On 26 February 2019, in Beirut, Lebanon – Civil society organization (CSO) members of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) platform have gathered in Beirut, Lebanon, to showcase their work and participate in a policy conference on effective development cooperation.
The Policy Conference theme- Upholding accountability, building solidarity for effective people-centred development, tackled the issues of corporate capture of development cooperation and closing and shrinking spaces, particularly in relation to impacts at country level and experiences of different sectors and regions. Private sector engagement and closing and shrinking civic spaces were among the issues that dominate development cooperation discourse. It was with the aim to arrive at a consensus in understanding, positioning and action on these issues that CPDE’s policy conference is being organised. The conference also strived to sharpen and nuance messages to best communicate to targets of advocacy and encourage policy and behavior change. Our representative Biljana Spasovska, BCSDN’s Policy and Advocacy Officer, shared the experiences regarding the shrinking spaces that CSOs in Europe are facing, on the session devoted to Shrinking civic space.
A total of 50 CSOs coming from six regions – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and the Pacific – and eight sectors – Faith-based Organisations, Labour, Rural, International CSOs, Indigenous Peoples, Youth, and Migrants – reaffirmed the importance of effective development cooperation as means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to leave no one behind, and to combat long-standing issues of poverty, marginalisation, and inequality within and between countries, and between men and women. CPDE, as the global platform of CSOs working in this arena, asserts that EDC must be rooted in the human rights-based approach (HRBA) and championed by all development actors, particularly States and the private sector
The representatives adopted the declaration, which underlines the major issues in the development cooperation and the actions that need to be fulfilled by the governments and other development actors.
Through the Beirut Declaration, CSOs reiterate their call on all development stakeholders to uphold EDC principles, reverse the trend of shrinking and closing civic spaces, and address the issue of corporate capture of development, and other emerging concerns.