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

Opening remarks
Meeting of DCF Advisory Group with members of the Steering Committee of
the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you!

We have just held the biennial meeting of the Friends of the DCF. You have witnessed, first hand, the thriving, multi-stakeholder engagement of development actors in the future of the DCF.

I am encouraged to see how the buy-in, by all actors, has increased even further in the last two years. I am particularly heartened by your presence and engagement.

Allow me to welcome the new members of the Steering Committee, appointed after the Mexico Meeting. I would also like to congratulate the new co-Chairs. I look forward to working with you and your teams.

As a group, you held your first Steering Committee earlier today, back-to-back with the DCF. Let us make the most of this opportunity to delve deeper together into the planning process for the DCF and the GPEDC.

As a backdrop, I would like to brief you first on the plans we have for the 2014 to 2016 cycle of the Development Cooperation Forum. I will then invite our distinguished representatives here of the Co-Chairs to do the same for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. Based on these initial roadmaps, we will then discuss possible areas of collaboration and synergies and begin to identify concrete action points for follow-up in the short, medium and long run.

In the 2014 to 2016 cycle, the DCF will continue to take up some of the most challenging issues on the international development cooperation agenda. The 2016 High-level Forum will examine the implications – for development cooperation – of the agreed post-2015 development agenda and the outcome of the 2015 Financing for Development conference. Based on this assessment, the Forum will make concrete policy recommendations for development actors, in all countries, and across the board of economic, social and environmental policies.

“FFD 3” will provide an opportunity to crystallize the financing piece of the development agenda and a renewed global partnership for development. Let us work together to ensure that, through the DCF, common, coherent and strong messages are reflected, in the conference negotiations and outcome. This should be a primary objective for the first part of the 2014-16 DCF cycle.

We will develop a draft strategy for the next cycle based on the discussions at today’s Friends meeting, our exchange here and the deliberations in the Forum and discussions in the side events over the coming two days. The draft strategy will be reviewed by the DCF Advisory Group, through a few rounds of consultations via email, and then finalized in October or November 2014.

The core objective of the strategy will be to stimulate evidence- based and inclusive global policy dialogue that supports Member States and other stakeholders in translating the universal and unified agenda into action on the ground – and real development results. What are the concrete challenges? What are the unanswered questions? What are the lessons and opportunities we need to share? We will look across all countries, and across all sectors. We will focus on integrated, nimble and effective processes that show value for money, capacitate governments and provide incentives for positive behaviour change.

Throughout, the Forum will continue to advance a common understanding of the future of development cooperation, as part of a renewed global partnership for development, agreed by all Member States and engaging all stakeholders in its design and ongoing implementation and evolution. This will also further strengthen the role of ECOSOC as cutting edge policy platform, attracting still more development actors, from Finance and Planning portfolios in particular, with a clear and productive division of labour vis-à-vis the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development.

The strategy will need to build on what has determined the Forum’s success so far. The three overarching focus areas of the current cycle – the future of development cooperation, global accountability, and South-South cooperation – have strong positive resonance with all stakeholders. They will remain of central importance for the implementation of a post-2015 development agenda and the Financing for Development process.

In the next cycle, a major effort will be needed to further unpack and advance these three work streams. The future of ODA as part of the post-2015 financing mix will have an implication on all work streams, and the role that the DCF will take, also vis-à-vis the Financing for Development process.

The United Kingdom graciously supports an ambitious project we developed this spring to help us do this. The project will start with scoping studies in late summer, followed by a number of analytical pieces, workshops and outreach later on in 2014 and early 2015.

Many of the Steering Committee members are also members of the DCF Advisory Group. So we have a built-in structure to ensure synergies between the DCF and GPEDC. We can make sure, from the outset, that the DCF strategy is focused and cognizant of the work of the GPEDC and other processes.

As indicated in the concept note for today’s meeting, I would like to propose that we discuss setting up a small and informal, issue-based working group, comprised of members of both groups, to devise an action plan on strengthening synergies between the two processes. The action plan should be completed by late September 2014, to provide a key input to the DCF strategy for the next cycle.

The action plan could incorporate further follow-up on the five action items we agreed on in Ethiopia: (i) coordinate the planning of meetings; (ii) share technical analysis; (iii) explore opportunities for joint analysis; (iv) mutual engagement in ministerial meetings; and (v) frequent exchange between the two secretariat. We could focus our discussion today on the substantive areas that both platforms will emphasize, in the run up to 2016 DCF.

First, let me invite our distinguished representatives from the Government of Mexico and Government of Netherlands to share the vision of the Steering Committee for the GPEDC for the next two years. Kindly also indicate how the GPEDC could best contribute to the work of the DCF in its 2014-2016 cycle.

Mr. Juan Manuel Valle Pereña, Executive Director, Mexican Agency for Development Cooperation, Mexico will briefly highlight the outcomes of the Mexico high-level meeting. Mr. Christiaan Rebergen Vice-Minister and Deputy Director General International Cooperation, Netherlands, will highlight next steps for the GPEDC.