Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance: Remarks by Peter Silberberg

Jun 4, 2013

(Welcoming remarks by Mr. Peter Silberberg, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance)

"Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi (Director of UNDP’s Democratic Governance Group), Ms. Yamina Djacta (Dirctor of UN-Habitat’s New York Office), and Mr. Marc Bichler (UNCDF Executive Secretary), Mr. Kuno Schläfli, Representative of the Swiss Development Cooperation, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s an honour and pleasure for me to to welcome you at the occasion of the 8th annual meeting of the Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DeLoG). Let me first of all commend the host organisations for putting together such an interesting program.

Since its inception in 2006 DeLoG has made considerable progress in providing a platform for more effective development cooperation in the field of decentralisation and local governance. With successful interventions at the Busan High Level Forum and the global thematic consultation on governance in the post-2015 agenda in South Africa, DeLoG has proven to be a useful forum to position the issues of decentralisation and local governance strategically in the international development agenda.

However, DeLoG is doing more than that. It is implementing a specialised and tailor made capacity development program to improve effective support to decentralisation reforms. Last year, courses were held in Mozambique, Benin and Switzerland. In addition, DeLoG has constantly fostered and improved knowledge management and the exchange of experiences amongst decentralisation practitioners.

Many of the development partners have - in one form or another - contributed to the progress of the group. In this regard, I would especially like to thank the Swiss Development Cooperation for entering into a substantive and sustainable co-funding agreement to strengthen the DeLoG Secretariat and its activities in the next three years.

The German Government has been funding the DeLoG Secretariat since 2008 because we are convinced that decentralisation and local governance are key reforms for the development of professional, citizen-oriented and performing public institutions at all levels of the state. Local public institutions can take more directly into account the priorities and needs of the citizens and provide many public services more efficiently. The support of decentralisation and local governance is therefore one of the strategic focal areas of German Development Cooperation. Against this background, I am happy to announce that the German Government will extend the funding to DeLoG and its Secretariat for another three years.

Our continuing support underlines the commitment of the German Government to the Paris and Busan Principles and the important role decentralisation plays for German Development Cooperation. We believe that multi-level governance and the sub-national level should play an explicit role in the future post-2015 agenda. The recently published results of the MY World global survey show, that “an honest and responsive government” is one of the three top priorities for people all around the world. Furthermore, Germany would like to put a focus on effective measurement of donor interventions as well as government policies in the area of decentralisation and local governance.

DeLoG can and should play an important role supporting its member organisations to make the support of decentralisation and local governance a success. Given the great challenges, the DeLoG Secretariat may need to be further strengthened. I am confident that the foundation for this will be laid over the course of the next three days.

We hope that our contribution helps motivate other members to actively participate in this platform to build and use its full potential.

I wish you fruitful deliberations. Thank you very much."

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Development, Environment and Sustainability

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More than one billion people in the world – almost one in five – have to live on less than 1.25 US dollars per day. Every day thousands of young children die of hunger and illnesses. Poverty reduction is therefore a cornerstone of Germany's engagement at the UN.