Development cooperation in the post-2015 setting

To advance the dialogue on development cooperation, the Government of Switzerland and the UN DESA are  organizing a High-Level Symposium of the UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) on “Development cooperation in a post-2015 era: sustainable development for all”. It will take place in Montreux, Switzerland, from 24-25 October 2013

The international community is preparing for a post-2015 development agenda. The environmental and social challenges of today show that a holistic approach to sustainable development is urgently needed. Silos between the economic, social and environmental spheres have to be broken down to ensure integrated action on all three aspects. What does this mean for development cooperation? And how can development cooperation help to achieve sustainable development for all?

Building a unified and universal agenda

Significant progress has been made on many of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), yet major challenges remain. The global development agenda beyond 2015 will not only have to complete any unfinished business of the MDGs. It will also have to put the world on a more sustainable development path.

Climate change and environmental degradation are threatening to reverse gains made in developing countries and are also affecting developed countries. This shows the need for an agenda not only unified in its thematic focus but also universal in its applicability to all countries. At Rio+20, world leaders agreed on the need to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development – environmental, economic and social – in the post-2015 development agenda.

Implications for development cooperation

Effective development cooperation will be critical to the success of the post-2015 development agenda. This means development cooperation will have to evolve. Instruments, channels and division of labour among partners will have to adapt. Additional resources – public and private, domestic and international – will also be required to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development, including addressing climate change and other global challenges.

It will be important to ensure that a greater focus on sustainable development is truly an integrated approach and does not detract attention and resources from poverty eradication. More, development cooperation should be geared to help to break down the silos between the environmental, social and economic strands of work streams.

There is need to assess the use of all available forms of financing for sustainable development, including public and private, cross-border and domestic sources. This will give some countries more room to manoeuvre, as they find themselves exposed to a more diverse range of stakeholders to work with. Other countries, may find traditional funding reduced. There is an urgent need to ensure that resources are equitably distributed and reach the poorest countries and people.

Launching this dialogue in Switzerland

To advance the dialogue on these issues, the Government of Switzerland and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs are together organizing the High-Level Symposium of the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) on “Development cooperation in a post-2015 era: sustainable development for all”. The second in the series of preparatory symposiums for the July 2014 DCF, the symposium will take place in Montreux, Switzerland from 24-25 October 2013. With its multi-stakeholder character, the DCF can bring together a plurality of actors. High-level representatives from governments in developing and developed countries, Southern partners, the private sector, academia, civil society and international organizations will all participate.

Bringing together the environmental and development portfolios

Given its focus, this symposium is a great opportunity to bring ministers from the environmental, economic and development portfolios together to discuss the challenges a renewed global partnership for development will have to address in the post-2015 era and to assess how development cooperation will have to evolve to best help to advance this future agenda.

The symposium will further examine the potential implications of a post-2015 development agenda for the allocation of different types of resources, both among and within countries and sectors. It will focus on how development cooperation can be used to mobilize additional public and private resource to finance sustainable development and how coherence in approaches to different types of financing and accessibility of funding can be ensured. It will also look at how global monitoring of and accountability for development cooperation would have to change in the post-2015 setting.

The 2014 Development Cooperation Forum

The 2014 Development Cooperation Forum of the United Nations Economic and Social Counil, taking place in July 2014 in New York, will help to advance the global dialogue on the future of development cooperation in the post-2015 agenda.

To support the preparations for the 2014 DCF, UNDESA is organizing three High-Level Symposia in partnership with UN member States and a number of high-level preparatory meetings focusing on thematic aspects such as gender, South-South Cooperation or philanthropic engagement in development cooperation. Ethiopia hosted the first High-Level Symposium in June 2013, with a focus on the renewed global partnership for development. In March 2014, Germany will host the concluding High-Level Symposium in the cycle, examining global accountability and effective development cooperation in the post-2015 era.

For more information, please visit the DCF website at: