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Promoting peace: that’s the objective of this first Paris Peace Forum bringing together heads of state, local elected officials, international organizations, NGOs, and enterprises, from November 11 to 13. Here, Hélène N’Garnim-Ganga, Head of the Political and Citizenship Transition Department at Agence Française de Développement (AFD), explains to us how this forum is the occasion to mobilize these actors to reach more effective global governance.
What are the goals of the Paris Peace Forum?

It’s a matter of saying “never again,” 100 years after the end of World War I. The Paris Peace Forum is neither a conference nor a summit. It has been designed as a platform, for bringing together under one roof all the actors involved in decision-making in our societies: heads of state and government, international organizations, enterprises, NGOs, leaders of the digital world and from civil society, and others.

At the forum, 120 projects will be presented to try to provide concrete solutions to the problems we’re faced with today.

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Is global governance going through a crisis?

Global governance is in any event being put into question, because that is the case with multilateralism. We can see it in the European Union, with Brexit in particular, and with trends to withdraw into nationalism and protectionism multiplying in places all around the world.

Yet, global governance is essential for maintaining peace and protecting common goods such as climate, natural resources, and biodiversity, etc. We won’t be able to get through without shared management.

From now on we must think about a way to adapt this global governance to new trends. An evolution must take place, without any doubt. Whether we like it or not, we all live on the same planet and all depend on one another.

Is development assistance a solution?

It’s one of the solutions, but not the only one. There are an increasing number of opinions to the effect that the applicable criteria must expand. We are starting to talk about “solidarity investments for development” and to take in account the contribution from the private sector, NGOs, and domestic financing [banks, citizens, etc.].

AFD is presenting two projects at the Paris Peace Forum. The aim of the first one, in Morocco, is to have public money spent equally for men and women. It’s called gender-sensitive budgeting. We don’t always realize it, but some expenditures can benefit one sex more than another. AFD is supporting Morocco with a public-policy loan of €100 million. It’s an innovative project and an example of a type of reform that some Northern countries could take as a model.

The second project helps promote participation by citizens in local policies in several French-speaking countries (particularly Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia, and Burkina Faso). In it, digital tools are used to achieve better transparency between the State and citizens. For us, taking part in management of governance is a first step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

 


Find out more:

In French Guiana, Working Together to Better Protect the Amazon Rainforest

NGOs : AFD supports 20 new projects (in French)

[Focus report] The Message of the Kogi Indians (in French)