Building Partnerships, Moving Sustainable Development to Forefront among Top Issues Debated, as Economic and Social Council Concludes High-Level Segment
Building Partnerships, Moving Sustainable Development to Forefront among Top Issues Debated, as Economic and Social Council Concludes High-Level Segment
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Economic and Social Council
2014 Substantive Session
39th & 40th Meetings (AM & PM)
Building Partnerships, Moving Sustainable Development to Forefront among Top
Issues Debated, as Economic and Social Council Concludes High-Level Segment
Rhetoric Must Become Reality Speakers Say,
As Development Cooperation Forum Also Wraps-Up
The rhetoric must become a reality when it came to development assistance, the Economic and Social Council heard today, as its high-level segment ended, concluding two weeks in which ministers and other senior Government officials considered key items that would make the post-2015 development agenda a success.
Galvanizing political support to create an enabling environment for development would be crucial, said Abrehem Tekeste, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Attracting the broad participation of different stakeholders, while ensuring systematic monitoring and accountability, would also be of paramount importance. The post-2015 financing framework should be guided by principles of national Government leadership and ownership, taking into account countries’ specific needs and unique requirements.
South-South cooperation, he said, needed to be integrated into the new global framework to create cooperation platforms, as development cooperation was no longer only about North-South cooperation. A sustainable development financing framework was essential for global efforts in the post-2015 agenda, and domestic revenues from taxation were the most important financing source for sustainable development.
Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said he felt a sense of urgency following the discussions over the past two weeks. There had been clear calls to make a final push to achieve the Millennium Goals and prepare for implementing, monitoring and evaluating a global sustainable development agenda.
“Formulating this narrative is not an intellectual exercise,” said the Under-Secretary-General. “We should consider it as a guidepost and tool to change our horizon, overcoming the dichotomies that often hold us captive and limit our imagination,” he continued. The renewed global partnership must take into account existing commitments and catalyse the engagement of all actors. It needed to address new and emerging challenges and engage all development actors in a more coherent manner. Open-mindedness would be key to the success of a renewed global partnership.
Also today, the Council’s Development Cooperation Forum came to an end with three panel discussions, titled, respectively, “Ensuring the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation”, “Key steps towards a global post-2015 monitoring and accountability framework for development cooperation”, and “Towards a new narrative for development cooperation post-2015”.
The Economic and Social Council will next meet on 14 July at 10 a.m.
IBRAHIM DABBASHI (Libya), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, opening the session on “How a renewed global partnership for development could work in practice”, said the debate, built on the high-level symposium in Addis Ababa in June of last year, would explore a renewed global partnership for development, effectiveness and accountability in development cooperation.
ABREHEM TEKESTE, State Minister for Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia, said that although the Millennium Development Goals had made a significant contribution to address major challenges in the world, Millennium Development Goal 8 had shortcomings. It reflected a donor-recipient paradigm; pieced together incongruent commitments in the Declaration; lacked a vision of balanced and inclusive development partnerships rooted in strong country ownership; overlooked aid quality issues; paid insufficient attention to domestic and external sources of development finance other than aid; and lacked specific targets and an effective accountability mechanism.
He outlined several key messages discussed at the Addis Ababa symposium that could galvanize political support to create an enabling environment for development and attract broad participation of different stakeholders, while ensuring systematic monitoring and accountability. The rhetoric needed to be made a reality and commitments needed to be honoured, especially in regard to assistance. A governance structure needed to be designed that reflected the broad nature of new actors in development cooperation. By moving away from the traditional donor-recipient paradigm, an effective global partnership needed to embody an acceptable sharing of obligations and responsibilities. The post-2015 agenda sustainable development financing framework should be guided by principles of national Government leadership and ownership and financing should be aligned according to countries’ specific needs and requirements.
