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UN development cooperation forum to address poverty reduction and sustainability

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council.
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council.

UN development cooperation forum to address poverty reduction and sustainability

A United Nations development cooperation forum kicked off today with a focus on making advances in poverty reduction and sustainable development through partnerships among countries, civil society organizations and the private sector.

“Only through collaboration, coherence and partnership will we achieve our development goals,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks to the forum in New York this morning.

The two-day 2012 Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), organized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), brings together policymakers, civil society organizations, parliamentarians, local authorities and foundations to review development cooperation trends, and debate ways to improve the quality and effectiveness of such cooperation and to increase its impact on development goals.

Participants will also address issues including the allocation of development finance, South-South cooperation and building of new partnerships.

“The world economy is precarious, and the risk of further recession remains. I am concerned about already high food and energy prices, which add a burden on the already vulnerable,” Mr. Ban said, adding, “We have made significant progress in reducing extreme poverty, but we have much work to do to eliminate these harsh conditions and disparities.”

The Secretary-General also outlined five areas of improvement that countries should address during the forum. These consist of: accelerating efforts to achieve the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), providing development assistance to the countries that need it the most, lifting the burden of aid conditionality, improving accountability and transparency, and building on commitments made on sustainability.

“The Third Development Cooperation Forum is a unique platform to identify best practices and lay the ground for improved policy coherence and coordination, “Mr. Ban said. “Together we must deliver development assistance that is more effective and pro-poor.”

In his remarks to the meeting, the President of ECOSOC, Milos Koterec, underlined the importance of the DCF’s contribution to creating a coherent and integrate post-2015 development framework, in which development cooperation serves to further sustainable development goals.

“We all need to join forces to achieve poverty reduction and respond to the rapidly evolving development landscape,” Mr. Koterec said. “The growing importance of different development actors demands that we gain better understanding of their respective contributions and how we can build stronger, more balanced partnerships.”

“Let us take this opportunity and develop innovative solutions to both long-standing and emerging challenges in development cooperation,” he added.

At the end of the 2012 DCF, Mr. Koterec will prepare a summary which will be disseminated to decision-makers and practitioners in development cooperation.

A founding UN Charter body, ECOSOC is the venue where issues concerning the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges are discussed and debated, and policy recommendations made. The DCF is part of ECOSOC’s high-level segment, in which more than 500 delegates meet to discuss issues such as productive capacity, development cooperation and the creation of decent, sustainable work. The segment ends on Monday.