In Deauville on May 27, the G8 initiated, with Egypt and Tunisia, a long term Partnership to support the historical changes under way in some countries in the Middle East and North Africa, based on two pillars: a political pillar to support the democratic transition and an economic pillar to support home grown strategies for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Today, we launched the economic pillar of this Partnership and announced its extension to all relevant partners; Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE have joined the Deauville Partnership in supporting the “Partnership Countries” engaged in political and economic transformation: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Nine international and regional financial institutions  are also now actively participating in this Partnership.
We welcome the participation of Libya to our meeting in Marseille and look forward to their participation in our Partnership. We stand ready to support the Libyan authorities in their endeavor to rebuild the country and conduct a Libyan-led transition towards shared prosperity. We fully support the Libyan authorities’ efforts to ensure that unblocked assets are used transparently and accountably for the benefit of the Libyan people, and we are firmly committed to release Libyan assets frozen under UN Security Council resolutions and other decisions where relevant on this basis. We stress the importance of international support to help the National Transitional Council restore economic activities, especially the production and export of petroleum products and gas.
Our framework is (i) inclusive, with all participants on an equal footing, (ii) country-led, driven by plans developed by the Partnership Countries themselves and (iii) ongoing, coordinated and additional, to ensure that the response of the international community measures up, in size and content, to the exceptional challenges we face. Recognizing that the private sector must be the engine for growth and job creation in Partner countries, we endeavor to provide a platform of ongoing support that focuses on trade and investment promotion, coordinated international and regional financial institutions support for homegrown economic and governance reforms, and enhanced support to private sector development.
We welcome and support the plans shared today by Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. While tailored to each country’s circumstances, these plans demonstrate a clear and shared commitment to enhanced prosperity for their people supported by the objectives set out in the Deauville declaration: to strengthen governance, foster economic and social inclusion, create jobs, support private sector led growth and advance regional and global integration. The country plans also highlight the importance of consultation processes to ensure broad based, multi-stakeholder consultation throughout their development.
Recent events in the MENA region have challenged macroeconomic stability in the near term, although the impact varies considerably from country to country. Some countries have been experiencing a drop in economic activity, including tourism, and investment flows, while also suffering from high and volatile commodity prices and increased domestic social pressures. With strained public finances, the immediate challenge for these countries is to fulfill people’s expectations while preserving macroeconomic stability.
Building on the country plans, donor countries and international financial institutions are working to address this situation with Partnership Countries to help them achieve macroeconomic stability, social cohesion and more equitable growth. We, in particular, share the importance of reform strategies and financial support being built on sound domestic policies and a robust macroeconomic framework. In this regard, we support the IMF engagement in the region, through enhanced technical assistance and continued policy advice, and its readiness to provide relevant financial support, tailored to each country’s specificities, where requested to meet external financing needs. The Arab monetary fund is also ready to provide financing to the countries in the region.
We call on the multilateral development banks and regional development funds to foster their coordination, especially at the country-level, and enhance their support to meet the challenges faced by Partnership Countries. The enlarged group of international and regional financial institutions supporting the initiative brings the total amount available for Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan in 2011-2013 to $38 billion in support of suitable reform efforts, in addition to resources that could be available from the IMF.
We welcome the Joint Declaration they signed today, broadening and developing the joint action plan initiated for the Deauville Summit. We strongly support the creation of the joint IFIs coordination platform, and we look forward to the development on the ground of such a new collaborative model. This coordination platform will facilitate information sharing and operational dialogue with partner countries, identify opportunities for joint transactions and policy and analytical work, and coordinate monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Deauville Partnership. We welcome AfDB as the first chair of the rotating secretariat.
We note with great satisfaction the progress of several joint initiatives, described among others in the Joint IFI response progress report, that embody the spirit of our Partnership, such as: the Arab World Food Security Facility, the MENA Concentrated Solar Power Initiative, the Education for Employment in the Arab world initiative, the Arab Financing Facility for Infrastructure, the Cross-Border Trade Facilitation and Infrastructure program, and the SME Facility. We strongly encourage all actors to expand and enhance such initiatives and to demonstrate quick results on the ground. We also encourage the IFIs to work closely together, along with the Partnership Countries, as they further develop and implement their home grown country plans. We welcome the OECD engagement with the MENA countries, aimed at improving policy frameworks for investment and governance and advancing the structural reform agenda, and ask the organization to deepen this collaboration.
Following the G8 Leaders’ call in Deauville, we welcome the decision proposed by the Board of directors of the EBRD on 27 July 2011 to extend the geographic mandate of the Bank to the region. We are determined to ensure that this extension becomes effective as quickly as possible. Furthermore, we support the application of Partnership Countries that meet the EBRD’s democracy and transition standards to become countries of operation as soon as possible. In the meantime, we call for a transitional facility to be implemented rapidly to allow for swift and concrete action on the ground, and look forward to an increased contribution from the EBRD’s net income and cooperation with other, including regional, donors. We welcome EBRD’s arrangements with AfDB, EIB and IsDB aimed at facilitating an early start of operations.
Bilateral assistance should also be activated and strengthened to support Partnership Countries in their transition process. We welcome the announced bilateral assistance to Partnership Countries and commit to ensure timely delivery. Recognizing that the range of tools varies from country to country, we call on bilateral donors to align their support with the national strategies and priorities set out in the country plans.
We underline that regional and global integration is key to the economic development of the Partnership Countries, particularly private sector development. This requires action both within the region and with external partners. We are committed to advance and complement our respective bilateral and multilateral initiatives in this regard, including removing barriers to trade and investment. We support acceleration of on-going trade negotiations and efforts for better regional and global integration of the Partnership Countries, notably through gradual integration in areas of mutual interest with the EU and progress in the work towards an Arab Custom Union.
In order to rapidly provide an appropriate framework to enhance trade and foreign direct investment, we task the Center for Mediterranean Integration, drawing on the expertise of the World Bank and in Partnership with the Islamic Development Bank, to coordinate an analytical report to be completed by early 2012. This will state the progress to be accomplished and propose an action plan with both short term and medium term recommendations. Consultations will be held with all relevant actors.
We will fulfill our international commitments to secure the return of stolen assets and will, by taking appropriate bilateral action and promoting the World Bank / United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, support Egypt and Tunisia to recover those assets. With a view to pursuing good governance for all countries of the Partnership, we commit to fully implement our international commitments on the fight against corruption, including on asset recovery. We encourage all countries to fully implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
Our Partnership will continue to develop and evolve through time and we are today committing to an on-going process of follow-up, supported by the joint IFIs coordination platform. We task our deputies, to coordinate and ensure the consistency of the bilateral and multilateral response to the Partnership Countries plans, through regular meetings and on the ground consultations, and to report to us by the Spring Meetings.
We will meet again as a Partnership under the chairmanship of the United States of America in 2012.
 African Development Bank, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Arab Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, OPEC Fund for International Development, World Bank Group