Panel Discussion: Statement by Ambassador Thoms on “Accountable and effective development cooperation in a Post-2015 Era”
(as prepared for delivery:)
"Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Wu Hongbo,
ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, thank you for letting me present some impressions as well as key findings of the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum’s High-Level Symposium in Germany.
In this context, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) for the very fruitful cooperation and innovative spirit in organizing this event together with Germany.
The Germany High-level symposium built on the proceeding Symposia in Ethiopia and Switzerland in 2013. It provided an opportunity for a range of actors to explore on how to best mainstream the principles of accountability and effectiveness in development cooperation in a Post-2015 Agenda, with a focus on both, poverty eradication and sustainable development.
Over 170 participants from around 60 nations from developing, emerging and developed countries, among them several distinguished Ministers, engaged in the discussions. Representatives came from national and local governments, implementing agencies, parliaments, civil society, international organizations as well as the academia. During the two days of the symposium participants presented lessons learned from the still ongoing Millennium Development process, discussing among others best practice examples. The sessions of the symposium touched on challenges related to the overall question on how the underlying principles of transparency, effectiveness, accountability can be better featured in the new global partnership - in a more inclusive way. A common understanding of the key contours of a global accountability architecture, opportunities as well as challenges ahead in the development of a Post-2015 Agenda have been in the center of the discussions.
Let me briefly present relevant topics of the symposium.
o It became clear that in the process of shaping goals and targets also the relevant principles regarding the best ways of implementation have to be considered. Impact orientation, effectiveness principles have to be taken into account in the design of a Post-2015 Agenda.
o There was consensus on the relevance of monitoring and accountability as most relevant tools in order to provide evidence to better understand results of development cooperation and in order to provide guidance for redefining options for cooperation.
o Monitoring and accountability should not only focus on quantitative dimensions and outputs but also on quality issues and impact.
o However, it also became clear that there is still a very steep path ahead in further defining the key questions on how to implement these principles. The various views, priorities and capacities of the different actors involved at the national, regional and global level have to be taken into account. The variety of actors is a strength that must underpin the new global partnership. Therefore the role of each stakeholder group must be clearer defined.
o A Post-2015 accountability architecture has to link local, national, regional and global levels, in order to ensure that global targets and related action reflect people’s needs putting a focus on the vulnerable and neediest ones, also meaning to leave no one behind.
o And – one of the most important challenges – we have to ensure that monitoring, reporting, accountability processes induce mutual learning and necessary policy and institutional changes. Many participants therefore referred to the relevance of dynamic management processes
This requires transparency, participation, inclusiveness and a continuous dialogue among all stakeholders.
And it requires quality data systems. Information does not only need to be available but also accessible. It needs at the same time be simple, comprehensive but also understandable to citizens. To ensure this, stakeholders should further engage in supporting and providing data to the transparency initiatives agreed on in Busan, and in strengthening important capacities.
Ladies and gentlemen, what are the next steps? The findings of the symposium will serve as a key preparatory for the 2014 DCF High Level Meeting and will also inform the First High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership on Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) that will take place April 15 and 16.
Germany will do everything possible to promote this spirit in the process of designing but also implementing the new universal agenda to be decided on in September 2015.
It is important to interlink the ongoing discussions and different works on Post-2015 with each other in order to avoid duplication and to use synergies. In this context the UN DCF United Nations can play a relevant role as multi stakeholder dialogue platform in fostering an ongoing open dialogue and mutual learning among governmental and no-governmental actors. Its finding and insight constitute a useful input in the design process of a new global partnership.
Germany strongly encourages the UN DCF and the Busan Glogal Partnerhsip for Development Cooperation to strengthen links and to further identify options for common initiatives, but also identifying complementarities.
The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals will submit its report with concrete proposals on goals and targets to the UN General Assembly this fall. In the further discussions and for the implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda for sustainable development the German government sees the need for a new global partnership to induce a paradigm shift so that we all together shall be able to deliver joint answers and action to the challenges we face.
Thank you for your attention and your participation in today’s meeting!"