A New Deal for Fragile States: International Engagement after Busan

Marc Baxmann | Johannes Hamacher | Andreas Wittkowsky | FriEnt | 2012

Workshop Report | 19 January 2012

On 19 January 2012, the Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt) organized an international workshop on "A New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. International Engagement after Busan". The FriEnt Workshop aimed at assessing the outcome of the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan/ South Korea in December 2011 with respect to the issues of conflict and fragility. The New Deal was endorsed by a number of countries and international organisations at the 4th High Level Forum. The participants in Busan reviewed progress in implementing the five Paris Agenda Principles on aid effectiveness: ownership, alignment, harmonisation, results-based approaches and mutual accountability. It is widely recognized that it is difficult to adapt this agenda to the particular challenges of a weak state. In these contexts some underlying assumptions of the Paris Declaration - like the existence of a clearly articulated and broadly nationally owned development strategy or sufficient government capacities - do not hold. Moreover, these principles can - under certain circumstances - also do harm, e.g. by legitimating authoritarian governments. 

Therefore, a different approach was needed and the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) introduced 10 Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations in 2007. As the Fragile States Survey 2011 "Can't we do better?" showed, however, the level of implementation of these principles is seriously off-track. 

Addressing these particular challenges, OECD's International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) and the g7+ group of fragile states established the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) in Accra in 2008, which developed the Dili Declaration, the Monrovia Roadmap and the New Deal between Accra and Busan. The New Deal sets out five goals to give clarity on the priorities in fragile states:

  • Legitimate Politics - Foster inclusive political settlements and conflict resolution;
  • Security - Establish and strengthen people's security;
  • Justice - Address injustices and increase people's access to justice;
  • Economic foundations - Generate employment and improve livelihoods;
  • Revenues and services - Manage revenues and build capacity for accountable and fair social service delivery.
The New Deal also defines principles for cooperation, pathways out of fragility and mutual commitments for results aiming for greater convergence of efforts, greater trust among the various actors, and stronger national ownership.  But what is new in the "New Deal"? How to implement its commitments? Which relevance and which conclusions for governmental and civil society organisations in Europe? In order to address these questions, the first part of the FriEnt workshop took a closer look at the New Deal and its implications. The second part of the workshop went a bit further and asked for remaining challenges in the implementation of the New Deal on global and local level.

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