Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Introduction of the Report of the Secretary-General on
“Trends and progress in international development cooperation”
2018 High-level Meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum

Your Excellency, Ms. Marie Chatardová, President of the Economic and Social Council,
Your Excellency, Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General,
Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by joining the President of ECOSOC and the Deputy Secretart-General in welcoming you to the 2018 Development Cooperation Forum.

I have the honour to introduce the 2018 Report of the Secretary-General on Trends and progress in International Development Cooperation and to share with you key findings of the Report.

First, development cooperation should remain focussed on achieving the 2030 Agenda, putting the furthest behind first.

Development cooperation has to become more risk informed. The links between development cooperation and climate action need strengthening.

Countries with limited capacities, in particular, need tailored support to move from managing disasters to managing and reducing risk and building resilience.

Second, ODA, while limited within the means of implementation overall, remains a distinct and vital source of development finance.

Allocation patterns are changing. A smaller part of ODA goes, for instance, to social spending. This raises concerns, especially for countries that still rely on ODA for funding their social programmes.

The Forum should discuss specific steps to ensure that ODA commitments are met, to bring more ODA to least developed countries and countries in special situations, and to strengthen effective allocation and use of ODA.

Third, national sustainable development strategies and development cooperation policies are helping countries better identify and articulate their needs.

This allows for better targeting and tailoring of development cooperation – and for better quality and impact of partnerships.

Fourth, capacity-building plays an important role in putting developing countries in the driver’s seat.

The Forum will focus on strategic areas, including strengthening domestic resource mobilization, generating the quality data needed to achieve the SDGs, and putting in place country-owned strategies and policies for science, technology and innovation.

Fifth, South-South cooperation continues to show steady expansion, diversification and resilience. It is reducing the asymmetries in access to development opportunities and responding directly to local demands.

The upcoming high-level meetings on South-South and triangular cooperation provide platforms to advance broad-based, inclusive and structured cooperation that is effectively aligned with the 2030 Agenda and other internationally agreed development goals.

Sixth, blended financing has much potential. Yet, so far, it has largely bypassed least developed countries and other countries with special needs.

Putting into place solid institutional and regulatory frameworks and policies is a crucial step. This will help enable developing countries to use blended financing effectively, and ensure fair sharing of its costs and benefits.

Use of ODA for blended financing projects should be guided by principles of effective development cooperation. Engaging governments and holding quality public consultations throughout with domestic stakeholders and beneficiaries can help ensure country ownership and leadership.

Seventh, navigating an increasingly complex and diverse development landscape requires embracing diversity, through fresh and focused efforts, building on the current trends and progress.

From this perspective, I see so many opportunities to be seized:

• To expand the space to bring the private sector into alignment with sustainable development;
• To build more broad-based and structured South-South and triangular cooperation:
• And to strengthen engagement of the range of stakeholders, such as civil society, parliamentarians, mayors and local authorities, including in the local and regional monitoring of progress.

And I can take heart in the demand I see represented in this room for all actors to exchange knowledge and learn together – and more swiftly – how to operate, understand and achieve results in this new context.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Development Cooperation Forum stands out for this space that it provides, and even more so for the deep knowledge, expertise and commitment of its participants.

I wish you a most productive meeting and look forward to its outcome.

I thank you for your attention.

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