G8 Muskoka Accountability Report: A Step Forward But Miles to Go

Jun 25, 2010, 07:00 ET from InterAction

Reaction Statement from InterAction - Alliance of U.S. International NGOs

WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When G8 leaders accept the report of its Accountability Working Group (AWG) - the Muskoka Accountability Report: Assessing Action and Results Against Development-Related Commitments - they will put in place an accountability mechanism that will serve "as the principle means for assessing and reporting on progress in meeting G8 commitments year-to-year."

The assessment report builds substantially on the report issued last year at the Italy G8 Summit. It indicates a continuing process and a illustrates a significant step in improving transparency, but needs improvements on specificity, data, and consistency across countries in future reports. This will depend on the future presidency of the G8. Despite the progress, several areas of the report are still in need of improvement:

  • Civil society, known also as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), is referenced 22 times, but the report fails to specify any clear paths for NGOs to provide input into the framework process. Opening specified entry points for input that remain in place from year-to-year is essential.
  • Most of the measurements of the climate change commitments have been omitted.
  • More detail and consistency across countries is needed.
  • There is no plan of action in the report to rectify the lagging progress on past commitments. We hope a plan will be forth coming from the G8 itself.

A transparent G8 monitoring and accountability system is crucial to give credibility to all G8 pledges. For example, many of the Gleneagles commitments adopted at the 2005 G8 Summit- ranging from doubling aid to Africa to increasing resources for infectious disease-were scheduled to be implemented this year, but remain just words.

A policy brief, http://www.interaction.org/document/interaction-g8g20-summits-policy-brief-accountability-permanent-robust-credible-public-and-, authored by the InterAction accountability task force and released prior to this week's Summit, called on the G8 to adopt a robust, credible, public and inclusive accountability mechanism to improve the credibility of all G8 commitments. Continuing challenges notwithstanding, this week's report did make real progress in moving towards common baselines and providing disaggregated data to enable experts to assess progress. This includes the use of standard and quantifiable terms, common and quantifiable benchmarks, and a transparent and accessible methodology-all musts going forward.

InterAction is the largest alliance of US-based international nongovernmental organizations. Our 190+ members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering to improve quality of life. http://www.interaction.org

SOURCE InterAction