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2011 Luxembourg High-level Symposium on “Working together to increase the development impact of aid” – 18-19 October 2011

On 18 and 19 October 2011, the second High-Level Symposium in preparation for the 2012 United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) was held in Luxembourg.

The Symposium was hosted and organized by Luxembourg in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). It provided the opportunity for high-level representatives and senior experts in development cooperation and aid management to exchange views and share lessons learned. Participants came from national and local governments, parliaments, non-governmental organizations and other civil society organizations, philanthropic foundations and the private sector.

The overall goal of the Symposium is to reflect on how to best help developing countries maximize the impact of aid. It looked at how Official Development Assistance (ODA) can enable developing countries to mobilize investment and other types of development finance, such as trade and domestic revenues to build their productive capacity and combat poverty.

To work towards greater independence from aid in the long term, more and better aid, backed by policies which deliver sustainable development results – including for the poorest and most vulnerable groups of society - is needed in the short and medium term. Also important is to mobilize a greater effort to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to mobilize domestic resources and to attract private foreign direct investment (FDI), especially in those countries with the least capacity to attract private direct investment.

Against this backdrop, the Luxembourg High-Level Symposium will analyzed lessons learned and addressed key concerns and challenges on how to:

  • Use aid to leverage other sources of development finance, including by:
  • Broadening access to inclusive financial services
  • Using aid to promote domestic revenue mobilization, including through effective tax systems
  • Using aid as a catalyst for FDI
  • Ensure that such additional resources advance sustainable development.

The Symposium also discussed experiences of programme country governments in promoting more coherent management and use of diverse aid modalities and domestic and foreign development finance. It also determined how to include all relevant actors in national and sectoral reviews of aid policies and aid quality commitments - to enhance the results of aid.

The official summary of the Symposium will be published here shortly.

The following are some key messages of the symposium:

  1. The “current political economy” and rising public anger countries were threatening aid flows. It was imperative that these limited resources should be used in more effective manner.
  2. Aid should aim to mobilize the kind of financial flows that have the greatest impact on the achievement of MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals.
  3. Representatives of LDCs underscored that aid to their countries must, as a priority, help mobilize FDI and other resources to bolster the productive sector. However, some of the NGOs were of the view that aid had maximum impact when it is used to support social programmes such as health and education.
  4. It was reiterated that recipient countries should decide about the deployment of aid resources.

DCF Symposium

Press and Communications Material

  • (a) Press Release (English - French)
  • (b) Remarks to the Press by Asha-Rose MIGIRO, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations
  • (c) Remarks to the Press by Lazarous KAPAMBWE, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council

Remarks and Presentations


  • Marie-Josée JACOBS, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Luxembourg: Official Opening
  • Lazarous KAPAMBWE, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council: Expectations for the 2012 DCF
  • Asha-Rose MIGIRO, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations: The DCF in an evolving development landscape
  • Augustine K. NGAFUAN, Minister of Finance, Liberia: Keynote Address “Aiming for an aid free Liberia by 2030”

Closing of the Symposium

  • Lazarous KAPAMBWE, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
  • Thomas STELZER, Assistant-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations
  • Marie-Josée JACOBS, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Luxembourg (tbc)

Additional presentations during the Symposium

Additional Background Material Provided by Participants

Expert Group Meeting ("Reinforcing international mutual accountability", 17 October 2011, Luxembourg)