Read below BetterAid co-chair Antonio Tujan's speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4):
Your Excellencies, President Lee Myung-bak, President Paul Kagame; General Secretary Ban Ki-moon; Your Majesty Queen Rania.
Distinguished Ministers, parliamentarians and other representatives of government.
Colleagues and friends, leaders and representatives of inter-governmental organizations and civil society and other organizations – good morning.
The past year, tens of thousands of civil society organizations and networks - of trade unions, peasant farmer organizations, women’s organizations, youth and indigenous, NGO’s and others have met to prepare, and 500 of their representatives met here at the CSO forum in Busan.
They speak of their concerns over the worsening poverty and misery that the new Millenium now brings, the difficulties of building societies that respond to the needs and human rights of the people. But they do not despair. Outside, the people on the streets take charge of their lives, take matters into their own hands. Inspired by the Arab Spring, they act for change for a better world, occupy spaces peacefully to make their voices better heard.
Our meeting here at Busan is critical. As we all focus on working for better results for our people, we forge a new Global Partnership for Development Effectiveness – so that our developing countries along with their international partners forge better cooperation focused on outcomes for the people especially for women and the poorest.
Success is possible only if we work together and be inclusive of people and their CSO’s in equal partnership in the development process; if we respect the leadership of poor countries in their development journey; if we assiduously promote and defend human rights, providing an enabling environment based on those rights for democracy to flourish. We ask for these and cannot comprehend how they cannot be accepted here at Busan.
CSO speak now with one voice – for Better Aid for the world we want.
We express our gratitude to the government of South Korea not only for helping CSO’s especially, but also for their firm resolve to increase assistance despite the crisis and encourage others likewise to fulfill their Monterey Consensus commitments.
As we thank all of you, we affirm that the presence of CSO’s on the table is not enough when in decisions our voices are not heard. Along with millions around the world asking for rights and democracy, we say - nothing about us, without us!