As well, he said, South-South cooperation needed to be integrated into a global framework to create cooperation platforms, as development cooperation was no longer only about North-South cooperation. South-South’s suitability to responding to developing countries’ needs via its principles of equality, partnership, ownership, and non-interference, needed to be strengthened and mainstreamed into the renewed global partnership. Further, a sustainable development financing framework was essential in promoting global efforts in the post-2015 agenda. In that regard, domestic revenues from taxation were the most important financing source for sustainable development. Therefore, more support should be provided to build capacity that could mobilize domestic resources. In addition, unfavourable international economic relations in trade, debt and development finance had to be addressed. Transparency, harmonization and improved regulatory and monitoring frameworks were critical to such a renewed development cooperation framework. “The idea that we can create a poverty-free world is more apparent now than ever before,” he said. If the international community delivered on new and outstanding commitments, that aim could become a reality.
Following the keynote address, PAULETTE A. BETHEL, Chef de Cabinet of the President of the General Assembly, provided highlights from the joint thematic debate between the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council on partnerships. A renewed global partnership for development would be central to the success of the post-2015 agenda. What remained to be agreed upon were the features and principles that would guide those partnerships and the accountability mechanisms to ensure fulfilment of commitments. There were repeated calls that the creation of the post-2015 agenda should remain a Government-driven process but should allow for the participation of all stakeholders. The new development agenda should be people-centred and guided by the United Nations Charter and international norms and principles.
The most effective partnerships, she said, were driven by the need to solve problems and involved a process of mutual learning. Governments must provide policy frameworks, as well as accountability, transparency, monitoring and oversight mechanisms. The public sector was an important partner for development as business and industry could directly promote sustainable development through their business practices. Governments should, however, be mindful of the profit-driven nature of the private sector.
She noted that civil society was a key partner for development as well, through its ability to present a wide range of viewpoints and enhancing accountability and transparency. Existing United Nations bodies should provide governance for partnerships, while oversight should fall under the purview of the high-level political forum. Partnerships should not be recognized for the commitments they make, but rather, the commitments they fulfilled. Regional accountability should be encouraged and a global framework that was simple, focused and provided for clarity of the roles of the different actors should be established. A renewed partnership for development could garner legitimacy and credibility, as well as build trust across the gamut of actors and beneficiaries.
MARTIN SAJDIK ( Austria), President of the Economic and Social Council, introducing the panel, “Ensuring the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation”, said that development cooperation must originate from people’s needs and accountability frameworks needed to be in place to promote positive behaviour change among providers and recipients.
Moderating the presentations and discussions was Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary-General, CIVICUS.
Keynote addresses were given by Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and Juan Manuel Valle Pereña, Executive Director, Agency of International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico.
Panellists included Toikeusse Albert Mabri, Minister for Planning and Development of Côte d’Ivoire; Emilia Pires, Minister for Finance of Timor-Leste; Anthony Smith, Head, International Relations, Department for International Development, United Kingdom; and Josef Moser, Secretary-General, International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions.
Lead discussants were Felix Mutati, Member of Parliament, Zambia, and Nomveliso Nyukwana, Mayor of Emalahleni Municipality, South Africa.
Mr. SRISKANDARAJAH said that accountability mechanisms were going to “make or break” the post–2015 agenda. It could not be an afterthought. The session would aim to unpack what was meant by effectiveness and quality. It should not be a crude measure from the top down but between all stakeholders.
Mr. WU said that the Development Cooperation Forum was a useful platform that all Member States could use to exchange views and grapple with important issues, notably monitoring and accountably as well as the implementation of sustainable development in post-2015. Offering some highlights from the third Global Accountability Survey, he said that mutual accountability encompassed both providers and recipients in the delivering of commitments. Key enablers included solidifying trust between Governments and stakeholders, as well as the better utilization of resources. Fifty countries had participated, drawing from civil society and parliament platforms.
