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(1) Development Cooperation Act

Original Language Title: Loi relative à la Coopération au Développement (1)

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19 MARCH 2013. - Development Cooperation Act (1)

ALBERT II, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
CHAPTER 1er. - General provisions
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 78 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. In this Act:
1° "Belgian Development Cooperation": federal development cooperation policy and actions carried out by governmental, multilateral and non-governmental channels and other instruments that are or have been recognized as Public Development Assistance by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD);
2° "the minister": the member of the government that has the Belgian Development Cooperation in its powers;
3° "the partner country": the country considered to be developing countries by OECD DAC and recognized as a partner of government cooperation;
4° "Non-governmental organizations": organizations that have as their main social object development cooperation and can be approved by the Minister and benefit from the subsidies of the Belgian Development Cooperation for their development cooperation activities; these organizations independently define their social object, activities and organizational mode;
5° "government cooperation": development cooperation interventions in a partner country, financed from the Belgian Development Cooperation budget as part of a programme of cooperation between the two countries;
6° "Non-governmental cooperation": cooperation, financed or co-financed by the Belgian Development Cooperation, in which a third party, which is not a foreign state or a multilateral organization, responds to the implementation of development cooperation interventions, on the basis of a subsidy regulatory system or a convention;
7° "Multilateral cooperation": contributions to the budget of the Belgian Development Cooperation to multilateral organizations for their development cooperation interventions;
8° "the program": a coherent set of development cooperation interventions that exceed sectors, themes and/or regions where applicable;
9° "the project": a development cooperation intervention, often within the framework of a broader program, aimed at achieving, within a defined time, a specific objective through a logical, planned and results-oriented approach;
10° "budget assistance": a form of financial support to the budget of a partner country, by which funds are transferred to the treasure of the partner country as part of a national or sectoral cooperation programme between donors and the partner country;
11° "Delegated cooperation": a modality whereby the Belgian Development Cooperation concludes a convention with another multilateral or bilateral public lender. Delegated cooperation is said to be passive when it entrusts to the other lessor the means and execution of the intervention and says active when the execution of the intervention is done by Belgium with funds from other donors;
12° "Sustainable development": development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to respond to their needs. Its implementation requires a process of change that takes into account the limits and the need to preserve resources and adapts the allocation of investments, the targeting of technological development and institutional structures to both current and future needs. To be sustainable, development must reconcile three key elements: social equity, environmental conservation and economic efficiency;
Sustainable development also ensures a just transition to sustainable production and consumption methods, promotes equality between men and women and ensures access to basic public goods and services and social protection, as well as respect for their rights, including sexual rights and access to sexual and reproductive rights and health information and services;
13° "Partnership": a mode of active and participatory cooperation between partners in development cooperation, with mutual responsibilities and particular attention to the institutional accountability of the partner country, in particular its public authorities, civil society and its private economic sector, local capacity development and decentralization of interventions to target groups;
14° "good governance": governance aimed at optimizing institutional capacity management, decision-making processes of public authorities and the management of public funds, in accordance with democracy, the rule of law, as well as human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality between men and women;
15° "human aid": aid intended to save lives, relieve suffering and preserve human dignity during and after natural disasters and crises caused by human beings, as well as prevent such situations;
16° "Development Policy Coherence": a process to ensure that the objectives and results of policies for cooperation in the development of a government are not countered by other policies of that government that have an impact on developing countries, and that these other policies support, where possible, the objectives of development;
17° "The Programme of Cooperation" (PC): the multi-year development cooperation programme to which the Belgian State engages with a partner country of government cooperation;
18° "Human Rights": the universal and inalienable rights established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) of 10 December 1948, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the UNGA on 16 December 1966, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the UNGA on 19 December 1966, the Declaration on the Right to Development adopted by the UNGA on 16 December 1966
19° "Consolidation of society": support for the emergence and/or strengthening of civil society and the strengthening of public institutions of partner countries in the sectors and themes selected by the cooperation programme referred to in 17°;
20° "fragility": the situation of a State in which government and state institutions do not have the means and/or political will to ensure the security and protection of citizens, to effectively manage public affairs and to combat the poverty of the population;
21° "decent work": the possibility for every woman and man to access productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity. It includes various elements: the possibility of productive and adequately paid work; occupational safety and social protection for workers and their families; improving the prospects for personal development and social integration; freedom for human beings to express their concerns, organize and participate in decision-making that affects their lives; equal opportunities and treatment for all women and men. The Agenda for Decent Work, as defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO), aims at four strategic objectives, with equality between men and women being a cross-cutting objective: creating jobs, guaranteeing rights to work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue;
22° "national execution": public service tasks in respect of government cooperation that may be delegated partially or totally to the partner country or to the bodies acting for him or her.
