Briefing on the Luxembourg High-Level Symposium

Remarks by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Mr. President,
Ambassador Sylvie Lucas,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to join the President of ECOSOC and Ambassador Lucas in thanking you for attending this briefing.

World leaders at the 2005 United Nations World Summit created the DCF to promote development cooperation and increase its coherence and effectiveness.

It also serves to review trends in development cooperation and the development impact of international economic and development policies.

Since then, the DCF has demonstrated its ability to serve as a truly global and multi-stakeholder platform for policy dialogue on all aspects of international development cooperation.

The recent GA review of resolution 61/16 showed that many Member States want the DCF to become the main international forum for discussing development cooperation policies.

We are committed to ensuring that the DCF provides the platform to build understanding of trends in development cooperation and to develop agreement on the needed responses.

I would like to highlight some of the trends that we are defining the current landscape of development cooperation.

First, the number of actors and approaches in development cooperation has proliferated.  This opens a wealth of opportunities.

But, at the same time, the small size of development cooperation interventions, earmarking of funds and lack of donor coordination, become a burden to aid managers in developing countries. This is particularly true in LDCs and countries in conflict or post conflict situations.

Second, in times of economic uncertainty, donors are under considerable pressure to demonstrate immediate results for every dollar spent.  The important debate on aid quality and effectiveness is being deepened and broadened in the run up to Busan High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.  Yet, I am deeply concerned that aid commitments are not being met and not enough aid goes to countries with the greatest development needs.

Third, progress on mutual accountability between donors and recipients is limited.

Fourth, policy coherence for development and gender equality are often an afterthought– when they should be at the centre of development cooperation debates.

The DCF has to provide an inclusive platform to discuss such issues. It has been successful in doing so.

For example, last May, the Government of Mali and DESA co-organized a High-level symposium in Bamako, with the support of Switzerland, focusing on development cooperation towards the MDGs: Effectiveness and Results.

The event concluded that demonstrating the impact of aid on development is more than ever a joint concern of all development actors.

This brings me to the timely topic of the Luxembourg Symposium. Considerable attention at the 2010 DCF was paid to the catalytic role of aid in mobilizing other sources of development finance.

The Luxembourg Symposium will look at how aid can best be used to mobilize investment and domestic resources that have the greatest impact on development.

The symposium will address key questions such as how aid can be used most effectively to leverage other sources of development finance.

Due attention will also be given to the concerns of programme countries by focusing on questions such as how programme countries can best manage and use different sources of development finance in a coherent manner.

I am delighted that the Deputy Secretary General will open the Symposium.

Let me also briefly mention that my Department is organizing an Expert Group meeting on global mutual accountability on the day before the Symposium.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would also like to mention here the contribution that the DCF can make to the Rio+20 process.

The Rio+20 Conference in June 2012 will have a profound impact on international development cooperation.

The DCF can play a vital role in facilitating this debate.  A side event will be organized by the DCF Advisory Group at the Busan High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.  It will address how to rethink development towards a new sustainable development architecture.

We are also planning to organize a high-level symposium in the first quarter of 2012 on this issue to prepare for Rio+20.

Let me stop here, as I would like to hear your comments and answer any questions that you may have.

Thank you.