The Second Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) of ECOSOC was held successfully on 29 and 30 June. The level of engagement of Member States from South and North was among the salient features of this year's DCF, with a large number of Ministers, Vice-Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Director-Generals present. Non-executive stakeholders were represented in this truly multi-stakeholder forum through the Inter-Parliamentary Union; NGOs such as CIVICUS, ActionAid, ITUC and others and the Organization United Cities and Local Governments.
The 2010 DCF was structured around the following themes:
- Promoting greater coherence: how can all policies be geared towards development goals?
- Accountable and transparent development cooperation: how can we build more equal partnerships?
- The role of various forms of cooperation including South-South and triangular cooperation.
- Impact of multiple crises: Allocating resources among competing needs; and
- Achieving the MDGs by 2015: an agenda for more and improved development cooperation."
The debates confirmed the deep concern that aid commitments are not being met, although several speakers reiterated their government's commitments to increase aid. Considerable attention was paid to the catalytic role of aid in increasing other sources of development finance. It was underscored that all policies of developed countries need to be coherent with development objectives. Alignment with developing countries' national development strategies was seen as critical in ensuring policy coherence. There was a concern that a greater share of aid should go to countries with the greatest development needs and financing gaps.
Several speakers encouraged to engage more countries and stakeholders in processes on aid effectiveness and mutual accountability. Better use of country systems, more aid predictability and reporting of aid on budget, require more balanced aid relationships with more robust government systems to process aid monies. It was felt that the aid effectiveness agenda should be broadened to include concerns such as conditionality or flexibility to combat exogenous shocks. On South-South cooperation, a number of positive experiences were shared.
Speakers pointed to the role of the DCF to continue addressing issues such as policy coherence, trends in development cooperation and mutual accountability, among others.
The key messages of the second DCF informed the negotiation process of the MDG Summit's outcome document. Please also see an overview of the rich programme of side events that was held on the margin of the DCF, including e.g. on LDCs, South-South cooperation, the future role of the DCF on the right.