“(…) we need to unify our voices so that we are loud enough to be heard. The proverb tells us, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.” With these words, Mr. Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ethiopia, opened the High-Level Symposium of the Development Cooperation Forum on “A renewed global partnership for development for the post-2015 era”, yesterday on 6 June 2013.
Jointly organized by the Government of Ethiopia and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Symposium brought together more than 170 senior representatives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to engage in candid discussion. In four sessions, participants examined the potential purposes, principles and practicalities of a global partnership for development fit for a post-2015 setting.
The participation reflected both the multi-stakeholder nature of the DCF, which engages all partners in development cooperation, and the changing development landscape. Senior representatives from developed and developing countries, including major emerging economies, academia and civil society, local authorities and parliamentarians, philanthropic foundations and the private sector all brought their expertise and experiences to bear. The discussions were enriched by a number of stakeholder side events, including for civil society, least developed countries, members of parliament and members of the Steering Committee of the Global partnership for effective development cooperation. The Meeting of Directors-General of Southern Partners was also held back-to-back with the symposium.
The discussions took place as the global dialogue on the post-2015 development agenda is ramping up and the intergovernmental process on sustainable development goals is at full speed. Due to the multiple economic, environmental and social challenges the world faces today, the global development agenda beyond 2015 must be broader and more holistic than the Millennium Development Goals.
In his closing statement, Mr. Wu Hongbo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, summarised that, “we share a conviction, a vision, from the vantage of lessons learned, on what it will take to make such a global partnership real. It must be owned, and led, from the outset, by the range of stakeholders, with a clear focus on what will enable it to work in practice. We have a shared sense that the ever more integrated development landscape overcomes the North-South dichotomy of providers and recipients. So must the renewal of the global partnership. ”
The outcomes of the symposium will feed directly into the ongoing post-2015 deliberations and also into the discussions of the Open Working Group on a global partnership for development, in December 2013. The Ethiopia High-Level Symposium is the first of three symposiums to be held in preparation for the 2014 Development Cooperation Forum.