Volume 14, No.6 - June 2010

Global dialogue on development

Making development cooperation more coherent

Second High-level Symposium in preparation of the 2010 Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) will be held from 3-4 June in Helsinki

Jointly organized by DESA with the Government of Finland, the event is to promote pragmatic solutions to make development cooperation more coherent and to develop key messages for the upcoming 2010 United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to be held later this month. The theme of this symposium will be “Coherent Development Cooperation: Maximizing Impact in a Changing Environment”.

Against the backdrop of multiple crises, it aims to foster discussions among a wide range of stakeholders on issues that can significantly improve the impact of development cooperation on the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.

Furthermore, the Helsinki High-level Symposium will promote Policy Coherence for Development to ensure synergies between development objectives and other policies. The symposium will discuss the multifaceted challenges in building coherence in the range of policies affecting development. Stakeholders will share experiences on how different policies can have a significant impact, either positive or negative, on development and the MDGs.

The Helsinki High-level Symposium will also highlight the significant role of foundations, civil society and the private sector in development cooperation; discuss the positive impact that national mutual accountability mechanisms can have on effective aid delivery and development partnerships; and promote a more concerted effort in achieving gender-related development goals.

The discussions and key messages of the Helsinki Symposium will be captured in a report to inform the ongoing consultative process and analytical work of the DCF.

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Civil society and private sector to prepare for MDG Summit

Informal Interactive Hearings of the General Assembly with Non-governmental organizations, Civil society organizations and the Private sector will be held in New York from 14-15 June

2010 will be a critical year in determining which development pathways our world will pursue. In 2000, UN Member States agreed to the Millennium Declaration and committed themselves to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

On 20-22 September 2010, the General Assembly will hold, in New York, a High-level Plenary Meeting, also referred to as the “MDG Summit”. The Summit’s main focus will be to build on what we have learned during the past 10 years since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration and how to accelerate progress towards the internationally agreed development goals, in particular the MDGs. The Summit will take stock of the successes, best practices, lessons learned, obstacles and gaps related to the MDGs and other development goals.

As a part of the process leading to the Summit, the General Assembly will also convene interactive hearings with representatives of NGOs, civil society and the private sector from 14-15 June. The outcomes of these hearings will provide an input to the preparatory process for the Summit and be issued as an Assembly document.

The President of the General Assembly would preside over the informal interactive hearings and encouraged Member States to actively participate in the hearings at the ambassadorial level to facilitate interaction between the Member States and the representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector.

Following an opening plenary meeting, four sequential informal interactive sessions will take place and also include a closing of the hearings. The themes for the hearings will be based on the comprehensive report of the Secretary-General “Keeping the promise”. The four sessions will be held in the General Assembly Hall and devoted to the following themes: (1) Building a better tomorrow: local actions, national strategies and global structures; (2) Equal and inclusive partnerships: Accountability in the fight against poverty; (3) Sustaining development and withstanding crises; (4) From voice to policy: 1660 days left.

Over 700 NGO, civil society and private sector representatives have registered their interest to speak at the Hearings. As a result of the consultations 52 speakers and discussants most of them from developing countries have been selected.

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Promoting excellence and innovation in government

United Nations Public Service Day and Awards Ceremony will be held from 21-23 June in Barcelona

For the first time this year, the Service Day and Awards Ceremony have been organized in collaboration with a previous award winner: the Directorate General for Participation of the Government of Catalonia of Spain.

Also for the first time this year, it will not be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York but rather in Barcelona, Spain, as kindly offered by the Government of Spain, which is intended to increase the awareness of the event at the regional level. Indeed, 600 participants are expected to attend this year’s Awards Ceremony as compared to 400 last year.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate Public Service Day and to recognize the winners of the 2010 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA), as well as the winners of the 2010 United Nations e-Government Awards through a high-level ceremony. The theme this year will be “The Role of Public Service in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Challenges and Best Practices.”

The Awards Ceremony will be followed by a Ministerial Roundtable on how to promote excellence and innovation in government. Participants will include the Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, ministers from all regions of the world, senior government officials, mayors, civil society representatives, the academia, and the private sector, as well as representatives of international organizations.

This event will also provide the opportunity for in-depth discussion and analysis of policies and strategies, innovative practices, and tools in four key thematic areas of public administration through substantive parallel capacity development workshops and an expert group meeting.

The workshops will focus on: 1) Promoting Innovation in Public Service Delivery for Achieving the MDGs; 2) Engaging Citizens in Development Management and Public Governance for the Achievement of the MDGs; 3) Advancing e-Government Development and Knowledge Management; and 4) Developing Institutional Capacities of Public Administration for the Achievement of MDGs in Post Conflict and Crisis Situations: Challenges, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned in Preparedness, Prevention, and Reconstruction.

A special meeting on “Sharing Knowledge among Public Service Awards Programmes” will also be organized within the context of this Forum.

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Progress and challenges in moving towards the development goals

The Economic and Social Council’s high-level segment unfolds in New York from 28 June to 2 July

The Council gets into high gear with the second biennial Development Cooperation Forum taking place alongside the Annual Ministerial Review and other significant policy dialogues. At the Annual Ministerial Review, from 28 June to 1 July, thirteen developing and developed countries will report on the progress they have made towards implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Keynote addresses by Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile (tbc), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, Zoleka Capa, Mayor of the Tambo district of South Africa and Frances Stewart, Chair of the Committee for Development Policy will focus on gender equality and empowerment of women. The related thematic debate’s dialogue on 30 June will highlight the role of women in countries in special situations.

The Development Cooperation Forum takes place on 29-30 June with discussions of coherence, accountability, role of various forms of cooperation, impact of multiple crises and achieving the MDGs by 2015. Since the first DCF in 2008, the development landscape has changed significantly with the confluence of multiple crises.

Against this backdrop, the 2010 DCF represents an important opportunity to assess progress and challenges in moving towards the MDGs through global partnerships for development. The 2010 DCF will be structured around the following themes: (i) Promoting greater coherence: how can all policies be geared towards development goals? (ii) Accountable and transparent development cooperation: how can we build more equal partnerships? (iii) The role of various forms of cooperation including South-South and triangular cooperation. (iv) Impact of multiple crises: Allocating resources among competing needs; and (v) Achieving the MDGs by 2015: an agenda for more and improved development cooperation. Some eighty ministers or directors-general responsible for gender and development in developing and developed countries are expected to attend the high-level segment.

In addition to the opening of the segment, Council President, Hamidon Ali, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also open the DCF. DESA’s Under-Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, will introduce the main reports. Representatives of the international financial and trade institutions will gather on 2 July for a policy-dialogue on the state of the world economy and its implications for the achievement of the MDGs.

The dialogue, which will be moderated by DESA Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Sha Zukang, features Reza Moghadam, Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department, Otaviano Canuto, Vice President of Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network of the World Bank, Pascal Lamy, Director-General of WTO (tbc) and Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD. The high-level segment will conclude on 2 July with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration.

Preparations for the DCF are well underway, highlighting recent trends in development cooperation and the impact of the current crises, as well as the quantity and quality of various forms of development financing, including aid and other flows. Special attention has been given to improving policy coherence and to building a more inclusive and transparent development.

The outcomes of the multi-stakeholder consultations, notably the High-level Symposium in November 2009 in Vienna, Austria and a High-level Symposium to be hosted by Finland early June will constitute an important input to the Council’s deliberations.

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