Volume 17, No.06 - June 2013

Global dialogue on development

A renewed global partnership for post-2015 development

The Development Cooperation Forum is launching a dialogue on a renewed global partnership beyond 2015 with stakeholders in a High-Level Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 6-7 June

Ethiopia and UN DESA sign an agreement to host Symposium in preparation for the 2014 ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum. DESA CIMS / Yogesh SakhardandeThe world has changed significantly since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000. Many challenges that require truly global responses, such as climate change, environmental degradation, demographic dynamics and rising inequalities among countries have become only more pressing. The development landscape has also changed. Southern economies are playing a larger role in development cooperation, as are other actors, including the private sector, philanthropic organizations, civil society organizations and local authorities. 

A new development landscape
South-South Cooperation, which has existed for around six decades, is increasing in prominence. Driven by the principles of solidarity and the promotion of self-reliance and self-help, Southern partners in development have formed important cooperation with other countries in their own regions and beyond. They provide financial contributions, technical assistance, capacity building, skill and personnel exchange and technological transfer. 

At the sub-national level, local constituencies and parliamentarians play an important role in implementing a global development agenda and monitoring its implementation. Parliamentarians serve an important role as independent oversight and accountability bodies to advance progress on the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals and will surely do so in relation to the post-2015 development agenda. 

Non-governmental actors, such as civil society organizations, academia and think tanks, the private sector and philanthropic organizations are also increasingly active in development cooperation. They provide substantial support in terms of financial resources, awareness raising and mobilization of people, as well as personnel contributions. A large amount of philanthropic organizations these days stems from developing countries. Civil society organizations, especially those in developing countries, can help to reach people on the ground or those that are most vulnerable and hardest to reach. 

The global partnership for development in the post-2015 era will have not only find ways of addressing the new challenges and completing any unfinished business of the MDGs; it must also reflect the many actors engaged in development cooperation and their comparative strenghts. Engaging these actors in the post-2015 development agenda will make a significant contribution to achieving it. 

Launching a dialogue on a renewed global partnership for development
With its multi-stakeholder nature and global convening power, the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) fosters global dialogue and policy review on international development cooperation. As a key function of the Economic and Social Council, the DCF serves to improve the coherence and effectiveness of development cooperation, in producing policy guidance and practical recommendations. Preparations are in full swing for the fourth DCF, to be held in New York in July 2014.  

The 2013 DCF Ethiopia High-Level Symposium
As discussions on a post-2015 development agenda accelerate, the DCF is supporting the process by advancing the dialogue on the future of development cooperation in the post-2015 setting, with active participation from the different stakeholders.

With this objective, the DCF is organizing this High-Level Symposium on 6 – 7 June in partnership with the Government of Ethiopia. The symposium will give participants the opportunity to engage on the potential role, principles and strategic priorities of a renewed global partnership for development, as well as its key features and working practices. The symposium will also consider what could be the role of enhanced monitoring and accountability to underpin such a partnership. 

“The outcomes of this symposium will directly contribute to the deliberations on the post-2015 UN development agenda and provide important recommendations for the 2014 ECOSOC DCF” said DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo. “The findings will also be relevant for the Open Working Group when discussing a global partnership for sustainable development in December 2013.”

The symposium will engage senior representatives from developing and developed countries, parliamentarians, civil society, the private sector and international organizations to discuss their experiences with the current global partnership and expectations for how it should work in the post-2015 setting.

A number of pre-meetings and side events will allow stakeholders to further deepen these discussions. They will include events for civil society, least developed countries, members of parliament, members of the Steering Committee of the Global partnership for effective development cooperation and the DCF Advisory Group. A meeting of Directors-General of Southern partners in development cooperation will also be convened jointly by DESA and Ethiopia on the afternoon on 7 June.

For more information:
2013 Ethiopia High-Level Symposium on “A renewed global partnership for development for a post-2015 era”

Environmental-economics takes centre stage

DESA’s Statistics Division will hold an International Conference on the Global Implementation Programme for the SEEA in New York on 19-21 June

Environmental economics takes centre stage (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)

The United Nations Statistical Commission at its 44thSession adopted the implementation strategy for the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Central Framework and urged the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) to agree on a medium-term programme of work for the implementation of the SEEA.