Modest progress had been made with 46 per cent of those countries having development policies in place, he said. Locally driven projects and partnerships scored better in delivering aid effectively. Also what emerged from the Survey was a need for dedicated investments from all partners to strengthen monitoring. National coordinating ministries needed more full-time staff working on accountability, as well as cabinet and parliament support. Annual checks on monitoring and peer reviews were also called for. Peer pressure from like-minded providers was also an incentive to change behaviour. Respondents also stressed the importance of parliaments and the capacity to carry out oversight, and pass legislation. All in all, mutual accountability remained a work in progress.
Mr. PEREÑA said without means of implementation, targets were “nothing at all”. The Global Partnership offered a more flexible and informal setting that engendered discussions which were then fed back to the Development Cooperation Forum. Official development assistance (ODA) had a crucial role in many countries, but how that money was utilized was critical. From a financial institution, providers wanted to participate, minimize the risks of investments and have clarity of how the process was going. Strengthening tax systems and domestic resources was among the most important components in development.
There was also a need to ensure the tools were being used correctly, as well as ensuring that corruption was prevented or stopped, he said. In terms of a single indicator, countries should not be punished for becoming middle-income, based on their gross domestic product (GDP). Southern providers working with those countries had been able to provide more and more technical assistance. Those efforts needed to be expanded. Therefore, more funds were needed. The Global Partnership worked to provide the link between the “what” and the “how”.
Before presentations began, a representative of Development Initiatives asked the panel how all actors could be held accountable.
A representative of the North-South Institute asked how accountability could get to the poor themselves and make the process more inclusive.
The representative of Norway, from a provider’s perspective, said that ODA was about quality, not quantity. The question was if there was a case from the recipient’s point of view for summarizing effective policies for development, offering “snappy principles for development policies”.
The representative of Cambodia inquired about accelerating the data revolution, increasing commitments from donor countries to least developed countries, and how global cooperation could ensure quality reporting, especially in regard to the capacity of developing countries for collecting statistics.
Mr. SMITH said that incentives, which had been included in the Millennium Development Goals, were critical and the post-2015 agenda needed to provide them. Making development cooperation effective was the key driver, as the desire to be more effective led to coherence. What worked was good information, both data and beyond, to use to improve performance. As an individual provider, his organization found that clarity on what outcomes were wanted, specifically and broadly, was also crucial. As their aim was poverty reduction, 3 per cent of their budget, approximately £300 million was invested in research, assessment and evaluation, informing them of what was working and what was not. Transparency was present through all of their reporting. Working with recipients, several methods were used to clarify responsibilities and aims, including a memorandum of understanding or through their governmental bodies. The challenge would be to find an international framework to update indicators to make them feel relevant and provide the international community strategies to improve performance.
Mr. MABRI emphasized that ownership and accountability were key elements for development. Aid was more effective when it supported the policies of the recipient. His country had a 2012-2015 development plan, and was involving civil society and partners to put together a long-term plan that presented unified principles and cross-cutting strategies. Annual reports and midterm reviews were also being prepared. Measures were being taken to mobilize financing, including an initiative with the World Bank. Côte d’Ivoire was taking leadership in subregional cooperation, addressing energy, infrastructure and others sectors. Regional cooperation was critical and several reforms had been undertaken to ensure ownership of aid and better working methods with partnerships. Those were focused on strengthening business finance sectors, while establishing a road map for good governance and fighting corruption which enabled private investment.
Ms. PIRES, pointing out that the need for accountability reflected the lack of trust, said “you can’t buy trust, or successfully impose it.” It needed to be fostered through a shared responsibility and a desire to achieve the same goals. Often “givers” were in a different scale than recipients. It was critical both understood what was wanted, the road to get there and how difficult it would be. That approach of monitoring and making sure everyone understood what was entailed had to be applied on every level, including the Millennium Development Goals. She also challenged the reaction to penalize someone without investigating the reasons. When her country was “burning” she had to explain to partners there would be no houses to meet in. Investing in infrastructure had to happen before you could hold meetings. The international community had sanctioned Guinea-Bissau, demanding they provide a legitimate Government through elections, but no one wanted to help them provide elections machines or materials. Her country had to procure voting machines and then send them to another country that could fly them into Guinea-Bissau so an election could take place. “How can you expect something without providing resources? We have lost the sense of compassion and the human touch,” she said.
