Deauville Partnership Senior Officials’ Meeting
- The first Deauville Partnership Senior Officials’ Meeting under Canada’s G7 Presidency took place in Tunis on 21 June 2018. This meeting was following the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting Communiqué in April 2018, in which the G7 recognised the considerable achievements of the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition, and reaffirmed the G7 commitment to consider new ways to continue dialogue and cooperation with the Middle East and North Africa countries. G7 Senior Officials, Arab Countries in Transition and partners held an active exchange of views on the Deauville Partnership outcomes and the prospects for future engagement in light of the developments which occurred in the region over the last seven years.
- In the context of the financial support to the Arab Countries in Transition, participants discussed progress on activities and on the financial dimension of the Deauville Transition Fund. In view of the 90 projects which were approved (75 are still in implementation), participants indicated that the Fund has been a valuable tool to support investment in sustainable growth, inclusive development, job creation, enhancement of economic governance, competitiveness and integration. The meeting also received an update on the independent, full scale evaluation of the Transition Fund, which is expected to be completed in October.
- Participants continued their discussion on the IFI Coordination Platform that was created in 2011, and acknowledged that this has been a valuable mechanism in bringing together the IFIs active in the MENA region. Participants encouraged partners to continue using this platform as a coordination and cooperation mechanism essential for promoting policy dialogue initiatives and joint investment projects in the Arab Countries in Transition.
- Following Italy’s emphasis during its presidency, participants discussed Human Capital Development challenges and opportunities. They underscored the importance of human capital and the enormous impact on future generations. They placed the emphasis on education and on vocational training. They underscored that with young populations in the MENA region, adoption of human capital development policies, especially by devoting special attention to women and youth, would promote sustainable and inclusive growth in the region. Several ACTs underlined the value of technical support and assistance provided by the G7 as a means to build this additional capacity in their countries.
- With regard to the implementation of the Compact on Economic Governance, which was agreed in 2015, and related to the peer review and peer learning process, the OECD presented an overview of Jordan’s and Egypt’s reform programs, and provided an update on Tunisia’s stocktaking analysis. The OECD acknowledged the ACTs’ reform efforts made to date and presented the key challenges they face. The ACTs appreciated the stocktaking exercise as it not only allowed them to review the reform processes in their countries, but it also provided them with the opportunity to plan for the future. In connection with economic governance issues, some ACTs reaffirmed the key role played by the private sector and emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in promoting job creation, innovation, and inclusive sustainable development.
- Participants confirmed that the Deauville Partnership has offered a distinctive forum for policy dialogue and cooperation between G7, ACTs, regional partner countries, international financial institutions and relevant international organisations. Participants recognised the value of the Transition Fund and its effectiveness, and reiterated the significance of the IFI Coordination Platform in providing a unique venue for collaboration and coordination. ACTs recognised the value of the expertise and the technical assistance provided by the G7 and encouraged the G7 to continue supporting the region accordingly. Some suggested that future engagements should seek linkages with other platforms such as the G20 Compact with Africa to ensure synergy and harmonization.
- The G7 and the IFIs confirmed that they remain committed to continue engagement with countries in the region. There was a strong desire to build on the achievements of the Deauville Partnership and on its successes in order to lay the foundations for a new type of engagement between the G7 and countries in the region. The ACTs similarly supported this new engagement.
Tunis, June 2018
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