In Brussels today, the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Oh Joon, emphasized that its forum that reviews the latest international development cooperation trends has an important role to play in advancing the new global development agenda.
Wrapping up the High-level Symposium of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), he reiterated that the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentis a responsibility of all.
“Development cooperation plays a more prominent role in translating these aspirations into reality, by better aligning the goals, resources, capacities, and incentives of governments,” he said, noting that 2030 Agenda's goals can only be achieved by unlocking the potential of all stakeholders.
“Policy innovations grow out of exchange of views that are not necessarily sanitized for political correctness,” stated Mr. Oh, stressing that the DCF can contribute to context-specific and vulnerability-sensitive development cooperation policies and actions.
The DCF provides the flexibility for free, innovative and transformative discussions, and there is a need to ensure that other forums, such as the High-Level Political Forum and ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, fully take into account the outcomes of the DCF.
“The UN development system must be upgraded to be more resilient and united, and the whole system must be upgraded to become more effective, efficient, resilient and united,” he said.
The three-day conference focused on the theme 'Rethinking development cooperation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): country-level perspectives and lessons.' During the various sessions, the participants discussed how to make development cooperation a better fit for achieving the SDGs, and how to adapt development cooperation institutions in all countries to the 2030 Agenda.
Discussions centred around country-level experiences, including the role of development cooperation in areas such as strengthening domestic resource mobilization, responding to climate change challenges, and supporting policy coherence for sustainable development. Citizen leadership and the key role of women and local authorities were emphasized throughout.
Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries asked for good coordination mechanisms both within the UN and on the national levels. When it comes to the least developed countries, Mr. Acharya, who is also High Representative for the Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, stressed the importance of official development assistance (ODA) to help least developed countries close the gap, in order to allow them to move towards economic growth.
He also emphasized that climate change will put a big burden on those countries as “when it comes to climate change, the event is similar all over the planet, but the impact is not.”
In his closing remarks, Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, whose Department co-organized the event with Belgium, stated: “We must have the courage to look for new forms of development cooperation, find smarter and more flexible ways to carry it out, and keep a constant focus on knowledge sharing and mutual learning.”