Tackling emerging challenges for development

Tackling emerging challenges for development (UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

The year 2013 is a year of transition. Time is fast closing to the end of the period the international community assigned to implement the MDGs, while discussions on the contours of UN development strategy for the post 2015 era have already started. The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) will address these and other emerging development issues as it convenes in New York on 18-22 March.

As the Committee gathers for its fifteenth annual meeting in New York, this also marks the first time the new CDP membership, nominated last year by the Secretary-General, meets in plenary.

As a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council, the CDP provides independent advice on critical issues on the international development agenda. The Committee is also responsible for the triennial review of the list of least developed countries (LDCs).

Membership is composed of twenty-four experts nominated by the Secretary-General on the basis of their personal capacity for a three-year term. At its plenary session, the CDP drafts its annual report which includes the main conclusions and policy recommendations of the discussions on studies prepared by members with the assistance of the Secretariat. The report is then considered by the Council at its substantive session in July.

Science, technology and innovation for achieving sustainable development

As a contribution to the Council’s deliberations at its high level segment of its substantive session, the CDP will analyze science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture for the achievement of the MDGs – the topic of this year’s Annual Ministerial Review.

It will also consider the vulnerabilities and development needs of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and continue with its work on the future of the UN development agenda beyond 2015 focusing, this time, on emerging issues in the global environment.

The Committee will examine the role of science, technology, and innovation policies in the context of national development strategies, and the potential contribution of international cooperation in the area of technology transfer and capacity building.

It will focus the analysis on answering the following questions: what policy measures should countries undertake at different catch-up stages while climbing up the technological ladder? What can countries at the bottom of the technological hierarchy learn from the experiences of countries currently at higher levels? More importantly, are these experiences still applicable in today’s context?

As protection of intellectual property rights is strengthened at the global level, the acquisition of new products or production methods has become more restrictive and more costly. In this regard, there is need to consider alternative strategies and new ways to engage international cooperation, particularly by countries with greater technological capabilities and resources, to best support catch-up efforts.

Emerging issues in the global economy: implications for the post-2015 development agenda

The world has changed significantly since the adoption of the UN Millennium Declaration: an increasing heterogeneity among developing countries, the rise of new powers coming from the developing world, the new geographical patterns of global poverty, the heightened importance of international public goods for national development, and the increasing relevance of private actors in the international environment.

This changing landscape is raising fundamental questions on whether the current global rules and structures allow the building of effective responses against international problems and the promotion of a fair distribution of development opportunities among all countries and to identify the necessary policy responses to that end. The Committee will discuss this issue to contribute to framing a renewed global architecture to implement a post-2015 international development framework to achieve an inclusive, sustainable and equitable development as envisaged by the Declaration.

Development needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The Committee will examine the vulnerabilities and development needs of SIDS and possible policy responses, focusing on how to further the full and effective implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) and the Mauritius Strategy.

In particular, the Committee will consider whether there is need to refocus efforts towards a more results-oriented approach and establish whether improved and additional measures might be needed to more effectively address the unique and particular vulnerabilities and development needs of SIDS. In this regard, while a wide range of measures in critical areas are already in place or under development, there is a need to fully implement, scale up and continuously improve these measures, in particular to reduce the occurrence and magnitude of external shocks, to enhancing copying mechanisms by the provision of necessary resources in the aftermath of negative shocks, and to establish a robust and effective global monitoring framework for the implementation of the BPoA and Mauritius Strategy.

During the week of 18-22 March, the Committee will be holding a series of briefings and panel discussions on the various agenda items. Announcements will be posted in the UN Journal.

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