Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation hosted the second virtual Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation, an initiative that targets international multilateral cooperation amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The first meeting was held on 2 April with more than 120 representatives from 45 international institutions and foreign courts to discuss Egypt’s Response and Rebuild strategy, immediate requests by the Ministry of Health and Population to combat COVID-19 and the ministry’s Global Partnerships Narrative, People at the Core, Projects in Action and Purpose as the Driver.
The meeting acknowledged cooperation to combat the pandemic, highlighted the ongoing partnerships portfolio and the wide array of projects and initiatives that are under negotiation and implementation covering various sectors, including health, electricity, transportation, housing, community development, education and women empowerment with an emphasis on partnerships that support the private sector directly and through financing by domestic banks, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The meeting also witnessed the participation of several multilateral and bilateral development partners, including the UN and its agencies, World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), JICA and several foreign courts including the UK, Spain, Canada, France, Germany, and the European Union.
"Increased coordinated action is key to boosting confidence and providing stability to the global, regional and local economy. The Ministry of International Cooperation through pillars of economic diplomacy that were identified early on, aims to ensure that COVID-19 does not derail us from pushing forward with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda,” Minister of International Cooperation Rania El-Mashat said.
During the meeting, El-Mashat added that the Ministry of International Cooperation has been aiming to push the frontiers of collaboration through economic diplomacy. The launching in April aimed to strengthen partnerships to achieve value-centric results through the set-up of Multi-Stakeholder Platforms, activating the Global Partnerships Narrative and creating the framework for Official Development Assistance (ODA) mapping to the sustainable development goals. The three pillars of economy diplomacy actively involve a wide range of stakeholders to enhance a sense of ownership, developed knowledge, creating a linkage between different governance levels and, most significantly, improved policy formulation.
The second element of economic diplomacy is to have a strong, consistent and consolidated narrative that helps document stories of development creating awareness, mobilising audiences and easing the narrative on the SDGs with the overall goal of not just engaging with development-minded people, but to also include members of the international community in the process, allowing them to contribute to and advocate Egypt's development story, said El-Mashat.
“With only a few percentage of people aware of the SDGs, effective communication on development stories is essential to produce future agents of change that can accelerate progress in development and impact more human lives. This is how we build back better,” the minister said. "In its effort to promote effective development cooperation and ensure the optimal contribution of development cooperation projects to the UN SDFS, the Ministry of International Cooperation also conducted a comprehensive ODA mapping exercise of all current effective projects to identify their alignment with the SDGs,” El-Mashat stated.
El-Mashat also highlighted Egypt’s efforts, in collaboration with the international development partners, in green recovery and empowering communities in line with the UN’s 17 SDGs.
"We are very happy with the ministry’s initiative to create a Multi-Stakeholder Platform which is helping increasing coordinated efforts and work among international institutions. This second meeting showed already an increased dialogue to set up the country’s priorities and is key for the development of various sectors based on the expertise of each institution, putting the impact on people’s lives at the heart of our efforts. This will help to avoid work duplication and to achieve quicker results and impact in developing the Egyptian economy,” said Heike Harmgart, EBRD’s managing director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean.