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OECD Secretary-General

World Bank/IMF October 2016 meetings: Written statement for the Development Committee

 

Angel Gurría

OECD Secretary-General

Washington DC, 8 October 2016

 

 

New world, new ways of working

 

Shared prosperity and the fulfilment of our intergenerational responsibilities can only be achieved through collaborative efforts involving all countries and all stakeholders. No voice should be left unheard as we strive to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

 

Traditional approaches to development co-operation are not calibrated to meet the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or respond to complex trans‑border challenges such as climate change, rising inequality, slowing productivity, the refugee crisis, and the increasing diversity of development actors and development finance. Seen through the lens of the SDGs, all countries are developing, and all must ─ and can ─ make progress.

 

The OECD is committed to leveraging its multidisciplinary expertise and capacity to shape new approaches to development co-operation and help support the 2030 Agenda. Such support will be underpinned by our longstanding work on multilateral aid effectiveness, and our comprehensive data, analysis, tools, and experience. This includes the OECD Development Centre, Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Sahel and West Africa Club, Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Programme, Middle East and North Africa Initiative on Governance and Competitiveness for Development, Southeast Asia Regional Programme, and Eurasia Competitiveness Programme, among others.

 

Looking ahead, specific areas of OECD support include:

  • contributing to global measurement and follow-up efforts for the SDGs;
     
  • mobilising new resources for development and ensuring they are used efficiently;
     
  • supporting national development agendas through data and peer-to-peer dialogue;
     
  • building and maintaining partnerships with diverse actors and working together to shape better development solutions; and
     
  • contributing to a modern multilateral system.

 

OECD support for the 2030 Agenda

 

Contributing to global measurement and follow-up efforts for the SDGs

 

The OECD welcomes the strong global consensus in support of the 2030 Agenda. The 17 SDGs and 169 targets provide a vision for the world in which we aspire to live fifteen years from now.

 

In most of the areas covered by the SDGs, the OECD is already working with its Member and Partner countries to generate evidence, identify good practices, develop standards, and help design and implement policies. To further strengthen and give strategic direction to this work, we have developed an OECD Action Plan on the SDGs, which focuses on four key areas:

  • Applying an SDG lens to the OECD’s strategies and policy tools. Specific actions include: incorporating the SDGs into OECD Economic Surveys and Multidimensional Country Reviews; progressively integrating the SDG framework into OECD reviews of agricultural policies, labour markets, social policy, open government reforms, gender equality, education, environmental performance, health, and development co-operation; deepening efforts to support all countries implement the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project; strengthening work on responsible business conduct; and supporting countries as they scale up and enhance the impact of climate change adaptation finance.
     
  • Leveraging OECD data to help track progress in the implementation of the SDGs, including through its use in the UN-led Global Indicator Framework for the SDGs, and helping close data gaps by developing methodologies and capacities in support of the international SDG monitoring system.
     
  • Upgrading the OECD’s support for integrated planning and policy making at the country level, and providing a space for governments to share experiences on how best to address and achieve the SDGs.
     
  • Evaluating the implications of the SDG agenda for both the content and structure of the OECD’s work with non-Members, with other international organisations, and with non-state actors. The OECD’s relationship with the United Nations system should continue to strengthen: looking ahead, we will continue to engage with UN entities, fora and processes as we contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In all areas, we aim to maximise synergies and avoid duplication of effort across organisations.

 

We are also continuing our efforts to promote policy coherence, with a particular emphasis on sustainable development in line with SDG target 17.14. The 2016 edition of Better Policies for Sustainable Development introduces a “Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development Framework” to provide practical support to any government interested in adapting its institutional mechanisms, policymaking processes and practices to implement the SDGs in a coherent manner.

 

Mobilising new resources for development and ensuring they are used effectively

 

Achieving the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda ─ and positioning countries to implement their national development strategies ─ will require adequate and predictable financing. Aid is, and will remain, a critical resource of financing for the SDGs. It totalled an all-time high of USD 131.6 billion in 2015 ─ an increase of 6.9% over 2014. Efforts to target aid to the poorest countries are of paramount importance. More holistic and predictable financing for development strategies are also needed. This implies mobilising a broader package of resources including aid, taxes, foreign and domestic investments, remittances, and philanthropic funds. The OECD is helping in many of these areas.

  • Our updated Policy Framework for Investment (PFI), a comprehensive and systematic approach for improving investment conditions, is used by almost 30 countries at varying levels of development. The PFI looks at 12 different policy areas affecting investment ─ investment policy, investment promotion and facilitation, competition, trade, taxation, corporate governance, finance, infrastructure, developing human resources, policies to promote responsible business conduct and investment in support of green growth, and broader issues of public governance ─ and seeks to maximise the broader development impact of investment.
     
  • Through the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership, the OECD is helping to mobilise USD 100 billion in financing over five years for infrastructure projects in developing countries. The partnership targets private investment by improving and enhancing instruments to reduce potential risks.
     
  • We are also continuing to lead global efforts to combat tax evasion and tax avoidance and deliver a fairer and more transparent international tax system. The OECD-G20 BEPS project provides an international tax architecture fit for the 21st century. The project closes loopholes and mismatches in international tax rules to combat tax evasion and tax avoidance, estimated to represent forgone revenue of up to 240 billion US dollars per year. We are continuing to work on an Inclusive Framework for BEPS, involving all countries on an equal footing, to support consistent global implementation. More than 85 jurisdictions have already signed up for the Inclusive Framework. The G20 and the OECD have also collaborated to create the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, which has already led ─ even before the first automatic exchanges scheduled for September 2017 ─ to the identification of almost EUR 55 billion in additional revenue in different forms of ‘‘ voluntary’’ disclosures. Over 101 jurisdictions have committed to implement this Standard.