Mr. MOSER said that there had been a lack transparency and accountability in implementing the Millennium Development Goals. However, if the use of public resources were transparent that would ensure proper use. There needed to be more complete financial reporting, along with the modernizing of national budget processes and the alignment of standards for budgets and accountability. National ownership, through audits and through audit institutions, could ensure monies provided were used for what they were supposed to be used for. Obstructions included a lack of transparency and accountability, as well as a lack of a comprehensive mandate to audit Government performances. Measures were necessary, including strengthening the independence of the supreme audit institutions and building their capacity. Audit institutions enhanced transparency and made irregularities visible. Improving accounting systems were essential to implementing the sustainable development agenda and development cooperation aid, but only if transparency and accountably were ensured. Those were also preconditions for the Forum’s success.
Ms. NYUKWANA said that if development cooperation was to be effective, the role of local government needed to be recognized. The people, civil society, and the business sector were there. Coherence would then move upwards. Peer–to-peer capacity-building was not just money, but experience, assistance and technology. Also needed were strategies that were aligned with national strategies.
Mr. MUTATI said that accountability must be centred on the people, their needs and hopes. The lack of independence of the auditing institutions compromised the effectiveness of accountability. Parliament relied on reports that were inadequate. The capacity and passion of parliament was there, but adequate information and mechanism were lacking to hold the Government accountable. The enforcement side of accountability was a challenge. If there was no information, accountability could not be enforced. That led to the “blame-game” where there were no resources to collect and provide data and information, which led to partners saying that they were not getting clear statistics which led to a lack of resources which led back again to not being provided information.
PETRA BAYR, Member of Parliament, Austria, stressed that national parliaments would provide a watchdog towards accountability. Auditing institutions could provide reliable information on the process of universal sustainable development goals.
A representative of a non-governmental organization from Canada said that multi-stakeholder partners brought different complementary skills to the table. However, the ability depended on the context in which they worked. She emphasized the central role of civil society through quiet diplomacy working towards enabling laws of an inclusive society.
Mr. SRISKANDARAJAH, summarizing the meeting, stressed that if accountability was not built in at the start, the post-2015 agenda would fail. The meeting underlined the holistic nature of the matter from all platforms, local to parliaments. Also emphasized was “carrots and sticks” for incentives. Better information and data was needed, as accountability could not happen without them.
Vladimir Drobnjak ( Croatia), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, introduced the panel, “Key steps towards a global post-2015 monitoring and accountability framework for development cooperation”.
Moderating was Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa. Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany was the keynote speaker.
Panellists included: Mwigulu Lameck Nchemba, Deputy Minister of Finance, United Republic of Tanzania; Abul Maal Muhith, Minister of Finance, Bangladesh; Geoffrey Ekanya, Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda; and Brenda Killen, Deputy Director, Development Cooperation Directorate, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The lead discussant was Martin Chungong, Secretary-General, Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Mr. ABDELAZIZ, opening the panel, said it was vital to consider how the international community would monitor the implementation of the future development agenda. Stakeholders had emphasized the importance of monitoring and accountability for building trust and enhancing the efficiency of development cooperation. Realizing the promise that was being shaped in the post-2015 agenda required the full participation of all development actors. Strong, ambitious, and accountable partnerships were indispensable tools in the pursuit of development objectives. In an increasingly changing international development landscape, all partners must accelerate the implementation of their commitments.
