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The second High-level Symposium to prepare for the 2010 DCF, organized by UN/DESA jointly with the Government of Finland, took place in Helsinki on 3-4 June 2010.  The goal of the event has been to promote pragmatic solutions to make development cooperation more coherent and develop key messages for the upcoming 2010 United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Against the backdrop of multiple crises, it has aimed 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 has promoted Policy Coherence for Development to ensure synergies between development objectives and other policies.  The symposium discussed the multifaceted challenges in building coherence in the range of policies affecting development.  Stakeholders shared experiences on how different policies can have a significant impact, either positive or negative, on development and the MDGs. 

The Helsinki High-level Symposium also highlighted the significant role of foundations, civil society and the private sector in development cooperation; discussed the positive impact that national mutual accountability mechanisms can have on effective aid delivery and development partnerships; and promoted a more concerted effort in achieving gender-related development goals.  The discussions and key messages of the Helsinki Symposium have been  be captured in a report to inform the ongoing consultative process and analytical work of the DCF.

Background documentation

For more details on the background and objectives, please refer to the following documentation:

Opening Statements

  • Dr Paavo Väyrynen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Finland [English]
  • Hamidon Ali, President of ECOSOC [English]
  • Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General, UNDESA  [English]

The symposium featured a number of presentations to facilitate discussions.  Below please find presentations and written statements submitted:

Session 1: Keeping a development focus: the challenges in ensuring policy coherence for development

Session 2: Working together towards the internationally agreed development goals: the role of Foundations, Civil Society Organizations and decentralized development cooperation

  • Global Partnerships: Are we there yet? Amir Dossal, United Nations Office for Partnerships
  • Presentation by Prof. Klaus Leisinger, President, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development
  • Elham Palestine, Prof. Marwan Awartani, Chairman, Arab Foundations Forum

Session 3: Accountable and equal partnerships in development cooperation: national experiences and next steps

  • Nikhil Seth, Director, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UNDESA (forthcoming)
  • Hold one another accountable: Experience of Afghanistan, Mustafa Mastoor, Deputy Minister of Finance, Afghanistan
  • Bijon Kumar Baishya, Joint Secretary (Coordination), Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh presented the recently signed Joint Cooperation Strategy
  • Statement by Justin Hien, Director of Coordination and Effectiveness of Public Development Aid, Burkina Faso

Session 4: The impact of development cooperation in reaching the MDGs on gender equality: Challenges and solutions

  • The Impact of Development Cooperation in Reaching MDG 3: Hon. Mrs. Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, Vice Chairperson of the Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, Member of Parliament, Indonesia
  • Joanne Sandler, Deputy Executive Director, UNIFEM
  • The Impact of Development Cooperation in Reaching MDGs: Regina Karega, Chair, National Commission on Gender and Development, Kenya
  • Grace Bediako, Chief Statistician, Ghana Statistical Services
  • Statement by Natalia Cardona, Social Watch International Secretariat, Uruguay, Member of the Women's Working Group on Financing for Development
  • Statement by Jon Lomoy, Director, Development Cooperation Directorate, OECD

Closing Statement

  • Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General, UNDESA  [English]

Other Documents