The Future Measurement and Monitoring Framework for Development Finance in support of the 2030 Agenda - Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD)

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to open this important high-level event. On behalf of Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and my colleagues in DESA, I extend a warm welcome to all participants.

Please allow me to highlight the objectives of today’s discussion.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda calls for open, inclusive and transparent discussions on the modernization of the ODA measurement and on the proposed measure of “Total Official Support for Sustainable Development” (TOSSD). It affirmed that any such measure should not dilute commitments already made.

In line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, I believe TOSSD may serve to establish a common framework at the international level around which existing – as well as new and emerging providers – can collaborate. It has the potential to allow developing countries to better understand the development finance landscape.

The High Level Political Forum and the Development Cooperation Forum provide important platforms for advancing discussion on TOSSD.

Earlier this week, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development held a technical discussion on the TOSSD Compendium developed by OECD. Discussants and participants welcomed the proposal, and acknowledged the potential improvement that the new measure can bring about. Particularly, the new measure could be more inclusive and broadly motivated.

The traditional measurement of Official Development Assistance relies on three main characteristics, namely: official, concessional, and developmental characteristics. TOSSD may include to some extent non-official and non-concessional assistance, and go beyond economic development assistance. The Inter-Agency Task Force reflected on some of the concerns being raised about the definition of TOSSD, and the possible ramifications of broadening the definition of development finance.

At this stage, a number of technical issues related to the definition of TOSSD remain under consideration. These include, for instance, the definition of cross-border flows, the inclusion of humanitarian assistance and global public goods, and accounting for loans by multilateral development banks.

Several sessions and side events of the DCF are scheduled throughout the week to continue the deliberations on the scope, aims and features of the proposed measurement framework.

In this context, the OECD and the Committee for Development Policy organize this high-level panel discussion to further advance the discussion and exchange views.

In my view, the most important objective is that Member States and the international community have a similar understanding of critical issues related to the development of TOSSD.

For example:

o Why is a new measurement needed, rather than an improvement of the existing metrics?o How can the participation of emerging development partners and other stakeholders be operationalized?o What is the relationship between official public flows and private flows mobilized for development assistance?o How can the perspectives of both providers and recipients be reflected in the definition of sustainable development financing?

Today I invite participants to focus on two clear objectives:

First, I would like us to advance the understanding of a more comprehensive measure of sustainable development finance that underpins the catalytic effect of aid and supports the SDGs.

o How will the new metric be distinct from, and complementary to, traditional ODA?

Second, I would like us to identify avenues for broad-based consultation with all stakeholders to facilitate international consensus, so as to ensure that TOSSD will be able to support UN monitoring activities.

Developing countries and new providers must be involved in the discussions on any new framework for financing for development. The DCF may facilitate this. Moreover, to enhance the dialogue about this important aspect for the implementation of the SDGs, I encourage all to take advantage of the OECD’s request for comments on the TOSSD Compendium.

DESA is proud to provide support for this important event. I am confident that we will learn a lot from each other today.

I thank you for your attention.
File date: 
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Thomas Gass