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eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
Good governance is one of the cornerstones of economic and social development. The launch, under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah, of the Dead Sea Conference on “Good Governance for Development in the Arab countries” on Feb. 6, 2005, was both a historic moment and a dramatic demonstration of the determination of Arab governments to work together on fundamental measures to raise living standards in the Arab world. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is honoured to be invited to join this initiative, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and alongside other international organisations, including the Arab League, the European Union and the World Bank. The origins of the OECD lie in just such a commitment between nations, including former enemies as well as allies, when European countries came together nearly 60 years ago in a monumental effort to rebuild a continent destroyed by war.

“Good Governance for Development” is first and foremost a regional programme led by and for the Arab countries. But it is also a fine example of multilateral cooperation involving countries from around the globe. Its essential ingredients are a commitment by Arab states to take up the challenges of leadership and ownership in a programme designed to improve the quality and effectiveness of public administration.

The role of the OECD is to help them achieve concrete results by putting the experiences of our member countries in the service of the Arab states. Part of our contribution will be to bring policy makers in Arab countries into contact with a global network of policy officials addressing the same critical issues.

One thing is clear from the start: there is no single “one-size-fits-all” recipe for success. Differing national traditions require different policy recipes. Under “Good Governance for Development”, each Arab country will choose the policy solutions that correspond most closely to its needs and traditions.

That said, governments everywhere face similar challenges trying to achieve economic growth while maintaining social cohesion. OECD countries have learned that by working together they can accomplish much more than they can by acting alone. The successes of their neighbours are their successes as well.

One way of working together that the OECD countries have used successfully for several decades involves the monitoring of individual countries' performances by their peers. This involves building on similarities, where they exist, but also taking account of national differences. The OECD's 30 countries, though they share many common values, are also very different from one another. Think of the widely varying cultural traditions existing in a group of countries whose membership stretches across the globe, from Mexico to Turkey and Japan and from Canada to Australia, or the differences in legal systems among countries using common law and others with legal systems based on the Napoleonic Code.

Under “Good Governance for Development”, the Arab countries will use a similar policy dialogue and monitoring system, with the help and support of OECD countries. Six working groups, each chaired by an Arab country and co-chaired by an OECD country, will address specific areas where reform needs have been identified. The Arab countries have chosen six areas for these working groups to focus on in the first instance: civil service and integrity; e-government, administrative simplification and regulatory reform; governance of public resources; public service delivery; the role of the judiciary and enforcement; and civil society and the media. Their objective will be to provide support for national reform efforts through regional cooperation, and Jordan is one of several Arab countries that will take a leadership role in this process. Others include Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Good governance provides the framework within which individual initiatives can prosper. Entrepreneurship, backed by efficient infrastructures in a stable and predictable administrative environment, is the key to unlocking reservoirs of growth and prosperity. “Good Governance for Development” is one part of a two-pronged effort to boost economic and social development in the Arab region. The other is a joint programme aimed at setting the framework conditions needed to encourage inward investment.

The countries of this region are fortunate in having a young and vigorous population. Almost 60 per cent of their population are under the age of 25, compared with an average for the rest of the world of 48 per cent. The average growth rate of the region's labour force between 2000 and 2010 is expected to be between 3 per cent and 4 per cent a year, twice as high as in all other developing regions. The challenge is to create employment opportunities so that these young people can contribute productively to the welfare of their countries. To meet this challenge, the promotion of economic growth and investment is clearly necessary.

Effective, fair and responsive systems of government are an essential basis for development of our economies and societies. More than six centuries ago, Ibn Khaldoon, in his famous work “Muqaddima” (Vol. 3, part XXII), gave his definition of what nowadays we call good governance: “If the exercise of power and its consequences are satisfactory, the aim of authority is fully achieved. In effect, good and beneficent authority serves the interests of subjects.”

With “Good Governance for Development”, the Arab states have launched a pledge for a stronger future, not just for those living in the Arab world today, but for their children and their children's children.

Autor: Donald J. Johnston

Quelle: The Jordan Times, 07.02.2005

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