Volume 18, No.07 - July 2014

Global dialogue on development

Strengthening global governance and rules for post-2015

A core function of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) is the provision of analysis and policy advice to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on cross-sectoral development issues and on international cooperation for development, focusing on medium- and long-term aspects. On 7 July during the ECOSOC High-level segment, Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Vice Chair of the CDP, will deliver a statement on the global governance and global rules for development post-2015. 

In recent years, the Committee has focused its attention on the international and national dimensions of the future United Nations Development Agenda for the post-2015 era. In November 2013, the Committee published a book entitled Alternative Development Strategies for the Post-2015 Era that reviews the MDG agenda and proposes new national approaches on the way forward in view of the persistence of old problems and the emergence of new global challenges.

At its last plenary meeting in March 2014, the Committee considered how global governance and global rules could be strengthened to make them more conducive to development. In this interview with the DESA News team, Professor José Antonio Ocampo, the Chairperson of the Committee, explains the role of the CDP and its contribution to  the global dialogue on the international sustainable development agenda in the post-2015 era.

He also highlights some of the work areas including that related to the least developed countries. “We have the specific responsibility to determine the rules by which countries are categorized as a least developed country and then to follow up on the stories of the countries which have been in that category, including those which have graduated from it”, he explains.

In its report on the 16th session to the Council, the CDP reviews the current global partnership for development and proposes innovative ideas on how to reform global governance and global rules for sustainable development. In the view of the CDP, the current approach on the global partnership for development as addressed in MDG 8 is incomplete.

The Committee argues that intergovernmental cooperation should be placed at the center of the global partnership for development, and its role in the achievement of global development goals must not be restricted to the mobilization of resources and technical assistance. Intergovernmental cooperation is essential in the process of setting global policy, rules and norms. The Committee further argues that strengthening global governance and global rules is critical in order to better manage the increasing interdependence among countries, to reduce existing and increasing inequalities in many dimensions, and to guarantee the necessary policy space for countries to pursue their own priorities.

The CDP Policy Note: Global governance and global rules for development in the post-2015 era, to be available in hard copy format in July 2014, provides additional analyses and insights on these issues. It includes practical policy recommendations on the way forward and on strengthening the role of the United Nations in achieving global sustainable development.

In this regard, the Committee proposes five main principles to guide the reforms: common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities; subsidiarity; inclusiveness, transparency and accountability; coherence, and responsible sovereignty. The Policy Note illustrates how these principles could be applied in reforming global governance framework in the areas of international macroeconomic cooperation, environment, international trade, international tax matters, international migration and inequality. The Note also recommends a greater role for the Economic and Social Council in advancing these reforms and stronger accountability mechanisms to monitor implementation.

CDP is an expert body of ECOSOC composed of 24 members serving in their personal capacity.

For more information:

Committee for Development Policy (CDP)

Alternative Development Strategies for the Post-2015 Era

CDP Reports to the Economic and Social Council

CDP Policy Note: Global governance and global rules for development in the post-2015 era


Towards more accountable and effective development cooperation

DCFThe Fourth Biennial High-level Meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) will be held on 10 – 11 July at UN headquarters in New York, as part of the High-level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

To prepare for this event, the DCF Germany Symposium on “Accountable and effective development cooperation in a post-2015 era” was held in Berlin, Germany on 20 -21 March, advancing the global dialogue on the future of development cooperation.

At the DCF Germany High-level Symposium, over 170 High-level participants, including 21 ministers, from national and local governments, civil society organizations and academia, parliaments, foundations and the private sector, and international organizations explored effectiveness and accountability of development cooperation in the design and implementation of a post-2015 development agenda in a series of interactive panel discussions and workshops, supported by the analytical work of UN DESA, including on global accountability and the findings of the 3rd global accountability survey.

Efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of development cooperation must continue

Effective development cooperation will be critical for the implementation of a post-2015 development agenda. To have an impact on the ground, it must originate from people’s needs and be supported by a continued openness to learn and share lessons, and shape a common language for development cooperation, to engage people and inspire action. Growing consensus on a number of issues addressed at the Symposium revealed readiness among the broad range of stakeholders to look anew at the fundamentals of development cooperation.

More needs to be done to ensure traditional ODA effectiveness and responsiveness of all actors to new challenges, and to provide a local enabling environment. The variety of approaches and lessons from different actors on how development cooperation can be delivered in an effective, coherent and accountable way and better respond to changing development needs are key inputs to the design and implementation of a post-2015 development agenda.

Global accountability for development cooperation is key to incentivize progress on all fronts

The promise of sustainable development results is the most powerful motivation for global accountability for development cooperation. To mobilize action and build positive pressure for change – to engage and to deliver on commitments – robust and inclusive monitoring and accountability activities for more and effective development cooperation must support the realization of the renewed, inter-governmentally agreed global partnership for development.

