The United Nations deputy chief today stressed the importance of partnerships and coherent policy and action in tackling global challenges, including inequalities, conflicts, terrorism and climate change, and achieving the new international development goals.
“International development cooperation is based on the recognition that we cannot survive or overcome these global challenges in isolation,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the fifth biennial high-level meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum, a function mandated by the 2005 UN World Summit to review the latest international development cooperation trends, and encourage coordination across diverse actors and activities.
He noted that historic agreements had been made in 2015: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on development financing; the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Together, they form an action plan for people, planet, peace, prosperity and partnership,” he said, stressing the need for new thinking and concrete action at the local, national, regional and international levels to implement these agreements, which also require better coordination and collaboration between countries and regions.
The first goal of development cooperation must be to protect the poorest and the most vulnerable from the problems that arise when conflicts rage, natural disasters strike, markets fail and when they get left behind in the path of progress, he said.
He said that the poorest and the most vulnerable should benefit from the diversification of development finance sources, which include private direct investment, remittances from migrants, funding from philanthropic organizations, and official development assistance (ODA).
Mr. Eliasson also stressed the importance of creating partnerships in all areas of development, ranging from mobilization of financial and non-financial resources to technical cooperation and innovation, to South-South and triangular cooperation, and to strengthened regional integration.
The UN development system has a key role in nurturing these vital partnerships, he said.
Development cooperation should also promote coherence among different development agendas and activities, so that effective support will be provided to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, he said. For example, donor countries have spent record amounts in recent years on humanitarian aid and on supporting refugees, but such spending should not come at the expense of long-term investment for sustainable development.
Development cooperation has “a great potential to be a catalyst” for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, he said, adding this Forum, which opened today and ends tomorrow, is an opportunity to pinpoint critical progress and areas for new or intensified efforts.