Presidential Development Council: the launch of a new French international solidarity investment strategy

Presidential Development Council, 5th May 2023 at the Elysée Palace. Photo credit: Elysée

5th May 2023

On Friday 5 May, the Presidential Development Council was held. Created to strengthen the steering of France’s development policy, it is chaired by the President of the Republic, who is responsible for making strategic decisions on the implementation of French development aid. Here is a look at the main conclusions of this council.

France’s position and fields of action within international solidarity

France is the fourth largest aid provider in the world with an investment of 15 billion euros in international solidarity, 5 billion more than in 2017.

A pioneer in transferring doses of anti-COVID vaccine to vulnerable populations, France has also invested heavily in forming partnerships with South Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam to move away from fossil fuel coal, as well as in paying countries to protect tropical forests.

What to learn from the Presidential Development Council

During this council, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron asked the French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to initiate and conduct consultations with international solidarity stakeholders to propose a French strategy for sustainable and solidarity-based investment.

This new investment strategy will serve to achieve the following 10 priority objectives:

  1. Accelerate the phase-out of coal and finance renewable energy in developing and emerging countries to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
  2. Protect the most vital reserves of carbon and biodiversity, in the forests and the ocean, to preserve the planet.
  3. Invest in youth by supporting education and teacher training in developing countries.
  4. Build resilience to health risks, including pandemics, by investing in primary health systems and supporting training for health workers in fragile countries.
  5. Promote innovation and African entrepreneurship that contribute to the shared destiny of young people in Europe and Africa.
  6. Mobilise expertise and private and public funding for strategic, quality and sustainable infrastructure in developing countries.
  7. Strengthen food sovereignty, especially in Africa.
  8. Support human rights and democracy everywhere and fight against disinformation.
  9. Promote women’s rights and gender equality, in particular by supporting women’s organisations and institutions promoting women’s rights.
  10. Helping our partners to fight against illegal immigration networks.

As such, specific evaluation indicators will be developed to ensure that these objectives are met.

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What are the goals of this new strategy?

  • Prioritise investment in the most vulnerable countries
  • Take into account the new vulnerabilities linked to climate change.
  • Mobilise private investment, particularly in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity.

What next?

The finalisation of the strategy was announced for the major international summit to be held in Paris on 22 and 23 June for a new global financial pact.

To support and implement this new strategy, Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of a new programme to mobilise young people around international solidarity issues through the creation of 3,000 positions for international experts and volunteers by 2027.

At the beginning of June, the Interministerial Committee on International Cooperation and Development (CICID), the main coordination body, which sets the main strategic orientations of France’s development policy under the authority of the Prime Minister, will hold its second meeting. This is an opportunity to further develop this new strategy for the implementation of French development aid.

In a context where humanitarian needs are more present than ever, the stakes are high and the hopes even higher.