Sixteenth Meeting of the

Government-Development Partner Coordination Committee (GDCC)

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 29 April 2010

 

Opening Remarks

by Deputy Prime Minister KEAT CHHON, M.P.

Minister of Economy and Finance

First Vice-Chairman, Council for the Development of Cambodia

Chairman, GDCC

Royal Government of Cambodia

 

  -    Colleagues from the Royal Government

  -    Honorable Ambassadors and Distinguished Representatives of Development Partners

  -    Ladies and Gentlemen

 

1  -    It is a pleasure once again for to welcome you all to the Palais du Gouvernement for this, our sixteenth meeting of the Government-Development Partner Coordination Committee. It is six months since our last meeting and so I am very pleased that we have an opportunity this afternoon to discuss some of the important issues that have occurred since the 15th GDCC meeting, which took place on 29 September 2009. We will also be looking forward to the occasion of the Third Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum the CDCF which neatly divides our agenda into two main areas of focus.

 

2  -    Our first agenda item, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, is to receive an update on progress towards the establishment of a Priority Operating Cost mechanism. This initiative will standardize and normalize payments and incentives to Government staff engaged in the implementation of development partner projects. Colleagues from the Council for Administrative Reform will lead this discussion but I wish to make a few additional observations of my own in my capacity as Chair.

 

3  -    There has been a series of correspondence between the Royal Government and development partners since the decision of the Royal Government to terminate the PMG and MBPI schemes at the end of 2009. The detrimental impact of the termination on service delivery, especially at sub-national level, is well noted and should provide the resolve to develop a replacement mechanism without undue delay. Principles of equity, however, featured strongly in the decision to terminate these schemes. This is an important principle that must be at the heart of every national and sectoral development strategy and reform. Equity has of course also been emphasised by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and is a basic principle of the Royal Government's Rectangular Strategy. Other principles must also be taken into consideration and I note that the discussions that have taken place recently also take account of sustainability and untiy, as well as the need to harmonise the practices of development partners.

 

4  -    I am therefore encouraged that recent meetings to discuss the modalities of the new mechanism have included this focus on principles such as maintaining levels of service delivery, harmonisation, efficiency and sustainability. I believe this is useful not only to agree principles and address technical issues but also to provide a constructive setting for dialogue and, in due course, for implementation of the new arrangement. These consultations have of course informed the deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to ensure that this issue will be resolved in an agreeable and constructive manner.

 

5  -    I wish to propose that we spend a maximum of one hour - until 4 pm on this topic.

 

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

 

6  -    Our meeting today will also review preparations for the Third Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum, which will take place on 2nd and 3rd of June. I look forward to the dialogue at the CDCF, which centres on NSDP implementation, policy reforms for returning to high levels of equitable growth, and the opportunity to review progress in related reforms. In the weeks remaining before the CDCF meeting I trust that the TWG Chairs will be working with their development partner counterparts and with all TWG members. This is necessary in order to prepare statements that comprehensively reflect both the broader position of the Royal Government as well as the consensus view of development partners. Ensuring broad-based consultation of this nature is essential to ensuring the success of our CDCF meeting in terms of identifying concrete priority actions to be endorsed in each of the CDCF sessions during our meeting in June.

 

7  -    We will then turn to perhaps the most important process that the GDCC is mandated to address, which is the approval of the Joint Monitoring Indicators. A meeting between Royal Government representatives and development partners facilitating the Technical Working Groups met in February and I welcome the new format for the JMIs which should make them more coherent, ambitious and results-focused. I thank all TWG participants for the efforts they have taken in the period since that meeting to prepare the new JMIs. I understand the proposed JMIs have been consolidated and disseminated widely.

 

8  -    The 2010 Aid Effectiveness Report has also been drafted and distributed for your consideration. This Report, based on data reported by development partners and a range of qualitative evidence, shows that aid trends continue upwards, to 990 million US Dollars in 2009 and rising to more than 1 billion in 2010. Our efforts therefore need to continue to focus on the effective management of these resources, strengthening and using Government systems in the context of major reforms and sector programmes. The Report does seem to suggest that development cooperation is well aligned with national priorities and I wish to acknowledge and commend the efforts of development partners.

9  -    The final CDCF topic for discussion is the Multi-year Indicative Financing Framework, identifying funding trends for the period 2010 2012. A short presentation by Chhieng Yanara, Secretary General of CRDB/CDC, covering the JMIs, the Aid Effectiveness Report and the MYIFF will support our discussion on these topics.

 

 Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

 

10  - This completes my opening remarks. All of the required documents have been shared in advance so I hope that our meeting today can be conducted in an efficient manner while providing all participants with an opportunity to make a contribution.

Thank you for your attention


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