It is against this backdrop that delegates discussed the contours and features of a primary or basic global monitoring and accountability framework for development cooperation. Such a framework should engage all actors and enable them to contribute. It should link to existing national, regional and global efforts to track progress on development cooperation commitments – of a quantitative and a qualitative nature. The wealth of experience of the full breadth of development actors on how to deliver can provide critical lessons for its design.

The 2014 Development Cooperation Forum

The DCF Germany Symposium served as the final preparatory event for the 2014 Development Cooperation Forum. The 2014 DCF will provide an opportunity to advance the global dialogue on the future of development cooperation in the post-2015 agenda. It will also contribute to develop policy recommendations on a range of issues, among them: aid quantity and quality and the changing role of official development assistance (ODA), the engagement of the diversity of development cooperation actors and its implications at the country level, South-South cooperation, functioning of a renewed global partnership for development, mutual accountability and transparency, and global monitoring and accountability for development cooperation.

For more information:

Development Cooperation Forum

Accountable and effective development cooperation in a post-2015 era

Third Global Accountability Survey on Mutual Accountability


Open Working Group Co-Chairs determined to “get job done”

Field CoverageThe Open Working Group on sustainable development goals completed its twelfth session from 16 to 20 June and will now get ready for the next set of meetings. First up is the informal informals on 9-11 July, followed by five days of its last session taking place on 14-18 July.

At the Co-Chairs morning meeting with Major Groups and other Stakeholders on the first day of the session, the Co-Chairs stressed their determination to “get the job done”. They noted that there is a lot of competition for ideas, which poses challenges. But Ambassador Macharia Kamau, one of the Co-Chairs, also said that “we are determined to make everyone as happy as we can.”

The Group completed its first consideration of the zero draft of the sustainable development goals prepared by the Co-Chairs, which contained 17 goals and 212 targets. Member States universally found the zero draft to be a good basis for their work.

The Co-Chairs said they would provide the Open Working Group with a “tweaked” zero draft, which would involve streamlining the targets to reach a manageable number. They expected to be able to share the document by Monday, 30 June.

There are only eight remaining working days to finalize the report and reach agreement on the goals, including 3 days of informal informals on 9-11 July and 5 days of the last sessions of the OWG on 14-18 July.

For more information:

Thirteenth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Advancing cooperation on international tax matters

taxmattersOn 5 June, ECOSOC held a one-day meeting to consider international cooperation in tax matters, including its contribution to mobilizing domestic financial resources for development and the institutional arrangements to promote such cooperation.

A substantial number of 30 representatives from national tax authorities and ministries of finance, representing 27 countries[1], including 19 developing countries, participated in the meeting. The meeting was also attended by 13 members of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (the Committee) and numerous representatives of international and regional organizations, academia, civil society, and the private sector.

During a short opening session, the Chair of the Committee briefed ECOSOC on the outcome of the 9th session of the Committee (Geneva, 21-25 October 2013). It was followed by a brief oral report by the Secretariat on further progress achieved in strengthening the work of the Committee and its cooperation with concerned multilateral bodies and relevant regional and sub-regional organizations, which focused on the follow-up activities of the Committee, as well as progress in developing and implementing the UN capacity development programme on international tax cooperation.

Subsequently, the meeting featured a panel discussion on “Current issues on the agenda of international organizations” with the participation of major international organizations active in the tax area, such as the IMF, OECD and the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT). The discussion revealed that there already was great progress in cooperation between various organizations involved in the area of international taxation and demonstrated that all the organizations were keen on further enhancing their mutual cooperation despite different memberships and mandates.

The afternoon session began with an interactive discussion on “Current issues in domestic resource mobilization for development: Base erosion and profit shifting”, which featured briefings on several initiatives undertaken at the international level to address these areas of concern, including the work of the UN Subcommittee on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Issues for Developing Countries, the OECD Project on BEPS, as well as the UN capacity development project on tax base protection for developing countries. It was followed by a presentation by a representative of tax authority of Thailand on how base erosion and profit shifting issues affected her country.

The last panel discussion focused on “Extractive industries taxation issues for developing countries”. It included two presentations of country experiences and lessons learned, namely by Chile and Norway, followed by an overview of work undertaken in this area by the IMF, as well as the UN Subcommittee on Extractive Industries Taxation Issues.

The meeting served its main purpose of facilitating an inclusive and broad-based dialogue on international tax cooperation with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including representatives of national tax authorities. It succeeded in bringing to the forefront the key issues of concern to developing countries and discussing them in the context of financing for sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda.

[1] Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Senegal (2), Serbia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey (2), Turkmenistan, Uruguay, United States, Zambia (2), Zimbabwe.

For more information:

Special Meeting of ECOSOC on International Cooperation in Tax Matters