Mr. Silberhorn said that when defining development goals, one must bear in mind what must be done to ensure their effective implementation. Monitoring and accountably should be important aspects of future development cooperation. The international community must not only look at quantity and output, but also on quality and long-term impact. The post-2015 agenda must link all policy levels to ensure they were focused on people’s needs. The global community must also ensure that monitoring, reporting and accountability procedures would foster mutual learning and transparency through a continuous dialogue between all players.
Simple data, which was understandable for the general public, was also important for the post-2015 period. What remained was still a challenging path ahead and new challenges that had already arisen in the early stages of developing the universal agenda. The international community must take into account the priorities and capabilities of the various players at the local, regional and international levels to create synergies and avoid duplication. United Nations development policies must evolve to ensure they were relevant and timely.
Mr. NCHEMBA said future development cooperation must build upon the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly Goal 8 on development partnerships. It must promote national ownership and take into account qualitative measurements, rather than only quantitative metrics. Effective monitoring and accountability mechanisms must be key features of future development partnerships. National monitoring and accountability frameworks must be put into place, in partnership with stakeholders on all levels. Inclusive global policies should include flexibility and promote results without over-burdening national Governments. Strong national ownership, as well as national support, would be crucial parts of the future development architecture. There should be mandatory reporting mechanisms established through the United Nations.
Mr. MUHITH said the post-2015 agenda must emphasize transparency, inclusiveness and accountability. Food and hunger would be recurring issues that needed to be addressed in the post-2015 period, including how food was made available, nutrition and institutional elements in place to address crisis situations. Education, health, employment, infrastructure, and mobility were also crucial issue areas to be addressed. Social protection programmes were vital for poverty eradication and must be included in the new development agenda. Gathering information on those elements, particularly data on trade, was not only critically important, but also a huge challenge.
Mr. EKANYA said the international community could not continue “massaging” poverty if it was to be eradicated in the next 15 years. There was a great deal of monitoring that had been going on for quite some time, yet accountability was weak. On the local level, most Governments still called the shots, while partners were relegated to “providing advice”. Global partnerships were loose and uneven, which must be addressed. Information was not shared and data was not reliable, which would pose a challenge for the new global partnership. The problem was that global partnerships and commitments made at the national level were not legally binding. Leaders acted at the will of their constituencies. There must be a legal framework that was legally binding and enforced in order to make future global partnerships successful.
Ms. KILLEN said there must be space established where development successes, failures and lessons could be openly discussed. Everyone had a responsibility to make development happen. “We can and we must do better, post-2015,” she said, highlighting the importance of political will. Accountability mechanisms must include elements of answerability, enforcement and a clear delineation of responsibility. Regional structures should consolidate accountability through mechanisms such as peer review. Having a global framework could serve as a reference point to ensure consistent targets.
Mr. CHUNGONG questioned why the international community was able to establish enforceable and binding measures when it came to issues of peace and security, but could not do the same for development issues. There were clear links between peace and security and development. Global commitments needed to be translated at the national level to ensure that accountability mechanisms were put into place. Accountability could not be left in the realm of informality; it must be coordinated. However, the reality was that there was often a real disconnect between what was desired and what was attained.
In the ensuing discussion, the representative of Mexico asked panellists to elaborate on specific methodologies for monitoring.
The representative of Bangladesh asked if “accountability” was the correct term to be using, given the absence of an agreed international monitoring framework.
The representative of the non-governmental organization Association of World Citizens and the Common Cluster said as an awareness-raising exercise, people should learn how to calculate their global footprint.
The representative of El Salvador said there was a need for greater coordination and a strengthening of technical capacities.
The representative of Sri Lanka said evaluation should be part of the future framework and should be country-led, which would require political buy-in.
The representative of Canada said accountability in the post-2015 framework should build up best practices from the wide range of existing accountability measures in other areas.
Ms. KILLEN agreed that most accountability mechanisms out there were voluntary, rather than hard, legally binding mechanisms. However, she noted there were many examples of voluntary frameworks that over time had become legally binding.
Mr. EKANYA said poverty must be addressed “squarely” and that women were often the ones who suffered the most.
Mr. MUHITH said there should be local, regional and global mechanisms put into place.
Mr. NCHEMBA said that if capacity was strengthened and ownership of projects enhanced, then by default, there would be greater accountability in development cooperation.
Mr. SAJDIK, introducing the panel “Towards a new narrative for development cooperation post-2015”, said that the discussion would contribute critical input to the preparations for the 2014 to 2016 cycles of the Development Cooperation Forum.
Moderating the panel was Henry Bonsu, International Broadcaster, Ghana. Panellists were Shin Dong-ik, Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea; Irina Bokova, Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and Vitalice Meja, Coordinator, Reality of Aid Africa.
Mr. BONSU said that the perception of the United Nations system was that it was impenetrable and about process, not about people. In commencing the panel, he urged participants to remember that they were “human being[s], not human doing[s]”. At the beginning of the AIDS/HIV crisis, large amounts of money had been “thrown at” the problem. There was an emphasis of the North/first world helping out the third world. However, things were changing, with different frameworks of aid emerging. He called for new, fresh ideas and the building of a new narrative in the exchanges following the panel.
Mr. SHIN said that the Republic of Korea would hold a high-level meeting of the Development Cooperative Forum to provide guidance to stakeholders in the post-2015. The new direction should go further than the Millennium Development Goals. Certain principles should be the guiding force in development cooperation. Country ownership was essential for long-term development. Inclusive partnership should also be a main component. Partnership and beneficiary responsibility needed to be based on lessons learned. Monetary and accountability systems were also crucial, a key lesson learned from the Millennium Goals. Those frameworks should evaluate not only achievement, but the use of the country system, among other things. The next symposium would be a chance for an exchange between stakeholders. As the first meeting of the 2014-2016 cycle, it would lay the agenda for the next stage. The new cycle must contribute to the framework to the post-2015 agenda. Format and thematic focus would be modelled on the symposiums held in Switzerland and Germany. Key stakeholders working on the ground would participate. Effective implementation would be focused on.
Ms. BOKOVA said there was a new narrative on development, but the challenge now was how to make the narrative operational. For intergovernmental agencies, it would be important for the agenda to be people-centred, with elements of transparency and accountability, as well as monitoring capabilities. Data would also be important, both in its collection and evaluation. In additional to being featured on the development agenda, for the first time, the Secretary-General had put education on the political agenda. The impediments to education must be further evaluated in the new development agenda. Education was not only about how to write and read; it was about values, such as gender equality and sustainability. Next year there would be a major conference on education that would take stock of important new initiatives under way and find ways to roll them into the post-2015 agenda.
Mr. MEJA said that civil society was interested in having a common, shared vision going forward. What was of concern for civil society was how to capture the aspirations of citizens. People were most concerned with their quality of life, in real terms. The international community lagged behind on the issue of gender equity and empowerment. Technocrats sitting in meetings did not bring solutions. There must be an understanding that there is an existing policy framework, including the international finance institutions, which needed to be reformed to bring real results on the ground. There had been progress in partnerships, but there must be an enabling environment created to promote the participation of civil society. It was important to strengthen monitoring and evaluation beyond simply a technical process, so that quality could be measured.
Mr. BONSU, opening the floor for discussion, invited participants to share their new, compelling narratives that would inspire others in future actions and strategies towards implementing the post-2015 agenda.
The representative of Brazil said that countries needed to honour their ODA commitments. South-South cooperation focused on institutional capacity-building. In those cases ODA methodologies were not appropriate measurement modalities. He also pointed out that countries from the South were still using old words such as “donor” instead of partners.
A representative of the major children and youth group said that citizens from marginalized groups needed to be given space in policymaking bodies. Education was the basis for that as the population needed to be educated in order to understand their rights.
The representative of Uruguay echoed his country’s President noting that nothing was more important than life and happiness. In Uruguay poverty was fought in multidimensional ways and on a rights-based process.
