TALLINN - While speaking at the Blouin Foundation conference in New York, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that two requirements for effective development cooperation are a significant reduction in corruption and the establishment of good governing standards in development cooperation partner countries. Paet stated that giving aid to developing countries will remain less effective as long as sufficient steps are not taken in those countries to fight corruption and establish good governing standards and rule of law.
“The goal of international development cooperation must be to fundamentally change our partner countries, not just constantly give them humanitarian aid. Without these kinds of profound changes, the motivation of donor nations to contribute to development aid will wane, and the financial fulfillment of development aid goals will be jeopardized,” Paet stressed.
At the conference, Paet said that the European Union, which gives development aid to third countries, should conform to the EU’s values and political goals more than it has before. “Inevitably, a question arises as to the efficiency of development aid if, for example, a country that receives consistent financial aid from the EU acts internationally in a way that is against the EU’s principles, or if it oppresses its citizens,” he added.
The goal of the Blouin Foundation, which was founded in 2005, is to increase awareness of the challenges and opportunities of globalization. This year’s conference was the fifth one organized by the foundation to act as a forum for think tanks dealing with leadership experiences, the academic world, international media, and state leaders.
During his visit to the United States, Paet also met with UN Under-Secretary General and new chief of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Valerie Amos. The focus of their meeting was the UN’s reaction capability in crisis situations and cooperation with donor nations. Paet also met with representatives of the American-Jewish Committee, with whom he discussed the ongoing Middle East peace process and its developments, as well as cooperation with the Jewish community in Estonia.