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Dec 1, 2011

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InterAction welcomes Busan aid deal, rules must be binding

BUSAN, South Korea (Dec. 1, 2011)U.S. NGO alliance InterAction welcomes a new agreement aimed at improving the effectiveness of aid, but said the new rules must be binding for those who endorsed it at a high-level summit in South Korea this week. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation agreed in Busan, South Korea, is intended to increase the accountability and compliance of donor and recipient governments as well as civil society groups and the private sector in the delivery of aid. The universal endorsement of this agreement is a step forward but the monitoring and coordinating mechanisms developed to follow up will determine whether we get the results we need," said Samuel A. Worthington, president of U.S.-based international NGO alliance InterAction. All countries, including new middle income donors, must approach the core principles of development cooperation such as the upholding of human rights, a focus on results, transparency of budgets or aid flows -- as universal. They cannot be adopted on an opt-in or optout basis such as China and India have chosen, said Worthington. Worthington attended the three-day summit in the South Korean port city of Busan which looked at how to make the delivery of assistance more effective and transparent. More than 3,000 delegates attended the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Worthington applauded recognition of the role of civil society as a key player in development. Civil society was recognized as a full, equal participant at this global forum and we welcome that. There need to be continued efforts to include civil society and governments must create an enabling environment where civil society can operate more freely, said Worthington. The United States endorsed the International Aid Transparency Initiative, a set of international standards that allows development assistance to be compared across countries and thus encourages greater accountability and transparency. This aligns the United States with a global effort to increase the transparency of development cooperation, said Worthington. InterAction is also encouraged by Secretary Clintons public endorsement of the Istanbul Principles, a set of guidelines created by civil society groups to improve their work in development. **************************************************************************************************************
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