G8 and G20 Youth Summit Delegations Fight for Aid Transparency

ByMia Wang

The negotiations in the Development Committee of 2012 G8/G20 Youth Summit made real progress on June 6. Due to multiple rounds of defining and redefining the main concepts, the Development Committee only covered the first subtopic: "food security." Luckily, the discussion went smoothly and consensus on food and human security was achieved.

In the morning session, the delegates thoroughly discussed the importance of food price volatility and the impact of policy actions. The committee agreed to set up local and regional reserves in cooperation with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). When discussing poverty eradication, attention was mainly paid to developing countries and young people. 

The topics covered in the morning were rather mild and there was no intense debate. However, shortly after the delegation meeting, two parties were formed and drama ensued.

Tensions intensified regarding the issue of aid transparency among developing and developed countries. Countries like the European Union that have signed IATI (International Aid Transparency Initiative) propose to publicize the details of foreign aids and promote aid transparency. While aid receiving countries opposed complete transparency for the concern of aid efficiency. "Transparency is necessary," said the Brazilian delegate, "but our organizations and allocation system are still not mature, transparency is not realistic." The Chinese delegate proposed a gradual process towards transparency concerning bureaucratic corruption, and the idea was supported by South Africa and other developing countries. Abhi Goyal the American delegate later doubted the limited power of the government in publicizing donating information of private companies and showed support for a less aggressive goal. Eventually, the committee agreed to provide publicly available information with conditions, which satisfied both donating and receiving countries. 

When the delegates were ready to move on to the next topic, the discussion was interrupted by the sudden visit of the Defense Committee, seeking a conversation about the foreign aid for North Korea government. But the conversation between two committees ended after a short time when the discussion strayed to bringing North Korea back to the table of Six Party Talks. 

With the food and human security topic closed and a good start of scrutinizing aid and aid effectiveness, June 6 was an eventful day. The delegates managed to avoid getting stuck on the details and were able to look at the bigger picture. The pace as well as tension is gaining momentum, and Thursday's final negotiation will be the last show.