CHAPTER 2. - Objectives
Art. 3. Belgian Development Cooperation has as a general objective sustainable human development and undertakes, to achieve this objective, actions that contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth for improving the living conditions of the population in developing countries and their socio-economic and socio-cultural development, in order to eradicate poverty, exclusion and inequalities.
In this context, the Belgian Development Cooperation also aims to strengthen the capacity of development partners at all levels. It is part of the United Nations development goals.
Art. 4. In this context, the Belgian Development Cooperation contributes to the general objective of the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, including good governance, as well as to the objective of respect for human dignity, human rights in all their dimensions and fundamental freedoms, paying particular attention to the fight against all forms of discrimination.
Art. 5. In order to achieve its general objectives, Belgian Development Cooperation also promotes inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth, giving priority to local entrepreneurship, the social economy and the ILO Decent Work Agenda.
Art. 6. In developing countries, the Belgian Development Cooperation aims to:
1° funding socio-economic programmes to improve the investment climate to strengthen local productive capacities in developing countries;
2° support the development of the local private sector, including through the provision of credits, capacity-building for small and medium-sized enterprises and microentrepreneurs, and participation in local businesses;
3rd to support equitable and sustainable trade;
4° to promote their participation in international trade in conditions conducive to their development.
Art. 7. The Belgian Development Cooperation also aims to raise awareness among Belgian citizens through information and education on issues, issues and the achievement of the objectives of development cooperation and international relations.
Art. 8. In order to ensure the effectiveness of Belgian Development Cooperation and to achieve its general objectives, maximum coherence between the different areas of Belgian development policy is sought.
Policy measures for mutual strengthening within the various departments of government and public institutions are encouraged to create synergies to achieve the development goals agreed by Belgium.
CHAPTER 3. - Basic principles
Art. 9. The Belgian Development Cooperation is part of the United Nations principles, declarations and conventions concerning development and the environment and human rights in all their dimensions.
It contributes to the fulfilment and implementation of Belgium's international commitments, including the quantitative target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) for Public Aid for Development.
Art. 10. With a view to the effectiveness of aid, the Belgian Development Cooperation aims at strengthening democratic ownership by partners, aligning with their policies, procedures and management systems, harmonizing with other donors, results-based management, mutual accountability, better predictability of resources, and focusing on a limited number of countries, themes and sectors.
Art. 11. § 1er. In accordance with articles 4 and 5, the Belgian Development Cooperation incorporates as priority themes:
1° Human rights, including the rights of children;
2° decent and sustainable work;
3° the consolidation of society.
§ 2. The Belgian Development Cooperation integrates in all its interventions in a transversal way:
1° the gender dimension, which aims at the empowerment of women and the equality of men and women in society;
2° the protection of the environment and natural resources, including the fight against climate change, drought and global deforestation.
Relevant independent advisory bodies and relevant stakeholders may give the Minister their advice on this matter.
Art. 12. The achievement of the objectives mentioned in Chapter 2 and the application of the basic principles mentioned in Chapter 3 are carried out in transparency and in consultation with the relevant actors referred to in Article 2, 5°, 6° and 7°.
Art. 13. § 1er. The Belgian Cooperation in Development seeks synergies, coordination and complementarities between the various actors referred to in Article 2, 5°, 6° and 7°, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness of the means implemented.
§ 2. Belgian Development Cooperation promotes harmonization with the cooperation of the European Union and multilateral organizations.
§ 3. The Belgian Development Cooperation promotes coordination with the regions and communities of the Belgian State regarding the actions and programmes of cooperation, within the framework of their competence, with a view to greater synergies and complementarities, and maximum coherence of policies for development.
Art. 14. In accordance with the DAC recommendations, the Belgian Development Cooperation adheres to the principles of delusion of Public Aid for Development.
Art. 15. In accordance with its objectives set out in Chapter 2 and the principles defined in Chapter 3, the Belgian Development Cooperation is part of the long term and aims at the continuity of its partnership relations and the sectors and themes in which it operates.