DESA’s Statistics Division, in collaboration with CBD, EEA, Eurostat, FAO, IMF, OECD, UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank, is organizing a high-level International Conference “Global Implementation Programme for the SEEA” in the context of the post-2015 development agenda and broader measures of progress. 

The overall objectives are to facilitate the implementation and outreach of the SEEA,  supporting statistics at the country level and to improve the scope, quality and detail of environmental-economic accounts. The Conference will provide a forum for various stakeholders to discuss the SEEA implementation strategy and its links to policies. The outcome of the Conference will be used to formulate recommendations that will be presented to the UNCEEA and subsequently to the United Nations Statistical Commission at its next session in 2014.

For more information:
Calendar of Events of DESA’s Statistics Division

A collective vision of sustainable development

A collective vision of sustainable development (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)In collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, DPADM organized a high-level Panel on Safeguarding Financing for Sustainable Development in New York on May 28, 2013.  

As a follow-up to the 22nd UN/INTOSAI Symposium in Vienna in March 2013, the objective of this High-level Panel was to bring to the attention of Member States the challenges and potential safeguards in ensuring economic, efficient and effective use of financing for sustainable development at the national and local levels, particularly in view of anticipated new and innovative sources of funding.

Mr. Wu, DESA’s Under-Secretary-General, made an opening statement on the issue of financing for sustainable development, from both the “sourcing” and “spending” angles. He emphasized the importance of thinking through the financial management cycle in its entirety in order to assure all the varying financial stakeholders of a workable regulatory, implementation and accountability framework:

“Such assurance will give the traditional, emerging and new donors the confidence to participate in public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder consortia for financing the needed large and small initiatives that will translate the collective vision of sustainable development, as expressed in Rio last year, into reality.”

The Panel highlighted that Supreme Audit Institutions play a key role which is conducive to the implementation of national and international development goals and priorities since they are endowed with powers to demand information on the expenditure of public resources and performance of public institutions to hold governments to account. Their experience and audit-based knowledge can provide valuable advice for safeguarding financing for sustainable development.

For more information:

With an aim to achieve sustainable development

The Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination organized the ECOSOC Integration Meeting on “Achieving sustainable development: Integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions” on 13 May

ECOSOC Integration MeetingThe meeting gathered high-level representatives of Governments, UN system, Major Groups, civil society and the private sector to examine how integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development can lead to triple-win solutions in the energy and agriculture sectors. In this regard, participants made recommendations for policy convergence and scaling up initiatives for sustainable development.

The discussions demonstrated that high-level political engagement and involvement of key stakeholders were key to successful integration. Strengthening the science-policy interface was considered essential for promoting sustainable development.

The overwhelming business case for sustainable development was acknowledged. Many Member States praised the meeting and stressed ECOSOC’s key role as a platform for dialogue on sustainable development among Governments, UN system, development actors, civil society, academia and the business sector. The need for an intergovernmental committee on sustainable development, that brings together the science community, the private sector and other key stakeholders, was emphasized.

For more information:
ECOSOC Integration Meeting

Working group underlines human-centred vision

The intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) on sustainable development goals (SDGs) held its third session on 22-24 May at UN Headquarters in New York

Third session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (UN Photo/Marie Frechon)The session focused on food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation, drought and water and sanitation.

The co-chairs of the OWG, the Permanent Representatives of Kenya and Hungary, stressed that “we need a common vision going forward.” They outlined this vision as “transformative change for sustainable poverty eradication and universal human development, respecting human dignity and protecting our planet, mother Earth, living in harmony with nature for the well-being and happiness of present and future generations.”

Elaborating on the key aspects of this vision, the co-chairs highlighted that it requires transformative change in which the SDGs build on but also deepen and go beyond the MDGs, surpassing business-as-usual and achieving poverty eradication that is sustainable. They underlined that this vision is human-centred, and also emphasised that in order to make poverty eradication and human development irreversible, the three dimensions of sustainable development need to be addressed in a balanced manner.

The third session of the OWG featured a combination of keynote addresses, panel discussions and interactive debates. The first hour of each of the three days was dedicated to meetings between the co-chairs and representatives of Major Groups and other stakeholders. The co-chairs described these conversations as very constructive and said that many of the concerns and proposals raised at these meetings were reiterated by Member States.

A small number of side events were also held. The concluding remarks by the co-chairs that outline the main points made during the session can be found on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. Statements, presentations and recordings from the session are also available on the platform.

For more information:
Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform