14.1. International cooperation has been proved to be essential for the implementation of population and development programmes during the past two decades. The number of financial donors has steadily increased and the profile of the donor community has increasingly been shaped by the growing presence of non-governmental and private-sector organizations. Numerous experiences of successful cooperation between developing countries have dispelled the stereotyped view of donors being exclusively developed countries. Donor partnerships have become more prevalent in a variety of configurations, so that it is no longer unusual to find Governments and multilateral organizations working closely together with national and international non- governmental organizations and segments of the private sector. This evolution of international cooperation in population and development activities reflects the considerable changes that have taken place during the past two decades, particularly with the greater awareness of the magnitude, diversity and urgency of unmet needs. Countries that formerly attached minimal importance to population issues now recognize them at the core of their development challenge. International migration and AIDS, for instance, formerly matters of marginal concern to a few countries, are currently high-priority issues in a large number of countries.
14.2. The maturing process undergone by international cooperation in the field of population and development has accentuated a number of difficulties and shortcomings that need to be addressed. For instance, the expanding number and configuration of development partners subjects both recipients and donors to increasing pressures to decide among a multitude of competing development priorities, a task which recipient Governments in particular may find exceedingly difficult to carry out. Lack of adequate financial resources and effective coordination mechanisms have been found to result in unnecessary duplication of efforts and lack of programme congruency. Sudden shifts in the development policies of donors may cause disruptions of programme activities across the world. Re-establishing and adhering to national priorities requires a new clarification of, and commitment to, reciprocal responsibilities among development partners.
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