Porter l’ambition d’une politique globale de développement équilibré et de cohésion territoriale Paving the way of a global policy of balanced development and territorial cohesion

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Contribution to the preparation of the G20 summit in Cannes, of the forum held in Busan and of the world conference Rio+20




The globalization of trade brings with it the emergence of the Regions as an issue. The conference organised by the CPRM (Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe) in July 2006 in the Azores about Regions and globalization, by initiating a partnership with the United Nations through the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), asserted for the first time that the Regions should be development players in their own right and demanded new world governance that includes the needs and initiatives of the Regions. The first International Convention for a regional approach to development, organised in Marseille in March 2007 by the CPRM, the UNDP and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region demonstrated this by gathering some 1,200 participants from 65 countries representing 900 infra-state authorities. Convinced of the need to rethink the relationship between the levels of development and global governance, their representatives approved a declaration founding an association of the world’s Regions. A few months later in Cape Town (South Africa), the statutes of the Global Forum of Regional Associations (FOGAR) were adopted.


The general meeting of FOGAR, held in Manta (Ecuador) in July 2010 decided to open itself up, beyond the networks, to all the first infra-state levels, whatever form they may take according to the various institutional systems existing in the world: Federated States, Regions, Provinces, Governorates etc.


Regions United -FOGAR thus entered a new stage in its construction, with the ambition of being the unique go-between for the States, regional integration bodies and the United Nations’ system for all global policies with a strong spatial/regional impact. At the start of 2011, the Regions United / FOGAR established its headquarters in Geneva to be close to the international institutions.


After having developed its initial work around spatial governance of food safety and the role of the Regions in combating climate change through the NRG4SD network, Regions United / FOGAR now wishes to develop the notion of a regional approach to development by becoming the spokesman for a global policy of regional cohesion bringing peoples together further and allowing a better balanced and more sustainable development of our planet to be achieved. The same is true for all the world’s citizens confronted with the rise in tension and conflicts of all kinds. But it is above all an ethical question of the vision that each person wishes to see of the future of our common space, involving a humanism that reconciles broad universal values with respect for the diversity of cultural identities.


On 5 December 2011, Regions United / FOGAR will invite to Geneva all of the world players in charge of development policies to debate and find innovative solutions to the limitations of the current mechanisms of international aid. We are starting from this premise: given the impossibility of satisfactorily achieving the millennium goals, we should give priority to an approach:

  • Aimed implicitly at reducing disparities in the level of development between and within States, with a concern for equity.
  • Giving greater involvement of infra-state authorities in implementing development policies.


Our November 2010 contribution called “Aspiring for a global policy of regional cohesion” identified all the risks created by development that is over-concentrated on metropolitan approaches only. Although they may undeniably bring about some growth, they leave aside many national and infra-national areas which sink even deeper into poverty and under-development, thus increasing the human suffering that charitable initiatives find hard to relieve. The map below shows that the globalization of trade is a key element for growth but also deepening territorial discrepancies.


The diagnoses currently applied by the main international institutions in charge of development show the need for development which is more balanced spatially, in particular within the framework of the preparation of Rio+20. Although an imbalance may be a positive driving force where it remains moderate, it hampers development once it becomes excessive and carries with it the seeds of a large part of the conflicts to which the world is currently exposed. The inability of current development policies to resolve these planetary imbalances must be drawn on to invent and open up new avenues and new methods.


Any development mechanism must go hand in hand with public governance, as close to the ground as possible,  responsible for managing it. However, it is this what is currently lacking, leaving a significant proportion of the population and our common space without sufficient political and administrative management. But to advocate such a direction, there is a requirement that the governance of the system of aid at the international level is itself irreproachable in its contents and the coherency of its interventions.


It is to promote this new direction that the Regions of the world wish to open up these initial proposals to debate.


Table of Contents



1. Contrasting results in terms of outcomes

2. Increasing inequalities, in particular, in the poorest Regions

3. The effectiveness of official development assistance called into question




1. The fight against inequalities must include the emergence at the global level of

development policies at the infra-state level

2. Structural aid at the infra-state level is a key for achieving balanced and sustainable development of the Regions

3. Some broad principles of this policy

4. The 5 December 2011 conference





Details of the initiative
Grupo de debate

United Regions