 

The OECD is also advancing key issues on development finance by collecting and reporting data, establishing statistical measurement frameworks, and analysing diverse development finance topics. In recent years, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) has approved reforms to its statistical systems to better capture, and therefore encourage, donor efforts to support development. These systems are holding DAC members to account, including in their commitment to reverse the declining trend of aid to countries most in need. The new Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) measurement framework will help to incentivise the catalytic use of aid and other development finance, and make it possible to build productive partnerships with the private sector for investing in the 2030 Agenda.

 

Supporting national development agendas

 

Improving well-being in developing countries requires policies tailored to specific national and regional contexts.The OECD assists countries to develop and implement their own policy solutions, through data and by facilitating peer-to-peer dialogue.

 

Our Multidimensional Country Reviews (MDCRs) help policymakers in emerging and developing countries identify national development objectives and prioritise their implementation, in line with the SDGs. MDCRs diagnose context-specific barriers to growth and development. By focusing on cross‑cutting issues, MDCRs consider the complementarities and trade-offs of different policy responses. They aim to reconcile economic, social and environmental objectives to help shape nationally-owned and implemented development strategies.

 

MDCRs are evolving to support countries prioritise the SDGs and identify actions to achieve these goals. To-date, the OECD has completed MDCRs with Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar, Peru, Kazakhstan and Uruguay. The OECD has recently joined forces with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to convene the international community, the private sector, and non‑governmental investors to share economic analyses (the OECD’s MDCRs and MCC’s Constraints Analyses) and identify potential partnerships and investment opportunities.  A first convening under the new MCC-OECD collaboration will be held on 8 October in Washington, DC with a focus on Cote D’Ivoire.

 

The OECD’s regional programmes – covering Latin America and the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia, and Southeast Europe, with ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships and initiatives with Sub-Saharan Africa ─ are supporting national and regional development agendas and facilitating the exchange of good practices within and across regions.Close engagement with our Key Partners ─ Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa ─ and our country programmes complement and reinforce our efforts to disseminate best practices through our regional work.

 

Leveraging partnerships for development

 

Responding to increasingly complex, fast evolving, and interconnected development challenges requires capabilities that no single actor possesses. The OECD’s convening power enables it to collaborate with both existing and new development actors and build multi-stakeholder partnerships to deliver more effective development solutions.

 

The OECD Development Centre is a special platform for knowledge-sharing and evidence-based policy dialogue where developing countries, emerging economies and OECD member countries interact on an equal footing. The inclusive nature of the Development Centre’s membership, coupled with its expertise, helps to find innovative policy solutions to pressing development challenges. Its Governing Board comprises 51 countries, 27 of which are OECD members, and 24 are developing and emerging economies.

 

In recognition of the growing diversity of international development actors, the Development Centre also hosts the Emerging Markets Network (EMnet). The network serves as a platform for dialogue and analysis of policy challenges, economic trends and business strategies between high-level officials, top executives from multinational corporations. and OECD experts. The Development Centre also hosts the Global Network of Foundations Working For Development (netFWD), which seeks to optimise the impact of philanthropy for development.

 

The OECD’s annual Multilateral Aid Report tracks finance to multilateral organisations and identifies how bilateral providers can help foster effective partnerships for development. The 2015 report found that DAC members allocated approximately 41% of their total gross ODA to multilateral organisations but that these organisations must "reinforce co-operation and information-sharing with others in order to reduce risks linked to increased competition, volatility of funding to developing countries and possible funding gaps."

 

The OECD and UNDP jointly provide a secretariat to the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, a unique multi-stakeholder forum tasked with developing, sharing experiences in and monitoring principles for good development co-operation. The Global Partnership will hold its Second High Level Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya from 28 November to 1 December 2016. Participants will consider a renewed mandate for the Partnership to re-galvanise collaboration by all actors in support of effective co-operation.

 

Finally, the OECD-hosted Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) supports its members in assessing the effectiveness of multilateral organisations that receive development and humanitarian funding. In 2017-18, MOPAN will assess 14 multilateral organisations to strengthen their contribution to development and humanitarian results.

 

Contributing to a modern multilateral system

 

The multilateral system is crucial to our collective efforts to create a better world. The OECD is committed to making this system as efficient as possible.

 

The OECD supports collective global policy action on new and emerging challenges through productive partnerships with the G7, G20, APEC, the Pacific Alliance, the Ibero-American Summits (SEGIB) and other fora. We continue to work closely with the G20 and the G7 on issues such as the implementation of BEPS, the Automatic Exchange of Tax Information and the G20-OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, Responsible Business Conduct, and the fight against corruption. Other areas of work include: structural reforms and growth strategies to achieve the 2% target by 2018; closing the gender employment gap by 25% by 2025; decreasing youth unemployment by 15% by 2025; restarting the engines of trade and investment; supporting SME financing needs by implementing the G20-OECD High-Level Principles on SME Financing; promoting more inclusive growth and development models; fostering better skills; and promoting clean and green investments (and financing) to tackle climate change. All of these areas closely complement the 2030 Agenda.

 

Conclusion

 

By adapting and continuously strengthening its analysis, data, knowledge and tools, the OECD stands ready to help deliver the 2030 Agenda. The international community must work together to deliver the best outcomes for the world’s most vulnerable populations. This will be challenging, but we must act now. Hand in hand, it can be done.