Growing pressure for global cooperation
Protection of the climate and the environment, rural development and the establishment of social security systems all require much more intensive cooperation as a matter of urgency.
Social security is out of reach for millions of people. The global economic and financial crisis has shown how quickly people can slide into poverty if there is no social security system in place to protect them. We must help to develop appropriately adapted social security systems. It is particularly important to take positive action for women, because they bear the main responsibility for their families' social security in many developing countries.
The greatest challenge is climate change. We need a new climate agreement as soon as possible. The prerequisite is reliable, additional and appropriate financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing and emerging countries. The contribution made by Germany, the EU and the other industrialised countries must be in line with their responsibility as major contributors to climate change. Among other things, this will require a new quality and quantity of development cooperation in this area. All projects and programmes must therefore be assessed in terms of their climate impacts.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population. Agricultural systems that are adapted to climate change have a key role to play here. Rural development has played a subordinate role in development cooperation for too long. This needs to change. The target to which we should aspire is for 10 per cent of development funding to go to supporting rural development. Similarly, developing countries should allocate 10 per cent of their budgetary resources to this sector. Small-scale farmers in particular should be supported so that they can produce food for local and regional markets.
Better outcomes and more quality in development cooperation
Development cooperation needs an independent structure and its own voice in cabinet. Climate change in developing countries, the world food crisis and the Millennium Development Goals cannot be addressed effectively as side issues. There is more to development cooperation than merely the representation of national interests, which is clearly the role of foreign policy.
German development cooperation can stand up to comparison with other countries, but there is still a need for reform. Conditions in international cooperation have changed. New donors such as China and India or charitable foundations (e.g. the Gates Foundation) have emerged. The developing countries are rightly pressing for stronger coordination in order to improve successes and outcomes.
The distinction between technical and financial cooperation is outdated and should be abolished at last. For German development cooperation, we propose that the official implementing agencies (GTZ, KfW Entwicklungsbank) be merged into a federally owned development agency. Our goal is to improve and speed up cooperation and avoid unnecessary duplication of work.