Since the establishment of the g7+, every new year brings new opportunities, aspirations and of course challenges, which further teach us new ways of handling our journey toward resilience and prosperity. The strategic priorities we agreed upon in the second g7+ Ministerial helped in guiding our journey more strategically. The voice of the g7+ is now being sought in a variety of international forums. We continue to participate in the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
In 2013 we also capitalized on new opportunities to shape policy within institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. The g7+ participated in the IDA17 replenishment meetings as an observer and will continue to engage in IDA17 development. Through determined advocacy the principles of the g7+ were included in the High Level Panel Report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals were addressed in two of the proposed goals: Goal 10: Ensure governance and effective institutions, and Goal 11: Ensure stable and peaceful societies. The g7+ also began to tap into the G20 with further prospects for interaction in 2014.
Progress in implementing the New Deal
Guinea-Bissau and Union of Comoros became the latest g7+ member to undertake a fragility assessment in March 2014 – bringing the total of fragility assessments conducted to seven. The PSG indicators developed from these assessments offer a menu that can help to measure progress against the PSGs. Somalia developed and signed their New Deal Compact, with funding of USD 2.7 billion pledged by development partners. With this funding set to be used within the country-owned and led framework of the New Deal, this is a BIG deal for Somalia and the g7+. Also during the year South Sudan did a remarkable job of country-wide consultation as they began to develop their own New Deal Compact. Broad consultation was conducted across 10 of the 13 states. Sierra Leone also signed a Mutual Accountability Framework in February 2014, in support of its Agenda for Prosperity and as a vehicle for implementing the New Deal commitments and PSGs.
Increased communication between members
Four g7+ technical meetings were held during 2013, with members represented at the Ministerial level as well as by Focal Points. These meetings provided members with the opportunity to update each other on country progress and share experiences. We also spread the g7+ message within our membership through an African Roadshow, which involved myself and members of the g7+ Secretariat visiting Chad, DRC and Liberia. This included presentations by g7+ Focal Points and Ministers to their respective political leaderships, which aimed to build support for the New Deal. The g7+’s ability to communicate more regularly has been supported by enhanced capacity within the g7+ Secretariat, with Senior Policy Specialist, Mr Habib Mayar and Senior Researcher, Dr Nelson Martins, joining the Secretariat in January and June respectively. Further positions will be added in 2014, enhancing our capacity and inclusiveness.
Challenges faced by g7+ member countries
The deteriorating situations in the Central African Republic and South Sudan have been a cause of great distress. As members of the g7+ family we need to learn from these difficult times, to understand the factors that can lead to relapse and support each other by encouraging development partners to act responsibly and sustainably. In sum, 2013 taught us that our mission is more important than ever. It reminded me that in all our activities and advocacy we should never lose sight of our ultimate goal – to do all we can to ensure that all of our countries exit fragility and emerge as resilient and robust states. I often say that we should go ‘back to the basics’ and not forget our simple mandate. That is summed up in a simple truth:
“Without peace we can have no development”
Ministers, Focal Points and Secretariat, you should be proud of the work of the g7+ in 2013. I thank you and urge us all to press on with even greater vigour and determination in our very important work in 2014.
H.E. Emilia Pires
Minister of Finance Timor-Leste,
Chair of g7+