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Chapter XIV: International cooperation - A. Responsibilities of partners in development

Basis for action

14.1. International cooperation has been proved to be essential for the implementation of population and development programmes during the past two decades. The number of financial donors has steadily increased and the profile of the donor community has increasingly been shaped by the growing presence of non-governmental and private-sector organizations. Numerous experiences of successful cooperation between developing countries have dispelled the stereotyped view of donors being exclusively developed countries. Donor partnerships have become more prevalent in a variety of configurations, so that it is no longer unusual to find Governments and multilateral organizations working closely together with national and international non-governmental organizations and segments of the private sector. This evolution of international cooperation in population and development activities reflects the considerable changes that have taken place during the past two decades, particularly with the greater awareness of the magnitude, diversity and urgency of unmet needs. Countries that formerly attached minimal importance to population issues now recognize them at the core of their development challenge. International migration and AIDS, for instance, formerly matters of marginal concern to a few countries, are currently high-priority issues in a large number of countries.

14.2. The maturing process undergone by international cooperation in the field of population and development has accentuated a number of difficulties and shortcomings that need to be addressed. For instance, the expanding number and configuration of development partners subjects both recipients and donors to increasing pressures to decide among a multitude of competing development priorities, a task which recipient Governments in particular mayfind exceedingly difficult to carry out. Lack of adequate financial resources and effective coordination mechanisms have been found to result in unnecessary duplication of efforts and lack of programme congruency. Sudden shifts in the development policies of donors may cause disruptions of programme activities across the world. Re-establishing and adhering to national priorities requires a new clarification of, and commitment to, reciprocal responsibilities among development partners.


14.3. The objectives are:

  1. To ensure that international cooperation in the area of population and development is consistent with national population and development priorities centred on the well-being of intended beneficiaries and serves to promote national capacity-building and self-reliance;
  2. To urge that the international community adopt favourable macroeconomic policies for promoting sustained economic growth and sustainable development in developing countries;
  3. To clarify the reciprocal responsibilities of development partners and improve coordination of their efforts;
  4. To develop long-term joint programmes between recipient countries and between recipient and donor countries;
  5. To improve and strengthen policy dialogue and coordination of population and development programmes and activities at the international level, including bilateral and multilateral agencies;
  6. To urge that all population and development programmes,with full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of each country's people, adhere to basic human rights recognized by the international community and recalled in the present Programme of Action.


14.4. At the programme level, national capacity-building for population and development and transfer of appropriate technology and know-how to developing countries, including countries with economies in transition, must be core objectives and central activities for international cooperation. In this respect,important elements are to find accessible ways to meet the large commodity needs, of family-planning programmes, through the local production of contraceptives of assured quality and affordability, for which technology cooperation, joint ventures and other forms of technical assistance should be encouraged.

14.5. The international community should promote a supportive economic environment by adopting favourable macroeconomic policiesfor promoting sustained economic growth and development.

14.6. Governments should ensure that national development plans take note of anticipated international funding and cooperation in their population and development programmes, including loans from international financial institutions, particularly with respect to national capacity-building, technology cooperation and transfer of appropriate technology, which should be provided on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the need to protect international property rights, as well as the special needs ofdeveloping countries.

14.7. Recipient Governments should strengthen their national coordination mechanisms for international cooperation in population and development, and in consultations with donors clarify the responsibilities assigned to various types of development partners, including intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations, based on careful consideration of their comparative advantages in the context of national development priorities and of their ability to interact with national development partners. The international community should assist recipient Governments to undertake these coordinating efforts.


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