CHAPTER 4. - Government cooperation
Art. 16. § 1er. The King establishes, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, a list of up to 18 partner countries, with which a lasting relationship is sought, on the basis of the following criteria:
1° the degree of poverty and inequality in the partner country, measured on the basis of the socio-economic level of development, the inequality-adjusted human development indicator (IDHI) and the human poverty index (HPI) and/or its degree of fragility;
2° the current comparative advantage of the Belgian Development Cooperation and the role it can play in the partner country;
3° the efforts of the partner country for its socio-economic development;
4° the efforts of the partner country on good governance and human rights, including in relation to the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunities;
5° the relative importance of Belgian Development Cooperation in the partner country in terms of volume and the existence, in the partner country, of a division of labour with other donors, including the other member states of the European Union. Belgium aims to be among the main donors.
§ 2. The King shall, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, establish a list of up to five regional governmental cooperation partner organizations, on the basis of the following criteria:
1° at least one member is a partner country;
2° intervention in a sector or priority theme in at least one member partner country;
3° or intervention as part of an exit strategy as defined in Article 17.
§ 3. The Minister communicates the list of partner countries and regional partner organizations in the federal Parliament.
Art. 17. In partner countries where it is decided to put an end to cooperation, an exit strategy is implemented in consultation with the country concerned and other donors present in order to organize this exit over a maximum of four years.
Art. 18. Government cooperation is concentrated on a maximum of three sectors per partner country. The choice of sectors is made in accordance with the principles of alignment and harmonization, based on the political priorities of the partner country and in consultation with the partner country and other donors.
Art. 19. In the choice of these sectors, government cooperation focuses mainly on the following four sectors or their equivalent in partner countries:
1° Health care, including access to health for all, reproductive health and the fight against major endemics, including a cross-cutting approach to HIV/AIDS;
2° teaching and training;
3° agriculture and food security;
4° the basic infrastructure.
The topics referred to in Article 11, § 1er, may be the subject of specific initiatives. The topics referred to in Article 11, § 2, are mainstreamed across all sectors.
Art. 20. In each partner country, government cooperation aims at a common donor country strategy, preferably at the European Union level and respecting the alignment and democratic appropriation by the partner country.
This joint strategy is the framework of the cooperation programme with the partner country. This program includes sector choices and implementation modalities. The strategy and programme are communicated to the Belgian Federal Parliament and the parliament of the partner country.
Art. 21. In order to ensure the broadest possible responsibility of the partner country, government cooperation focuses on the national execution of its interventions by the procedures, instruments and management systems of the partner country and strengthens them if necessary. Another execution modality can be chosen if the risk analysis demonstrates that national execution cannot be retained.
Art. 22. At the request of the partner country, the cooperation programme may include a limited percentage of passive delegated cooperation defined by the Joint Commission.
CHAPTER 5. - Multilateral cooperation
Art. 23. The King shall, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, establish a list of up to twenty international organizations partners of multilateral cooperation to which voluntary contributions are made, on the basis of the following criteria:
1° the general objectives of the international organization are consistent with those of the Belgian Development Cooperation referred to in Chapter 2;
2° the international organization has a logical, planned, results-oriented approach that emerges from development programmes allowing an assessment of the use of multilateral cooperation contributions in the manner determined by the King;
3° The contributions of multilateral cooperation are consistent with the possible contribution provided to the international organization by other development cooperation actors, with a view to harmonizing all the contributions of development cooperation and maximizing their impact.
Art. 24. Voluntary contributions in the context of multilateral cooperation are directed primarily to the general and non-earmarked resources of relevant partner organizations.
Voluntary contributions are reflected in a multi-year agreement with partner organizations.
Art. 25. Belgian Development Cooperation also grants mandatory contributions to multilateral organizations whose Belgian state is a member and whose general objectives are consistent with those of Belgian Development Cooperation referred to in Chapter 2. A mandatory contribution is based on a distribution key approved by the competent authorities of the international organization.
CHAPTER 6. - Non-governmental cooperation
Art. 26. The King determines, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, the procedure and modalities of accreditation of non-governmental organizations, as well as the rules of subsidy of their activities, in accordance with their autonomy and their right of initiative.
Art. 27. The King shall determine, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, the procedure and modalities for the selection of societies, groups, associations and institutions of public or private law, other than the organizations referred to in Article 26, as partners of non-governmental cooperation, and the rules of subsidy of their activities.
