This report presents an overview of the progress made by the g7+ in 2017 and 2018 against its five strategic priorities endorsed during the 4th Ministerial Meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan: (1) New Deal Implementation; (2) Policy Advocacy; (3) Peer Learning and Fragile-to-Fragile Cooperation; (4) Implementation of the Global Agenda 2030 and (5) Strengthening the g7+.
The New Deal has continued to shape the policy discourse and to influence the policies of many national and international partners. The g7+ strives to uphold the relevance of the New Deal principles, which would otherwise be replaced with new principles and frameworks. The g7+ Secretariat, with the support of the g7+ Foundation and other partners, have sought to produce evidence to convince development partners on the importance and viability of the New Deal principles, organized side events on the margin of high-profile events, and conducted a comparative study entitled “Statebuilding in conflict affected & fragile states”. The g7+ also launched a g7+ Policy Note on the Use of Country Systems, and supported several member states in conducting fragility assessments.
On policy advocacy, the g7+ has continued to increase its engagement with international actors, including by influencing negotiations around the International Development Association allocation of the World Bank to fragile states. Its inputs to the discussion on the way aid is delivered in fragile countries have had an enormous impact in the policies of many international organizations, including bilateral donors. The g7+ organized also high-level side events on such topics as “The pursuit of Peace through Nationally owned mechanisms; Learning from countries experiences” and “The New Way of Working”, in addition to launching a study summarizing the lessons of reconciliation between Indonesia and Timor-Leste and participating in several other high-level roundtables. The key importance of the private sector for establishing economic foundations in fragility situations also led to a major focus of the g7+ on private sector development, which included the establishment of the g7+ WTO Accession group in 2017.
Since its introduction as a concept in 2013 by the g7+, Fragile-to-Fragile Cooperation (F2F) has included different modalities of cooperation and peer learning, and gotten tremendous traction globally. Given its importance, the g7+ has started to broaden its scope by engaging with non-g7+ countries and actors globally. In 2017, the g7+ and UNOSCC jointly launched a South-South in Action report on F2F Cooperation and signed anMoU that aims at facilitating cooperation in the areas of Peace and Statebuilding. The g7+ also organized several relevant F2F initiatives in the past two years, including a high-level roundtable discussion on “Managing UN transitions”, a g7+ Technical Meeting focusing on Justice in July 2017, a high-level side event on “promotion of Justice for all in countries affected by conflict and fragility” on the margin of UNGA 2017, and the commissioning of a study on “Host Nation Views on UN Peace and Security Reform Proposals”, which was launched in December 2017. The g7+ Secretariat also continued to engage with specialised institution such as think tanks, academia and civil society on getting support for the pursuit of access to justice.
Having been among the strongest advocates for the inclusion of stand-alone Goal 16 in the Agenda 2030, the g7+ members have reiterated their commitment to expedite the implementation of the SDGs. The g7+ Secretariatwill continueto provide support tothe g7+ membercountries as theyinitiatetheimplementationoftheSDGs, but has also continued to take steps to identify priority indicators that the g7+ will report on collectively. The g7+ organizeda Global Conference on the 2030 Agenda in collaboration with the Government of Timor-Leste in May 2017, followed by a Technical Meeting in Lisbon in July 2017 to discuss the SDG monitoring by the g7+ at the country level. In addition, the g7+ has actively engaged at the High Level Political forums during 2017 and 2018 to raise the priorities and voice of the g7+ member countries.
When it comes to strengthening the g7+, the establishment of the g7+ European Hub in Lisbon in July 2017 constituted a major step. The Hub is geographically located in close proximity to a majority of member states and global actors, and has since become a venue for hosting important g7+ meetings and events. The g7+ has also continued to reach out and follow up with the member states on the ratification of the g7+ Charter, which remains an important priority. At the same time, the g7+ Secretariat has started consultations with the UN legal department on seeking UN observer status for the g7+, and has been assured of its good chance of being accepted as observer at the UN General Assembly. Once granted, the observatory status of the g7+ by the UN will further consolidate the g7+ and hence can influence important debates at the UN that concern conflicts, fragility and Peacebuilding. The g7+ also discussed the lodging of the g7+ Charter at the UN Treaty Department and will continue to follow up on this matter with the permanent missions and the UN.
This report also provides information on the financial contributions which ensured the operations of the g7+ during the course of 2017-2018, as well as on country visits to member countriesby the g7+ Secretariat with a view to seeking political buy-in and support in various areas. It concludes with a section on challenges and recommendations, which include the following:
1. The g7+ should scale up its work of promoting a culture of peace and reconciliation based on self-reliance and ownership.
2. The g7+ needs to double its efforts to steer the attention of the international community to addressing the root causes of conflicts and fragility.
3. The g7+ group and its members need to work harder to translate the principles of New Deal into reforms that can make aid more effective.
4. The g7+ members should fulfil their obligation to make regular financial contributions as established in the g7+ Charter.
5. The g7+ member countries should strive to increase the number of member countries that have ratified the g7+ Charter.