2012 Development Cooperation Forum ‘Unique Platform to Identify Best Practices, Lay Ground for Improved Policy Coherence, Coordination,’ says Secretary-General

5 July 2012
SG/SM/14396-ECOSOC/6526

2012 Development Cooperation Forum ‘Unique Platform to Identify Best Practices, Lay Ground for Improved Policy Coherence, Coordination,’ says Secretary-General

5 July 2012
Secretary-General
SG/SM/14396 ECOSOC/6526
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

2012 Development Cooperation Forum ‘Unique Platform to Identify Best Practices,

Lay Ground for Improved Policy Coherence, Coordination,’ says Secretary-General

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the 2012 Development Cooperation Forum, in New York, today, 5 July:

This Forum gives a voice to all actors involved in international cooperation for development.  Only through collaboration, coherence and partnership will we achieve our development goals.

I welcome your engagement over the past two years.  The development cooperation architecture is being transformed.  Together, we can build even stronger partnerships.  We have a shared calling:  to lift people from poverty and support long-term sustainable development.

Our task becomes more urgent each day.  The world economy is precarious, and the risk of further recession remains.  I am concerned about already high food and energy prices, which add a burden on the already vulnerable.  As populations grow, we will need at least 50 per cent more food and 45 per cent more energy by 2030.  And inequality between and within countries continues to rise.

We have made significant progress in reducing extreme poverty, but we have much work to do to eliminate these harsh conditions and disparities.  Climate change and environmental degradation affect billions of people, as do political crises and conflicts, pervasive poverty and needless disease.

Two weeks ago, at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil, the international community emphasized the need to build resilience, particularly among the world’s poorest.  Rio+20 also emphasised the importance of partnerships. 

Addressing these challenges requires the involvement and collaboration of all.  Governments alone cannot get the job done.  We need the active involvement and support of all major groups of civil society.

As donors and partnerships continue to diversify, so too must the development cooperation architecture.  The role of South-South cooperation is growing.  Building on their own experiences, developing countries are helping each other through enhanced South-South cooperation.  They are introducing new approaches for development cooperation that are delivered quickly, with lighter procedural requirements.

The private sector is proving to be an important partner, as are foundations and others.  Private philanthropic organizations are becoming especially important in health and education.  Civil society is helping recipients absorb development assistance and use it effectively.  And local governments and municipalities are facilitating improved delivery of basic social services.

Our challenge is to ensure coherence and coordination among the broad range of actors.  It is imperative that we capitalize on the comparative strengths of each and fully tap the opportunities that this diversity offers.

At the same time, we must take this changing context as an opportunity to address the shortcomings of the current system.

I see five areas where we need to improve our efforts.  First, we must accelerate our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  We need to keep our promises, even in times of fiscal austerity.

Second, development assistance must go where it is most needed.  Some countries are at the centre of international attention, while others find it harder to attract funding.  The same holds true for critical development sectors.

Third, aid continues to be burdened with conditionalities.  This undermines national autonomy and leads to distortions in aid allocations.

Fourth, it is essential to improve mutual accountability and transparency.  These are critical for ensuring that external support aligns with the priorities of recipient countries.

Fifth, building on our commitment to sustainability, we must strike a better balance between short and long-term considerations, and between the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development.

Development cooperation lies at the heart of the United Nations.  As the landscape of development cooperation changes, so, too, must the United Nations.  We must deliver as one — with you.

We welcome your leadership and guidance as we consider the post-2015 development agenda.  This Third Development Cooperation Forum is a unique platform to identify best practices and lay the ground for improved policy coherence and coordination.

In the next two days, I count on you to share concrete ideas about how this can be done.  Together we must deliver development assistance that is more effective and pro-poor.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.