our country and encourage all citizens, civil organizations and economic stakeholders to turn their attention to sustainable development and solidarity issues. Assistance from civil society organizations will be doubled by 2022. This new method also means coming up with new instruments for improving the management, transparency and outreach of our actions.
A development council, chaired by the President, will meet on an ad hoc basis to take strategic decisions regarding how this policy is to be implemented. The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, head of cross-cutting development policy, in liaison with the Minister of the Economy and Finance and the other ministers concerned, will submit a report to the President and Prime Minister every year on the ODA’s trajectory.
These five priorities and improved leadership and accountability for this new partnership-based development and international solidarity policy will generate benefits for everyone in the field.
France’s assistance will therefore be better managed, more effective and closer to the targeted beneficiaries.