Towards a renewed global partnership for development (Photo: Shutterstock)

Towards a renewed global partnership for development

The global partnership for development that underpins the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was captured as a standalone goal (MDG8) in 2000. It has played a crucial role in the achievement of the MDGs by facilitating resources and an overall environment conducive to development. A report assessing MDG8 will be released in March and later followed by a chat on Facebook.

As the conversation gears towards the 2015 development agenda, there is great interest to learn from the experience of implementation of MDG8 and ways to strengthen the global partnership for development in the post-2015 era. In this sense, the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons will place this important issue at the centre of its upcoming meeting in Indonesia at the end of March.

The UN System Task Team (UNTT) on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda has prepared a report on global partnership which will be published in early March on the UNTT website. Titled ‘Towards a renewed global partnership for development’ the report presents an assessment of MDG8 and it reviews new challenges for the global economy as well as new trends in development cooperation. The report proposes possible contours, alternative formats and a robust accountability mechanism for a renewed global partnership for the post-2015 era.

Recognizing new challenges

MDG8 served as an important advocacy tool to stress the important role of the international community in achieving the globally agreed development goals outlined in the MDG framework. Based in the context of 2000, when the MDGs were conceived, the focus of MDG8 is primarily in the areas of Official Development Assistance (ODA), debt relief, trade, technology and access to essential medicines. It also gave special attention to the needs of the least developed and most vulnerable countries.

Going forward, a renewed global partnership for development needs to recognize the challenges of the world we live in today and formulate adequate global efforts that corresponds with global challenges in the areas of climate change, rising inequalities, changing population dynamics, and remaining governance and human rights deficits. Fragile countries have seen the least progress in terms of MDG achievement and thus any attention to most vulnerable countries needs to include fragile states.

Sustainability at the core

In the discussion about the characteristics of the post-2015 development agenda, there is broad consensus among all stakeholders that sustainability must be at the core of the new agenda. Larger financing needs can be anticipated which cannot be met by ODA alone. While ODA commitments will continue playing a key role supporting the development efforts of the poorest countries, the recent years have seen the rise of a more multi-polar economy leading to a significant shift in global economic balance. Given the rise of middle-income countries, the face of poverty has changed significantly.

Today, 75 per cent of the poor live in middle-income countries and further progress to eradicate poverty will require greater policy coherence at global and national levels. Based on the emergence of new economic powers, South-South cooperation has increased and a large array of non-governmental actors (including the private sectors, philanthropy and civil society organizations) have engaged in various forms of global partnerships, often focusing on specific sectors, mainly in the areas of health, education and food security.

Reshaping donor-recipient relationships

A renewed global partnership will need to move away from the traditional donor-recipient relationship that characterized MDG8 and consider a wider range of actors and mechanisms to make the most effective contribution to global development. Unlike MDG8, the new agenda should also build a robust accountability mechanism to address, on a continuous basis, possible shortcomings from commitments made as part of a renewed global partnership for development.

When speaking at an event recently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also described the need for renewed global partnership. “The current global partnership for development needs to be rebalanced and redefined – taking into account emerging economies, South-South partnership, private sector engagement and innovative financing,” he said.

Participate in live chat on Facebook

Looking at the various challenges at hand and the need for consistent global responses with participation from multiple actors, the discussion about the characteristics of a renewed global partnership for development in the post-2015 era is rather complex. The report of the UN System Task Team provides an overview of the key challenges involved and makes recommendations on ways to address some of these questions with clear suggestions about the format and the contours of a renewed global partnership.

In addition to the publication of the report, DESA’s Division for Policy Development and Analysis together with UNDP, invite you to talk to the authors of the report directly through a Facebook chat taking place in mid-March. This will be an opportunity to ask questions directly to members of the UN System Task Team. Check back on the DESA Facebook page to learn when the event will take place and to sign up to join.

For more information:

UN System Task Team

DESA’s Facebook page