ECOSOC, BWIs, WTO and UNCTAD attend spring meeting

The 2013 Special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the BWIs, WTO and UNCTAD addressed the overall theme of “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of financing for sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda” on 22 April

UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeThe central feature of the meeting focusing on the “World economic situation and prospects in the wake of the world financial and economic crisis”, was accompanied by debates on financing sustainable development, leveraging private capital, outcomes of the Rio+20 and global partnerships.

ECOSOC will play a crucial role in promoting dialogue among Member States on the post-2015 development agenda, including the issue of financing for sustainable development, and renewed commitment for the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration, underpinning the global partnership for development.

Challenges such as climate change, growing inequality in many countries, and continued risks posed by the financial sector have emerged. In particular, the financial crisis exposed flaws of the international financial system. Although efforts have been made to address those risks, additional efforts are necessary.

Improving the cooperation between the UN and BWIs through coordination on the ground in the area of capacity-building, democratic governance, statistics and gender equality is necessary in maintaining a global partnership.

The World Bank presented its perspective on the post-2015 development agenda and emphasis was placed on the need to enhance the impact of available resources and leverage additional funds, in particular from the private sector. The speaker pointed out that even though ODA declined in real terms, it continues to remain important in terms of leveraging other flows, especially in fragile states.

The President of the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD emphasized the importance of trade as an engine of development and highlighted the need for expeditious and successful realization of the development objectives of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.

The Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank reported on the outcome of the meeting of the Development Committee, held during the previous weekend. The Committee endorsed two goals: (i) to end extreme poverty within a generation and (ii) to promote shared prosperity.

In this context, the importance of cooperation between the World Bank and the UN was emphasized. The Deputy Secretary of the IMF reported on the outcome of the meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Director of the Development Division of WTO on the present state of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations and prospects for the forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia. He highlighted progress achieved on several issues, including trade facilitation, agriculture and specific issues for the LDCs.

The work of the Intergovernmental Committee on a sustainable development financing strategy will provide an important contribution to formulating a coherent mechanism. It was emphasized that the international commitments, especially those on ODA, should be met. Public resources will have to come from a variety of international, regional and national sources. However, given the size of financing needs for sustainable development, it is clear that official sources of financing will not be sufficient.

It was highlighted that FDI rose only moderately in 2013 and that the overall increase is slower than pre-crisis levels. At the same time, transnational corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash reserves. The challenge is to mobilize FDI for inclusive, responsible and green growth.

The post-2015 development agenda should be rooted in an effective and inclusive system of global economic governance. It is necessary to have greater accountability, cooperation and effective and coherent policy-making among Member States with regard to the framing, monitoring and implementation of the global partnership for development.

Strengthening the involvement of developing countries in international economic decision-making and enhance engagement and partnerships with non-state actors in activities and dialogue pertaining to development is imperative in moving forward. These efforts would ensure that the post-MDG 8 framework is anchored in a more inclusive, flexible and coherent system for global economic governance.

For more information:
Special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development