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

Fourth Biennial Development Cooperation Forum of ECOSOC
“Development cooperation for a transformative post-2015 development agenda”

Your Excellency, Mr. Martin Sajdik, President of the Economic and Social Council,
Professor Robert Chambers, Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex,
Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honour to introduce the report of the Secretary-General to the 2014 Development Cooperation Forum.

We meet at a time of fundamental re-orientation of global development efforts. Development cooperation must also be reoriented to meet the evolving development challenges and terrain.

Official development assistance (ODA) continues to be a critical source of development finance now and post 2015.

ODA rebounded in 2013 and reached US$134.8 billion – its highest-ever level after two years of falling volumes. This represents 0.30 per cent of the combined gross national income of Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors. Five donors met the target of 0.7 percent.

The share of ODA flows to least developed countries has been decreasing in recent years. In 2012, ODA to least developed countries stood at 0.09 per cent of the gross national income of DAC donors, as compared to the United Nations target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent.

Efforts to improve aid effectiveness are ongoing. Sector-wide and programme-based approaches have shown good results. Conditions attached to ODA delivery remain too numerous and detailed in some cases.

Achieving the unfinished MDGs and implementing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda require a mix of sources of development finance – public and private, international and domestic resources.

Development finance beyond ODA needs to be better tapped. But, it comes with challenges.

Low-income countries continue to face significant difficulties in raising public revenues, which account for only 10-14 percent of their GDP. Innovative development financing mechanisms have raised a modest amount of resources. Yet, if successfully implemented, they could generate significant long-term predictable funding. FDI remains the largest external source of private financing in developing countries. But, effective public policies are needed to ensure it benefits strategic sectors..  

South-South cooperation is estimated by UNDESA at between $16.1 billion and $19 billion in 2011 and is foreseen to grow as a proportion of global development cooperation. South-South cooperation continues to demonstrate its strength. Yet, it can only complement North-South cooperation and should not be expected to substitute it.

With persisting resource constraints, effective use of resources must come to the centre stage. For example, ODA can be better targeted than other sources to help ensure inclusive access to public services, leverage other sources of development finance and improve the targeting of private flows.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The report of the Secretary-General gathered a wealth of perspectives from multi-stakeholders that contributed to the two-year preparatory process.

There were repeated calls for meeting the UN’s 0.7 per cent ODA to GNI target. Even if past ODA commitments were met, these resources alone would still fall far short of what will be needed to support implementation of the global development agenda. But, far beyond its financial value, meeting ODA commitments would boost the confidence and trust of other development actors to engage in a renewed global partnership for development.

The role of development cooperation varies for countries at different development stages. Development cooperation should be more flexible and take into consideration country needs and specific priorities. Providing incentives for the diverse set of actors – including also the private sector – will be critical to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

A renewed global partnership for development should be agreed intergovernmentally and engage the full range of development partners.

The renewed global partnership should focus on eradicating poverty and putting the world on a more sustainable development path. It should bring together the Monterrey track on Financing for Development and the Rio track on financing for sustainable development and means of implementation, taking the Monterrey Consensus as a starting point.

Effective monitoring and accountability, mutual learning and trust must be key features of the renewed partnership.

Parliamentarians are essential to provide checks and balances and to ensure engagement of citizens and scrutiny of the private sector. The existing global network of supreme audit institutions could be activated to support the monitoring of effective development financing.

The DCF is well placed for further discussions on a renewed global partnership and the future of development cooperation. 

I wish the Forum a great success.

Thank you.