This 2008 Aid Effectiveness Report (AER) has been prepared by the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board (CRDB) of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) for the Second Meeting of the Cambodian Development Cooperation Forum (CDCF). Building on the first Aid Effectiveness Report prepared for the 2007 CDCF meeting, this second Report makes a further contribution to the implementation of the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency - Phase II, which was launched by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia at the First Cabinet Meeting of the Fourth Legislature of the National Assembly on 26 September 2008; and the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) by elaborating on the status of the partnership between the Royal Government and its development partners and the role of external assistance in supporting our combined efforts to promote national development.
The Report also comes at an important time in terms of the global context. Reduced global levels of ODA in 2007, and the prospect of further erosion in the commitment to scaling-up support to the MDGs and the global ODA target of 0.7% of GNI, emphasises once again that we need to focus on the quality of external assistance even while we cannot be sure of the quantity. This was certainly the message that was communicated at the Ministerial dialogue during the September 2008 High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness and our continued concerns relating to food security and economic slowdown serve as a further reminder of our obligation to use all resources, both domestic and external, in a prudent and accountable manner.
Given these challenges, and in the context of the Mandate of the Royal Government of Cambodia of the Fourth Legislature of the National Assembly, I am therefore pleased to note that this Aid Effectiveness Report is more forward looking, and indeed of higher quality, than the 2007 AER, which itself marked a significant step forward in our efforts to establish more evidence-based approaches to development management. It is also pleasing to observe that this 2008 Aid Effectiveness Report uses a diverse range of sources and data, including the NSDP Mid-Term Review and the Evaluation of Aid Effectiveness in Cambodia, and is based on the collaborative approach that has informed analysis undertaken in the period since the First CDCF Meeting in June 2007.
Perhaps most important, this Aid Effectiveness Report puts information into the public domain and I trust that it will promote discussion both within and beyond Cambodia's borders. In this regard I hope that the Report can provide a perspective that looks beyond the technicalities of Government and development partner relations to provide us all with an increased motivation to meet our commitment and to keep our promises, both to each other as well as to the wider group of people whom Government and development partners claim to represent.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of H.E. Chhieng Yanara, the CRDB Secretary General and Secretary General of the CDCF, and his colleagues who have prepared this Aid Effectiveness Report. By acknowledging its improved content and enhanced analysis I would also like to offer my thanks to all colleagues of the Royal Government and our development partners who have participated in the background work that has informed the Report's production.