31 March 2016 - While world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations in 2015, 2016 marks the start of implementation. Some 800 weeks are left to lift 800 million people out of poverty. Achieving this and the ambitious SDGs by 2030 will require bold leadership and effective governments together with new ideas and tools to advance simultaneously on the social, economic and environmental fronts. Partnering with governments and the United Nations system, the OECD is ready to contribute to implementing the SDGs through its analytical leadership and convening capacity on policies, data and financing for development.
Sound policies and strategies, more and better data as well as smart development finance were at the heart of today’s Global Forum on Development, opened by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). More than 400 participants in international development from OECD and non-OECD countries as well as from the public and private sectors gathered in Paris to share their experiences and concrete options for implementing the 2030 Agenda. Panellists included Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Associate Vice President and the Bank Al-Maghrib’s Economic Department Director.
While the ambitions of the SDGs are universal, translating them into transformative results in each country depends on the global enabling environment and the ability to design policies at the local level. Rural and urban challenges, for example, are more than ever at the heart of policy discussions. Over 3 billion people live in rural areas and face specific development challenges. Effective policies for rural development will be necessary for achieving the SDGs as the OECD Development Centre’s report “A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century: A toolkit for developing countries” recommends. The study, released today at the Forum, focuses on building more resilient and sustainable rural livelihoods.
Better policy making to achieve the SDGs requires sound data. The 2030 Agenda calls for stronger national statistical systems to support governments in making the right decisions. It also calls for transparent monitoring systems that allow stakeholders to measure progress on how each government delivers on its commitments for the 169 SDG targets. Today’s discussions showcased the challenges many countries still face gathering reliable and timely data for tracking progress. They also highlighted successful examples of how to leverage technology, public-private partnerships and the data revolution to strengthen statistical systems and measure the SDGs. These build on the OECD’s statistics expertise that helps with national, regional and global efforts and fora, including the Partnership for Effective Statistics in the 21st Century (PARIS21) that works with developing countries to strengthen their national statistical systems.
Realising national development strategies and policies will necessitate adequate and predictable financing. Aid is and will remain a critical resource to finance the SDGs, especially in countries most in need. It totalled an all-time high of USD 137.2 billion in 2014. Yet, aid alone is not enough and more holistic financing is needed. This means mobilising a broader package of resources -taxes, foreign and domestic investments, aid, remittances, and philanthropic funds. With its expertise in financing for development, the OECD is measuring flows to keep governments accountable and offering new ideas on how to combine public and private resources and design innovative financing scenarios. Understanding the global architecture, specific contexts of developing countries, potential policy trade-offs, and the importance of coherent and mutually reinforcing policies will be essential.
Discussions concluded on how the OECD can contribute to designing a “global positioning system (GPS)” for achieving the SDGs-supporting countries in the North and South to best use relevant tools and indicators to reach their development aims. Forum panellists and participants agreed that dialogue among peers and connecting decision-makers with non-state actors to scale up the impact of development efforts is critical to implementing the SDGs.
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