Helen Clark: Speech at the Opening of the First High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation

15 Apr 2014

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
Speech at the Opening of the
First High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation,
Mexico City, Mexico

I thank our Mexican hosts for organizing this first High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation. I also thank the Co-Chairs of the Partnership, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom, for skillfully steering the Global Partnership from Busan to Mexico.  It has been a privilege for UNDP to work with you, serve on the Steering Committee, and work alongside the OECD in the joint secretariat for the Partnership.

This year´s progress report on the Global Partnership suggests that longstanding efforts to change the way development co-operation is delivered are paying off in lifting the quality of aid delivery.  More, however, needs to be done to transform co-operation practices, ensure country ownership and use of national systems, and ensure transparency and accountability among partners.

Inclusiveness was at the core of the Busan agreement, and there does appear to be more recognition in many circles of the role of non-state development actors.  At UNDP we will always advocate for the full inclusion of civil society as independent development actors.

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, total ODA fell for two successive years.  It has been a major boost therefore to see it rise again last year, although it is of concern to see the proportion dedicated to Africa decline.  Meeting existing commitments on the level and quality of ODA must remain a priority.

An ambitious new sustainable development agenda is in the making for beyond 2015.  Critical to its implementation will be both the quantity and the quality of ODA.  In this respect, the Global Partnership can play a vital role in advocating for meeting ODA commitments, promoting best practices, forming new alliances for development, and strengthening mutual accountability.

A breakthrough at Busan was to place ODA in the broader context of development co-operation – a context which includes trade, investment, domestic resource mobilization, remittances, and climate finance.  

In the new development architecture, the role of South-South and triangular co-operation, civil society organizations, the private sector, and major foundations will continue to grow.  This proliferation of actors brings opportunities, but only if it can be navigated.  It is important to support building the capacity of the poorest countries and communities to access those opportunities.  

This reminds us of the catalytic role ODA can play in supporting the development of national institutions and capacities to leverage all available sources of development finance to reach national development objectives and make progress on internationally agreed development goals.

This can be the generation which eradicates poverty and turns the tide on inequalities, citizen insecurity, and climate change and other forms of environmental degradation.  Achieving those objectives needs the inclusive approaches to which the Global Partnership has committed.  The more effective this partnership is, the greater the progress the world will make on an ambitious post-2015 agenda.  That is why what happens in these discussions in Mexico City matters.