“New cooperation models” – conference in Milan

Below we publish the rough translation of the press release (originally in Italian) of the Italian Ngo [Non-Government Organisation] CoLomba made about a conference held in Milan on “New models of cooperation: more responsibility or less money?”

Making the system, increase the positive impact of development aid through coordination and synergy between the different forms of intervention in the countries most vulnerable: only slogans or new strategies?

The question still remains open to many interpretations, but an answer, even if partial, is expected (and necessary) as quickly as possible. It is in fact translate into concrete action, not only the statements of Aquila G8 on aid to the poorest countries but also the strategies presented by major donors (European Commission among all) to ensure a flow of aid to these countries despite the economic crisis and the difficulties of most industrialized countries.

No longer just the Official Development Assistance (ODA) which, however – it ensures the Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini – must remain among the main instruments of development cooperation but help in its entirety, a responsible economic actors and the private (banks, foundations, the world of work, businesses) because they knowingly participate in the sustainable development of countries now more vulnerable.

Under what conditions and with what expectations? This is the real problem.

The seminar, “institutional donors, non-governmental not-for-profit companies engaged in initiatives of social responsibility: what possible alliances with a view to increasing effectiveness of international cooperation”, organized by Columbus Tuesday, September 15 – Cooperation Lombardy (l ‘ association that brings together some 100 organizations, NGOs and non-profit organization, Lombardy) and the Lombardy Region has had the merit to initiate a first meeting between the business world Lombard, NGOs and individuals committed to the statutory development cooperation.

Attended the workshop, as well as representatives of the Lombardy Region: the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of business reality Lombard – among others representatives of Expo 2015, Assolombarda, Apilombarda, Coldiretti, Confartigianato, Confcooperative, Fiera Milano , Legacoop, besides Assifero, Sodalitas, Fondazione Cariplo Foundation Humanity and the Foundation for the Milan Expo 2015, and representatives of associations of international cooperation in Lombardy.

Many seminal ideas and stimuli collected from the participants, demonstrating the fact that the application of new approaches to development aid can not be reduced to the statement of intent (in this case the synergy between actors and the promotion of a ” country system “- be it Europe or Italy – that coordinates efforts to promote sustainable development in the countries most vulnerable), but must go through stages of clarification, involvement, motivation of different actors and the testing and evaluation of programs multistakeholder .

In his opening speech, Robi Ronza, with responsibility for International Affairs of the Lombardy Region, stressed the objective of the seminar created just to start the comparison between the different actors of the territory, compared with major donors: the European Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Roberto Ridolfi, Head of Unit of the thematic programs at the office of EC co-operation, presenting opportunities designed at EU level to promote collaboration between business and NGOs as a model the partnership and sponsorship (business) for projects sponsored by NGOs.

“We manage to cover only part of the projects submitted by NGOs, which exceed the number of degrees of Commission assessment would be significant if the business world – in what we call social responsibility – it did turn promoter development, contributing to projects that do not have access to assistance – not just philanthropy, but a way to look out with a positive image in new markets. ”

“It would start trials – continued Ridolfi – respecting different approaches and modalities for different traders. Is there a “how” that distinguishes the interests and the willingness of foundations, rather than SMEs or large companies. ”

According to the European Commission, it is important that donors coordinate with private and public that can offer an eco-projects to be funded.

For the representative of the MFA – Mariagrazia Rando – “the way forward is integration and coordination of aid, including through amendments to Law 49 on international cooperation, to update, waiting for wider reforms.”

In conclusion, after the many declarations of willingness and interest from representatives of the interests, Lele Pinardi (Colombia) has highlighted the concern of NGOs for the state’s Official Development Italian and urgency of a practical translation of the proposals that distorts its basic objectives and is consistent with the new strategies, but also – and especially – with the commitments made towards the fight against poverty by governments who have promoted the G8 Aquila.

“For our part, we proposed to start from a regional dimension precisely to propose a concrete table for comparison and verification of the feasibility and to understand how to work together with other players with what expectations, consequences, repercussions, not so much about our activities on the results for our partners in the South. ”

Just to further the feasibility and bring different points of view of participants, Colombia and the Region of Lombardy has proposed the creation of a multistakeholder working group that promotes and supports the availability of different actors (NGOs, businesses, foundations, local authorities), in comparisons of models of cooperation more integrated.

Proposal met with great interest by representatives of the business. For non-governmental organizations, a further step to help formulate strategies less distant from the needs and realities of developing countries. A path of confrontation that already includes a new stage, on 6 October, in Rome, under the convention sponsored by LINK 2007 “Public-private partnerships (IM) practices?”

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