Ms. BOKOVA said that the role of science in the post-2015 agenda was part of a new thrust of multi-stakeholders participating in sustainable development goals, noting that the private sector was bringing innovation to the forefront as well, through new modalities of responsibility.
A Member of Parliament of Zambia emphasized the importance of domestic resource mobilization, noting the need to address tax evasion, in particular in the corporate sector.
The representative of Cambodia called for an acceleration of reform on fossil fuel usage and the ensuring of political will to meet commitments to climate change.
The representative of Ghana called for holistic capacity-building. Partners should provide a budget line, instead of technical consultants who came and went, leaving a weak institution behind. “Capacity, capacity, capacity”, she stated, so that the design could be win-win.
Mr. SHIN, recalling his country’s own development progress, noted that the Republic of Korea led by example, utilizing education and human resources.
Mr. MEJA stressed the need that resources from a domestic platform be utilized and not just from tax revenue. The international community should do more to help strengthen national stock markets. Further, loopholes of capital flight needed to be closed.
Ms. BOKOVA said political will existed as demonstrated by the post-2015 agenda efforts, noting the already concrete actions that had emerged over the past week’s events. It was universal and ambitious.
Closing the session, VIVEK D’SOUZA, International Movement of Catholic Students, Pax Romana, delivered remarks on behalf of the major group of children and youth, saying excitement was building as the world inched ahead on the negotiations on the post-2015 agenda. The goal was a transformative development agenda that rested squarely on the three pillars of sustainable development. There was no need to issue reminders on what needed to be done. A paradigm shift was critical and the time had come to move forward.
Without a strong institutional framework, the transformative agenda was at risk of being further watered down and remained nothing more than lofty and aspirational phrases. The work of young people helped achieve many of the Millennium Development Goals and the world’s youth were again ready to do their part. The time was now to think outside the box and recognize the mistakes that were made in the past. The Earth could no longer be seen as a “playground”, but as a gift worth protecting.
Mr. WU, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said he felt a sense of urgency following the high-level segment. There had been clear calls to make a final push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and prepare for implementing, monitoring and evaluating a global sustainable development agenda. That made the swift agreement on the Ministerial Declaration all the more heartening. The Forum had played a critical role in shaping a new narrative on development partnerships. That narrative must invite people to join in a shared vision, translate words into actions and make development real and lasting.
“Formulating this narrative is not an intellectual exercise. We should consider it as a guidepost and tool to change our horizon, overcoming the dichotomies that often hold us captive and limit our imagination,” he said. The renewed global partnership must take into account existing commitments and catalyse the engagement of all actors. It needed to address new challenges and engage all development actors in a more coherent manner. Open-mindedness was key to the success of a renewed global partnership, while a multi-layered architecture for monitoring and accountability was crucial for all layers of development cooperation. ODA must be emphasized as a primary investment mechanism in underfunded sectors and should serve as a catalyst for other sources of financing.
Mr. SADJIK, President of the Economic and Social Council, said the first meeting of the high-level political forum was a success in establishing an inclusive platform, having emphasized poverty eradication as key to sustainable development. The segment had made important strides in addressing critical challenges, such as rising inequality, worsening environmental conditions and persistent unemployment. Discussions had examined the features of a coherent and integrated macroeconomic policy framework that would support economic efficiency, social equality and environmental sustainability.
The 2014 Annual Ministerial Review had focused on accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and the transition to the post-2015 development agenda. The Review had resulted in the Ministerial Declaration that stressed that the Millennium Goals must be a critical building block for a strong, inclusive and people-centred agenda in the post-2015 period. National voluntary presentations were provided by 10 States, which provided valuable insight into national challenges and accomplishments. The Development Cooperation Forum had produced a wealth of inputs on the future of development cooperation. Throughout the segment it was clear that going forward, the international community needed lean, efficient structures that would “work as one”.
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