Since its inception in 2010, every year has brought the g7+ new challenges, opportunities and room for growth. This evolution requires us to constantly refine our work and strengthen implementation of our mandate.
At the 3rd g7+ Ministerial Meeting in Lomé, Togo, in May 2014, it was decided to formalize the group through the establishment of the g7+ Charter. Under the auspices of the Charter, the meeting concluded with agreement on five key priorities:
The g7+ chairmanship was transferred to H.E. Dr. Kaifala Marah, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Sierra Leone. Haiti assumed the role of Deputy Chair, held by H.E. Michel Présumé, Secretary of State for Planning. In addition, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão was appointed as Eminent Person of the g7+ Advisory Council, and H.E. Emilia Pires was appointed Special Envoy of the g7+. The decision was also made for Timor-Leste to be- come the permanent host of the g7+ Secretariat.
Implementation of the New Deal at the country level continues, with fragility assessments updated in Sierra Leone (ongoing) and Timor-Leste; and other countries such as Afghanistan have started conducting them. The IDPS New Deal Monitoring Report highlighted some important progress, as well as areas where further work is needed particularly around the TRUST principles of ‘use of country systems’ and ‘strengthening capacities’.
In terms of policy discourse, the Secretariat’s collaboration with the World Bank Group resulted in the inclusion of a g7+ representative within negotiations for the International Development Association’s17th framework (IDA 17). This helped to secure an agreement for a new IDA allocation formula and ‘Turnaround Facility’ which should allow fragile states to access significant additional development finance. The g7+ also continues to hold regular meetings with the President of the World Bank and the senior staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to ensure that fragile state concerns are heard at the highest levels of the international financial institutions (IFIs) that play such an important role in our countries.
In July 2015 g7+ was represented in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa,Timor – Leste, g7+ and United States of America co-host the event on the implications for fragile states. Opportunities and challenges in mobilize the necessary resources for development from our own domestic resources and the role of tailored development assistance were highlighted.
The g7+ has also enhanced its capacity and formalized its negotiation initiatives though the signing of formal Memorandums of Under- standing (MOUs) with UN agencies and think tanks and academia. Building on the principle of solidarity between g7+ members, the group has also formalized cooperation among members through a new initiative called Fragile-to-Fragile (F2F) Cooperation. The group established a Policy Framework to capture the scope and modality of such cooperation.
The framework is built on the past experiences of member countries, including assistance of Timor-Leste to Guinea-Bissau for its electoral registration process, g7+ delegation visits to the Central African Republic to support its peace transition, and the donation of USD 2 million from the Government of Timor-Leste to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to support their response to the devastating Ebola epidemic. Peer-to-peer learning has been encouraged in the areas of natural resource management and justice in fragile states. The g7+ launched its Natural Resources Management report at a meeting in Brussels in March 2015, setting out our firm stance on resolving the recurrent contradictions between the potential and the “curse” of abundant natural resources. In addition, g7+ Justice Ministers met for the first time on the side-lines of the Global IDPS Meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in June 2014, representing efforts to ensure peer-to-peer learning across a range of sectors.
Advocacy efforts by the g7+ resulted in the inclusion of Goal 16 – calling for peaceful societies, support for effective institutions, and access to justice for all in the final Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030. “Peace” is now one of the five pillars setting preamble for Agenda 2030. This represents a crucial milestone in consolidating a platform to enable fragile states to build their resilience. Discussions are now underway in regard to meaningfully localizing the SDGs so that they offer the best opportunity possible in assisting fragile states in the transition to resilience.
The last 18 months have also seen some challenges. Three g7+ member countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were directly affected by the Ebola crisis, which had devastating effects on both the people and the states. Similarly, ongoing conflicts in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Yemen have further weakened those countries.
In this regard, the g7+ pledge to support members’ efforts to emerge out of crisis has been stronger than ever. In hindsight, these events represented an opportunity to reinforce the importance of having capable institutions, and to implement g7+ principles of voluntarism, solidarity, and cooperation. The g7+ has learned that its members have the capacity to come together in times of need, and has reinforced the spirit of leaving no one behind.
In conclusion, 2014-2015 has been a successful and challenging period. It represented a defining moment for the future of g7+member states in the post-2015 agenda, and clarified the unique opportunities that will emerge in the year ahead.