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The European Commission, on behalf of the European Community, disbursed some USD 10 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2006, making it the sixth largest donor amongst the members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The European Commission also plays a “federating” role for the institutions of the 27 Member States of the European Union – together they account for more than one-half of all ODA.

Donors have many options to hold recipients to account and the most effective is probably to withhold the disbursement of aid monies. Recipients are in a much weaker position when donors do not deliver what they pledged to, or attach conditions to disbursements for aid dependent countries. Mutual accountability has therefore been the focal issue of the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum’s (DCF) High-Level Symposium which took place in Vienna on 12-13 of November.

To coincide with the High Level Event on South South Cooperation and Capacity Development in Bogota this week, The BetterAid Coordinating Group has produced a policy paper proposing a set of recommendations for South-South Development Cooperation.

These recommendations are to be prioritized, addressed and elaborated upon in new commitments by all development partners in the preparations for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness 2011 and the 2010 United Nations Development Cooperation Forum.