Art. 28. Local civil society organizations with sufficient management capacity to achieve their own objectives can be financed on the proposal of the Belgian Embassy and in consultation with Belgian actors active on the ground in a limited number of partner countries of government cooperation where such interventions are relevant. The King determines the criteria, procedure and modalities for the direct grants program for these organizations.
CHAPTER 7. - Humanitarian assistance
Art. 29. § 1er. Humanitarian assistance includes:
1° the temporary assistance provided by the Belgian Development Cooperation, in the event of natural disasters and crises caused by the human being, for the benefit of countries considered to be developing countries by the OECD DAC, with special attention to the needs of victims;
2. Contributions to international humanitarian organizations.
§ 2. Humanitarian aid follows the following principles:
1° humanity: saving lives and relieving suffering are central objectives;
2° impartiality: aid is granted without discrimination and only on the basis of needs;
3° neutrality: the action undertaken cannot benefit any part of an armed conflict or any other conflict;
4° Independence: humanitarian objectives are autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that are pursued in the region concerned.
§ 3. Humanitarian assistance is provided in the manner determined by the King.
Art. 30. § 1er. Emergency and short-term rehabilitation assistance, including food assistance and disaster preparedness, are part of humanitarian assistance. Within the limits of the budgetary allocations and in accordance with the conditions determined by the King, the Minister may grant these types of assistance.
§ 2. In post-conflict countries that are considered to be developing countries by the OECD DAC, Belgian Development Cooperation contributes to the multi-year funding of rehabilitation and reconstruction interventions in consultation with the international community and through multi-benefit programmes. The King sets out, by deliberate decree in the Council of Ministers, each contribution to the financing of interventions in a post-conflict country according to the budgetary possibilities and according to the principles referred to in Article 29, § 2. It also specifies the duration of the contribution.
CHAPTER 8. - Coherence to development policies
Art. 31. In order to ensure the coherence of Belgian policies for development in accordance with Articles 2, 16°, and 8, are subject to a preliminary review of their impact on development the preliminary drafts of law, the drafts of royal decree and the proposals of decision submitted to the approval of the Council of Ministers, meeting the criteria and the execution modalities fixed by a royal decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers
CHAPTER 9. - Evaluation
Art. 32. In order to achieve the objectives of the Belgian Development Cooperation as defined in Chapter 2, the results are evaluated in the light of the principles set out in Chapter 3 and on the basis of the criteria set by the OECD DAC, namely relevance, efficiency, sustainability, and impact, as well as on the basis of sustainability.
A coherent approach will be developed for this purpose, with a view to enabling results reporting and results-based management. A standardized reporting system will also require systematic monitoring of results achieved and not achieved.
These results will also be taken into account in the decision on the future progress of the actions undertaken.
Art. 33. The actors of the Belgian Development Cooperation referred to in Article 2, 5°, 6° and 7° are responsible for the internal evaluation and monitoring of their interventions. The King determines modalities to harmonize and certify these evaluation systems.
Art. 34. The King determines the necessary instruments to ensure the external evaluation of the actors of the Belgian Development Cooperation referred to in Article 2, 5, 6 and 7°, in relation to the objectives set out in Chapter 2 and the criteria referred to in Article 32.
CHAPTER 10. - Report to the Federal Parliament
Art. 35. By May 15 of each year, the Minister submits to the Federal Parliament the report of the Belgian Development Cooperation of the previous year. This report mentions:
1° the results of the Belgian Development Cooperation in relation to the objectives defined in Chapter 2 and the principles defined in Chapter 3;
2° of the recommendations on policy coherence for development referred to in articles 2, 16°, 8 and 31.
CHAPTER 11. - Protection against seizure and disposal
Art. 36. The sums and properties for the Belgian Development Cooperation are elusive and inceivable.
CHAPTER 12. - Final provisions
Art. 37. The Belgian International Cooperation Act of 25 May 1999 is repealed.
The Enforcement Orders of May 25, 1999 continue to release their effects until the time of their repeal by the King.
Art. 38. This Act comes into force on the day of its publication in the Belgian Monitor.
Promulgate this law, order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels, 19 March 2013.
By the King:
Minister of Development Cooperation,
Seal of the state seal:
The Minister of Justice,
(1) Session 2012-2013.
Documents. - Bill 53 2465/001. - Amendments, 53 2465/002 to 005. - Report, 53,2465/006. - Text adopted by the Commission, 53 2465/007.
See also:
Full report. - 19 and 20 December 2012.
Documents. -Decision not to amend, 5-1908.