“When global leaders adopted the “Monterrey Consensus” in 2003, it was a milestone in the evolution of development and international affairs. It established a framework firmly rooted in a 21st Century approach that moves beyond the paternalism of the past to a new era of shared responsibility and mutual accountability for results between, on the one hand, low- and middle-income countries and, on the other, high-income countries.
Now, with the Millennium Development Goals approaching their due date in 2015, important discussions are heating up in capitals around the world about what will come next. Let’s consider some basic principles and fundamental changes in the global economic and political landscape since the turn of the Century.
Today, a number of countries have significant economic growth and political clout and with increasingly prominent roles on the world stage. This new status is reflected in the establishment of, and growing influence of, the G20.
Although the basic principles of shared responsibility and mutual accountability are universally applicable, the existing development frameworks were largely created as a reaction to the paternalism of the past. In fact, although a shift has begun, the very language of development – “donors”, “recipients”, “assistance” – remains tinged with the asymmetries inherent in traditional development doctrine. That framework leaves little room for those who have transitioned from colonies and/or low-income countries but, understandably, have little interest in a framework that viewed them as recipients in need of assistance.”
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