UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged developed countries to fulfil their aid commiments and invest in the world’s developing nations.
“Success will only be attained if donors unite their efforts and ensure their financial support is accountable, flexible and country-driven,”he said at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in the Republic of Korea,.
Ban said governments must not let the global economic crisis keep them from supporting those most in need.
A copy of the secretary-general’s speech, made available to PANA in New York, quoted him as saying: “Do not let this economic crisis, do not let short-term austerity deflect you from your long-term commitment to the world’s poorest people.
“Cutting aid will not balance your budgets. But it will hurt the poor – the most vulnerable of the human family.”
He said aid should be seen as a smart investment in security and prosperity as it would help create jobs and expand markets.
Ban also stressed that this was particularly relevant for countries that were in transition from conflict.
The UN chief said that countries receiving aid must be equally responsible for the resources they were given, and ensure that they set clear development priorities and strategies so there could be a visible impact in their societies.
“Enhancing transparency, cracking down on corruption, creating incentives for private investment and entrepreneurship, and engaging with civil societies should all be part of their aid effectiveness strategy,” he said.
Ban aslo told the participants that for aid to be effective it needed to be accountable and flexible, while allowing aid recipients to have a say in where it was most needed and how it should be used.
“Aid too often comes with strings attached. Such conditionality can add to the obstacles countries already face, especially in times of crisis,” he stated.
The secretary-general said he had asked the UN system to develop and Integrated Implementation Framework to facilitate the monitoring of global commitments to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their delivery.
Ban also addressed business leaders, underscoring the importance of their skills, ideas and dynamism to make a difference in poor countries through their partnerships with governments, international organizations and NGOs