Working together to strengthen the cooperation between multiple actors in the Middle East and Neighbourhood South

UCLG attended the Multistakeholder meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) in the Middle East and Neighbourhood South, in Jordan from 3 to 5 October 2017, held in coordination with the Civil Society Forum Neighbourhood South.

The Policy Forum on Development (PFD) is a space for multi-stakeholder dialogue on EU and global development policies. It brings together senior officials from the European Commission, European Members States and local and regional authorities, as well as a wide representation of civil society organizations from different regions of the world. 

The conference was opened with a speech of the Mayor of Bagdad, Ms. Thikra Alwash and the delegation of local authorities included 15 representatives (mayors and municipal officers) from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Turkey including the Secretary General of UCLG Mewa, Mehmed Duman.

As the first PFD gathered in the Middle East and Neighbourhood South, this meeting aimed to introduce regional participants to the work and process of the PFD and provide a venue to discuss regional concerns as relate to the on-going work of the PFD. While the goal of this meeting was not to produce a consensus document or joint outcomes from all involved, the messages and conclusions was fed into the global discussions of the PFD and shared with relevant EU actors.

Despite the importance of local governments in the implementation of global development goals, they remain heavily under resourced to undertake the role they are supposed to. Global development funds destined to local governments account for about 2% and the region is no exception to that. At the same time, consultation with local governments remains very limited. The PFD meeting recommended supporting the capacity of local governments as well as a more regular involvement of LAs in development actions, both in consultations and in coordinating solutions at different levels to tackle the challenges that the region is facing.

The draft conclusions and recommendations from the meeting presented the key messages and recommendations coming out of the plenary sessions will be soon available.

During the meeting of the Task Team, where UCLG World Secretariat presented the global networks of local authorities, it was proposed a calendar for next regional multi-stakeholders and PFD regional meetings for 2018 -2020 (in Africa, Latin America and Asia). The next regional PFD will take place in Europe, in Ghent (Belgium) in January 15-17, 2018.

What is Policy Forum on Development (PFD)

The Policy Forum on Development (PFD) is a multi-stakeholder platform, which brings together different networks of civil society organisations (CSOs) and local authorities (LAs) from all over the world, from the local to the global level. It establishes a permanent channel to dialogue about development issues, with the aim of strengthening the European Union’s (EU) development policy. This is an on-going process, which puts into practice the EU’s commitment to enhance its cooperation and consultation by reaching out to development partners.

Civil society, local authorities, private sector and policy makers meet regularly to exchange views and influence EU development policy. Such meetings have been held at the global level as well as in Latin America, Asia and the Pacific and Africa during the last three years.

The aim of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) is to enhance the Structured Dialogue on European Commission development cooperation that began in 2010 between European institutions, local authorities and civil society. There was also discussion of the preparation of the communication on the Private Sector in Development and the strategy of the ‘Civil Society Organizations and Local Authorities’ programme for the period 2014-2020.