41st Meeting of ECOSOC 2016 High-level Segment on Sustainable Development - Panel 3

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SIX OFFICIAL 21-Jul-2016 01:23:59
Fresh thinking, better coordination and concrete action are critical to delivering on 2030 agenda, speakers say, as Development Cooperation Forum begins its 2016 Session at the 41st ECOSOC meeting.
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Road ahead ‘undoubtedly complex’, keynote speaker cautions, as Deputy Secretary-General applauds strong foundation built on 2015 Accords.

Effective development cooperation — marked by fresh thinking, better coordination and concrete action — would be critical to making good on the unprecedented opportunities presented by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, speakers said today, as the Development Cooperation Forum opened its fifth biennial high-level meeting.

In the course of several interactive discussions held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, the Forum heard from a range of Government ministers, heads of United Nations agencies and civil society leaders. Among other subjects, they considered the role of various types of development financing and the interlinkages between the 2030 Agenda and other international agreements signed in 2015.

“The road ahead is undoubtedly complex,” said Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as she delivered a keynote address. She emphasized nevertheless that development cooperation providers must recognize the unprecedented chance they now had to shape a more equitable world. Noting that not all current ways of working would prove effective in implementing the 2030 Agenda, and that many mechanisms would need to be reformed or refreshed, she stressed that human rights and gender equality must underpin implementation of both the 2030 Agenda and the recently signed Paris Agreement on climate change. Indeed, climate change solutions offered opportunities to help eradicate poverty, she added.

Also addressing the Forum, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson commended Member States for having built a strong foundation for future development cooperation through the host of international agreements signed in 2015. In particular, the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement — as well as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Development Financing — demanded new thinking and concrete actions that would permeate all levels of society.

Spotlighting the Forum’s critical role in reshaping global development cooperation, Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), President of the Economic and Social Council, said the body provided opportunities for partners to engage against the backdrop of an increasingly complex and volatile global landscape. Among other things, the Forum would bring a distinct development cooperation perspective to such issues as South-South cooperation, blended finance and technology transfer, he said.

Wang Bingnan, China’s Assistant Minister for Commerce, agreed that the recent international agreements would chart the course for the future of development cooperation. While some strides had been made, however, development remained a strenuous task for many countries still plagued by poverty, he said, noting that the 2030 Agenda provided a fresh opportunity to find a new path.

Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, said the 2030 Agenda marked a new culture of shared responsibility and partnership. Concerning financing, he pointed out that official spending on development was just one contribution among many, adding that private finance must be encouraged. Mobilizing domestic resources would be critical, he said, also emphasizing the necessity of fair consumption and production. Tax evasion and money-laundering must be addressed, and environmental, labour and social standards implemented along the global supply chain.

Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, presented the Secretary-General’s report on trends and progress in international development cooperation (document E/2016/65). He said one overarching theme emerging from it was the importance and potential of development cooperation as a lever for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda. He listed a number of recommendations relating to the fulfilment of development cooperation commitments, including the building of partnerships and the importance of robust national monitoring and review mechanisms.

Throughout the day, the Forum held three interactive sessions, the first on “Supporting national efforts to achieve the full ambition of the 2030 Agenda, leaving no one behind”. The theme for the second was “Aligning development cooperation to contribute to the different aspects of the 2030 Agenda”, and the third was titled “Southern partners advancing mutual learning and envisioning the contribution of South-South Cooperation for sustainable development”. The Forum also held a panel discussion on “Infrastructure for sustainable development for all”.

The High-Level Political Forum will reconvene at 9 a.m. on Friday, 22 July, to conclude its high-level segment.
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