Speech by H.E. Dorothee Janetze-Wenzel, Ambassador, Federal Republic of Germany On behalf of the Cooperation Partner Group (CPG)

Speech by H.E. Dorothee Janetze-Wenzel- German Ambassador- 26 Feb 18

26 February 2019

Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen 

Mingalabar Shin. Both, the Resident Coordinator and I are speaking on behalf of the Cooperation Partners Group or CPG, an inclusive and democratic group  that enables bilateral donors, UN agencies, and international financial institutions which provide development assistance to speak with one voice.

We very much welcome today’s event as an opportunity for dialogue with the Myanmar Government and hope we can make it as interactive as possible.

We would like to congratulate Myanmar on the substantial achievements – the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, the Development Assistance Policy, and the Sector Coordination Groups – and on having made these within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs. We are looking forward to working with the Myanmar Government when now moving from words to action. 

 We welcome and highly appreciate consultations on new strategies and policies and the inclusion of colleagues from local and international civil society, as the State Counsellor also emphasised in her speech.

Let me now briefly speak about the Development Assistance Policy and the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan. The UN Resident Coordinator will further elaborate.

Firstly, the the Development Assistance Policy (DAP); We welcome what we have seen. This is an important step and we hope our comments were useful. We look forward to reviewing the final version with the full annexes, templates and procedures, and providing feedback on these.

We welcome that it is a living document which we can adjust in the light of implementation experiences, so we look forward to joining you in the DAP Working Group in the near future.

Secondly, we welcome the Government’s efforts to develop the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan. We welcome the Plan’s objectives of inclusive development and transformational growth as well as its vision of strengthening state institutions and improving infrastructure.

The Cooperation Partners are already compiling more detailed comments to share during the formal consultation process and look forward to hearing more details on time frames, prioritisation, financial envelopes, monitoring, and involvement of Parliament.

Thirdly, let me come to the Sector Coordination Groups. It is great to hear that substantial achievements have already been made. Cooperation Partners are ready to support the Sector Coordination Groups wherever possible and stand ready to also support those who have not yet met.

 We particularly welcome the guidelines for Sector Coordination Groups that establish concrete, measurable deliverables for their work. It is excellent that these are reported on today and we hope this will happen regularly going forward to further legitimise them.

We hope that today is also the beginning of forging more linkages between individual Sector Coordination Groups. We might foster these by organising joint meetings between the Chairs and CP Facilitators of each. 

As previously communicated, we believe that there are some crucial areas which still lack Sector Coordination Groups. These include governance and private sector development.

Decision-making by all partners in development cooperation needs to be informed if it is to be successful. Having comprehensive, searchable, up to date information on what all Cooperation Partners are doing is essential for this.

In the future, we would like to see Government, CPs, and others make increasing use of Mohinga, as the national Aid Information Management System or AIMS is known, to plan, monitor and assess their work. 

We look forward to the next meeting of the AIMS Task Force with CPs to see how the system can be further improved and better utilised.

With these various new policies and coordination mechanisms in place, it is now important that they are complementary. It is important that they talk to each other and to avoid overlaps, for example in terms of project screening requirements and monitoring responsibilities. Ensuring that humanitarian, development, and peace efforts interlink and complement each other is also vital.

In this respect, the draft INGO Law is of particular concern to us. It is not aligned with the Development Assistance Policy and also overlaps with and contradicts existing legislation. We strongly believe it will neither help Government to regulate and manage INGOs, nor help INGOs to operate effectively, efficiently, transparently or accountably. On the contrary, there are substantial risks that it is impeding Myanmar’s social and economic development by crippling one of the key sources of support to the country. We reiterate our recent letter to DACU in calling for Government to either not adopt or to substantially amend the draft legislation on INGOs. We stand ready to help ensure that any legislation on local and international civil society meets best international practice and human rights standards. 

The events in Rakhine State are of great concern to us and our Governments and Headquarters. Some of our home parliaments question the continuation of aid to Myanmar in the current context; close to 700,000 people have fled to Bangladesh and the remaining Muslim population continues to be subject to segregation, discrimination and severe restrictions on their rights.

 We urge the Government to now implement all of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine in line with its previous commitments to do so.  We stand ready to work together. The challenges in Rakhine State will not be solved solely by investing in socio-economic development. There is a need to urgently address impunity and to ensure accountability for abuse of rights and power in the State.

 Our own support to Rakhine is also guided by the recommendations of the Advisory Commission. We aim at ensuring that our assistance is targeted to areas of greatest need, is non-discriminatory and inclusive. We seek to support lasting solutions for IDPs:  repatriation of refugees to their places of origin in a voluntary, safe, and dignified manner, and based on the principles of inclusion. In doing so, we are striving to maximise opportunities for reconciliation, inter-communal dialogue, social cohesion, and local-level peace building. We have agreed a set of Principles between ourselves to encapsulate this approach.

We of course also seek to align with Government priorities. Yet, any priorities have to be inclusive and to respect human rights.  

Let me close by again welcoming today’s Roundtable, the Development Assistance Policy, the draft national development plan, and the Sector Coordination Groups.  We urge that these are applied country-wide and very much look forward to regular consultations and structured engagement with MMR and our other partners over the coming months and years to turn these promises in to practice. By doing this, and by tackling the challenges we face, we hope to work together for both a peaceful and prosperous Myanmar.   

Thank you!