Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Opening statement
DCF Germany High-Level Symposium
Accountable and effective development cooperation in a post-2015 era

State Secretary Fuchtel,
Ambassador Sajdik,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to have all of you here in Berlin. This is a great, historical city. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Government of Germany and to our wonderful hosts

We meet at a time of fundamental re-orientation of global development efforts. The intrinsic linkage between poverty reduction and sustainable development must guide the design of a post-2015 development agenda that is both unified and universal. Putting such a transformative agenda into place requires robust monitoring and accountability.

The global partnership for development will need to be further strengthened, in order to mobilize effective international support for implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. How can it be made fit for the purpose of mobilizing, monitoring, reviewing and incentivizing the needed action?

The DCF is contributing to these post-2015 discussions. It is focusing on development cooperation – and related commitments – as an integral part of a renewed global partnership for development. 

You are all part of the vibrant community, which has kept the momentum towards more – and more effective – development cooperation, even in times of fiscal constraint and waning domestic support. You continue to sound a call for greater impact and sustainability of results. We have an obligation and a fresh opportunity to ensure that existing and new promises are translated into real development outcomes.

I would like to make three observations to guide our discussions, if I may.

First, effectiveness issues need to be addressed through a more frank debate. International support is not geared adequately towards addressing the greatest needs, in an integrated manner. Nor is it aligned well enough to national development efforts. At the same time, progress of developing countries on their development cooperation commitments, such as strengthening country systems, is also slow. The aid effectiveness process has made contributions to advance discussions on these issues.

As we prepare for an inclusive post-2015 development agenda, we need to do more to get the focus right on all issues related to effective development cooperation. These include aspects of ODA effectiveness and their poverty impact, especially globally-agreed issues covered in the Financing for Development process. These issues need to come to center-stage in the dialogue on development cooperation, and its progress reviews, especially at the United Nations. 

Second, global policy dialogue on development cooperation needs to be more inspired by the realities on the ground. This is especially true in a redesign of the global partnership for development. Just consider how fast-paced, multi-polar and multi-stakeholder the nature of development cooperation has become, at country and local levels.

It is critical to explore more systematically the respective strengths of all development partners, including that of Southern partners, the private sector and civil society. These partners are much more part of development cooperation on the ground than at the global level.

Acknowledging this can help in breaking the silos. Yet, greater convergence needs to be carefully crafted. It must take into account global lessons on coherence and coordination, and the different histories and rationales for engagement.

The aim is not a one-size-fits-all architecture for development cooperation and its monitoring. It is to allow the diverse group of actors and approaches to flourish side by side and to lead to partnerships in line with agreed global commitments.

Third, monitoring and accountability are fundamental building blocks for implementation. This is particularly true for development cooperation and the engagement of all actors. This point builds on the outcomes from the DCF Symposiums in Ethiopia and Switzerland earlier in the 2012-2014 DCF cycle. And it constitutes a primary reason for this Symposium.

I would like to share some features of an inclusive global architecture for monitoring and accountability of development cooperation, including the successor arrangements for MDG-8. This would be simple in design and fulfills four conditions:

  1. It would provide adequate policy space and flexibility for all actors to engage in sharing knowledge and progress on specific commitments. They would be encouraged to make progress on quantity and quality related commitments. It would have strong and independent brokers that capture the essence of efforts by all actors and mirror their results, to identify gaps, synergies and redundancies.

  2. This architecture has to be an integral part of the monitoring and accountability of the broader post-2015 development agenda. This integration is important to make it a tool for greater policy coherence.

  3. It would need to incentivize Member States and other actors to further report on their progress and build on the evidence base from other global, regional, national and local efforts.

  4. It should promote accountability for commitments and results in a way that does not overburden already stretched development cooperation teams on the ground. This requires major investments and use of technology and the called for data revolution.


As Ambassador Sajdik just mentioned, your deliberations will inform the 2014 DCF, as well as ongoing preparations for the post-2015 development agenda, including the Open Working Group and the Expert Committee on Financing.

I urge you to use this space to make it a stepping stone in the design of a renewed global partnership for development, building on our common vision for the future of development cooperation.

Germany will continue to play an important role in supporting not only development cooperation but also multilateralism and its efforts are greatly appreciated by the international community.

I wish you successful deliberations.