"We renew our commitment to secure substantial flows of official aid and to improve the quality of aid. The whole international community should be mobilized in this effort and new donors should assume growing responsibility, so that the burden is more equally shared."
France is the second largest donor of development assistance, after Japan. During a review of France's aid policy on March 14, 1997, the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD recognized France's significant contribution to developing nations, particularly those situated in Africa. An OECD new release stated, "The DAC review of French policy notes that France does a great deal, at all levels, to keep developing countries' issues and problems, such as indebtedness, high on the international agenda."
France's performance, when compared to that of other nations, is laudable. However, France's performance in this area has, in comparison to other years, been declining. Aid levels in France continue to decrease.
In May 1997, the DAC completed a follow-up report on the implementation of its 1996 anti-corruption proposals for aid. In accordance with the DAC recommendations on this subject, France has introduced anti-corruption clauses in the financing agreements it signs with beneficiary countries. Furthermore, France has indicated its preference for the conclusion of a legally binding international convention on anti- corruption in development assistance, rather than a recommendation.
At the Franco-African Summit in December 1996, French and African leaders discussed the problems facing African countries, particularly under-development. During the course of the Summit, Chirac stressed that good governance has become a condition for development and he deplored the actions of states that are withdrawing their efforts to assist poorer countries.
Although France has not succeeded in continuing the allocation of 'substantial' amounts of money for development, it has made significant progress in improving the quality of its aid through anti-corruption endeavors. Furthermore, France remains committed to encouraging other nations to assist in the development of poorer countries.
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