News / 6 July 2009

Both ENDS questions Koenders’s policy memorandum

Last Wednesday, just before the summer recess, the Tweede Kamer (the Dutch Lower House) discussed Minister Koenders's policy memorandum: "Samen werken aan mondiale uitdagingen, Nederland en multilaterale ontwikkelingssamenwerking" (Working together on global challenges; the Netherlands and multilateral development cooperation). With 'multilateral' Koenders refers to the UN, Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and a number of global funds.


These large international organisations will be receiving extra funding from Koenders in the coming years. "Multilateral development organisations should increasingly become the preferred channel, on the stringent condition that they operate effectively and efficiently." Both ENDS, too, supports multilateral cooperation, but questions how effectively and efficiently many of these multilateral organisations operate.


Most multilateral organisations are governmental organisations that only work with local civil society organisations. Multilateral organisations are now receiving funding to soften the radical blow of the financial crisis in developing countries, while the very same institutions were responsible for crippling these countries in the recent past by demanding free trade. Without extra controls by local governments and civil society organisations extra funding for multilateral institutions is simply a bad idea.


For more information, please see our specific side notes (only in Dutch) on the multilateral development cooperation policy memorandum.


Photograph by Mutasim Billah Pritam /


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