OECD Secretary-General

Smarter partnerships for development


Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General

New York, 20 September 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for giving me the floor to close a rich and stimulating discussion.

In a changing and complex development community, the OECD is working with the full range of partners to catalyse political will and support the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Our experience testifies to the importance of building a new paradigm for aid as a global partnership for development. This is the essence of MDG8 and it can be the main driver of progress towards achieving the MDGs by 2015.

Partnerships matter for development

In the current economic climate, partnerships for development matter even more. Smarter partnerships can leverage the maximum out of aid and deliver more than the sum of every partner’s input.

To maximize the impact of all partners’ inputs, we need to build on synergies and rely on inclusive partnerships. What we call the “new” OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is a group of donors committed to including all key development stakeholders and providing a broad platform for sharing good practice and lessons. It is critical to build real, effective and equal partnerships with representatives from developing and wealthy partner countries. In spite of progress, we need to step up our efforts to empower women. This is the only way for all stakeholders to shape decision-making for development.

We also need to share knowledge and keep up peer pressure. For example, the donor countries of the OECD DAC exchange experience, and review each other’s financial commitments and best practices in delivering aid. Open discussions on what works and what doesn’t, based on evidence and good practice, are yielding important results in formulating better policies and actions in OECD and DAC member countries.

We, donor and developing countries, need to be mutually responsible for commitments. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (2008) set the framework for a global partnership for more effective development. The commitments set out in these documents are actively and mutually monitored by donors and partner countries to encourage behavioural change and improve aid practices.

OECD is committed to partnerships for development

The objective of the OECD is to promote a stronger, cleaner and fairer world economy. We do this including by fostering and hosting international partnerships for development. The OECD and the DAC host the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness. As you heard from its Co-Chair, Mr Talaat Abdel-Malek this morning, what started out in 2003 as a small donor-only grouping has evolved into a joint donor/developing country partnership, including participants from civil society, global programmes, the private sector, and parliaments.

The OECD is also the home of an Informal Taskforce on Tax and Development. This recently-established initiative brings together business, civil society, developing countries and OECD countries to explore ways of strengthening tax systems. The Taskforce also aims to build capacity to ensure that: developing countries can tax multinational enterprises fairly, implement information exchange agreements with tax havens, and evaluate reporting requirements for multinational enterprises.

We also host the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. Since 2008, under the joint leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo and France, developing partners and donor countries engage in establishing objectives for peacebuilding and statebuilding in countries affected by conflict and fragility. As you heard from Minister Pires, the Dialogue is rapidly improving understanding about what works and what doesn’t work in these situations.

Finally, we assist developing countries to design, implement, and monitor National Strategies for the Development of Statistics. We do this in the framework of PARIS21, a dynamic international consortium of countries, organisations, agencies and individuals who are interested and involved in the production and use of statistics to support development.

Our work shows that innovative and “smart” international partnerships can leverage the maximum out of aid and the impact of every partner’s input.

Since 2000 the OECD has played a key role in tracking progress on the MDGs. The OECD DAC was a founding member of the Expert Group that tested and refined the MDG Indicators. It has contributed to the UN’s annual MDG progress reports and – more recently – the “Gap” reports on MDG 8. A central part of this work has been to supply statistics and commentary on aid flows.

The OECD will take forward its MDG monitoring work on financial commitments, extend its support for global partnerships for development, and intensify action in strategic areas of development policy and action. Working at the global level, the OECD benefits from strong links with the United Nations, the World Bank, and regional institutions and processes.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let me conclude by acknowledging another partnership. Please join me in thanking Egypt and UNITAR for their co-operation in convening this event.

I am confident that together we will succeed in defining a manifesto, which will inspire and lead our work towards achieving an effective global partnership for development.
Thank you.


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