Title: The French-speaking civil society in Africa activates for UNCTAD-XII and the post-period of Busan
Type of document: press release.
Thematic: Challenges faced by the African official assistance and trade
Cotonou (7 April 2012) – Around fifty delegates from the Dynamics of the Civil Society Organizations of the French Speaking Africa meet in Cotonou (Benin) from March 28 – 30, 2012 to hold a regional workshop – and they assessed the results of Busan related by the efficacy of the assistance and prepared its participation on the Thirteen Session of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The Workshop, called after the meeting in Busan on the efficacy of the assistance and preparing for the Thirteenth UNCTAD, created the conditions for civil society delegates coming from countries in West and Central Africa to assess present challenges faced by the official assistance, trade and investment in Africa within the context of world economic governance as explained by Mr. Aurélien Atidégla, President of the Research and Action Group for the Development of Agriculture and Development (GRAPAD).
The Workshop had the financial backing of the International Organization of la Francophoni,of the SOMO Foundation and HELVETAS from Benin. For the members of the Dynamics OSCAF, the Busan Association for an efficient cooperation at the service of Development (Association Agreement of Busan - AAB) signals a new era and the evolution generating at its time opportunities and challenges for the future.
Delegates, in the final declaration of the session, analyzed the conclusions of the Fourth High Level Forum on the efficacy of the assistance for Development (FHN-4), held from November 29 to December 2, 2011 at the city of Busan (South Korea) and especially hail – a greater space granted for a formal commitment of the Civil Society at the FHN-4 and the processes deriving from it. Nevertheless, they think that some key issues for the civil society, such as human rights, are not sufficiently covered by AAE. Similarly, the non inclusion in the declaration of objectives, terms and precise goals do not facilitate the follow-up of commitments and responsibilities.
Participants in the Workshop acknowledged that the “Istanbul principles on development efficacy of the organizations of the civil society in the AAB represent a significant step forward and at the same time a challenge for Civil Society Organizations. Regarding the Thirteenth UNCTAD, the Declaration says that, in spite of all denunciation by French speaking civil society organizations favoring the linguistic diversity, no effort has been exerted to translate the working documents or the Declaration of the Civil Society to other languages within the framework of the Twelfth Session of UNCTAD held in Accra. This situation limits participants to the Cotonou Workshop as well as the participation by French and Portuguese speaking civil society, as well as by their governments.
In spite of the linguistic hurdle, members of the OSCAF Dynamics made solid contributions to the civil society document during the drafting process for the Thirteenth UNCTAD. They stressed on the need of setting coherence between the Association Agreement of Busan on assistance efficacy and the preparatory works for the Thirteenth Conference in favor of a considerable improvement in the world economic governance. The thirteenth session of UNCTAD, foreseen for April 17-25 in Doha, Qatar bears as theme “Globalization centered in development”.
This Conference will take place within the context of multiple crisis and stagnation in commercial negotiations (Doha Round and AAE) demanding a deep reform of world economic governance.