From 9 to 10, June 2010 the Black Sea and Central Asia Initiative’s Co-ordinator Colm Foy participated as a panelist in the “Millenium Development Goals (MDG) + 10 Review Conference for Europe and CIS-Status of the Region: What works and what does not?” held in Istanbul, Turkey. The Conference “made a contribution to policy oriented solutions and knowledge transfer, sharing of experiences, best practices and lessons learned, identification of the main challenges in achieving the MDGs in the region, with concrete articulation of what worked and what did not…”
Most of the MDGs are supposed to be completed by 2015. This conference, attended by officials and policy makers from the region, as well as officials from the United Nations system and the OECD, was to take stock of the current situation and to examine policies to advance the MDGs.
The conference was opened by the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic, who emphasised the progress his own country had made and intended to continue making towards the MDGs at home, while supporting the efforts of countries in the region to do likewise. He said Turkey could provide examples of actions and policies that were effective and could thus be used elsewhere.
Discussion of the MDGs was divided into two blocks: a plenary on MDG8, relating to forming a global alliance in favour of development and supporting realisation of the other MDGs, and parallel sessions to discuss the other seven Goals.
On behalf of the OECD (TN2010-296), Colm Foy opened the plenary on MDG8. This is the most difficult Goal to quantify, but nevertheless lends itself to analysis by standard OECD tools, such as the measurement of financial flows, analysis of investment policies and review of regional co-operation initiatives. The presentation, thus, took into account these factors and demonstrated:
- ODA within the region is minimal, compared to FDI;
- External financial flows are concentrated in a few sectorss and a few countries;
- Policies are needed throughout the region to encourage more private flows directed towards investment, as opposed to consumption via remittances;
- The private sector needs stimulus and a better regulatory environment;
- Existing regional organisations and arrangements are not currently supporting development;
- Existing international structures within the region are not contributing to meeting the MDGs;
- These organisations need to be strengthened or replaced to support the MDGs.
These factors imply:
- That policies should be adopted to promote FDI flows, especially into sectors that include job creation and contribute to sustainable growth;
- Almost all the economies in the region need to be more diversified and to attract FDI and local investment into a range of economic activities;
- Economies should reduce their reliance on remittances, by attracting more investment from home and abroad, particularly by supporting the private sector;
- Regional organisations need to take into account the mutual benefits of investment throughout the region and to offer regional proposals to domestic and foreign investors;
- Regional organisations and inter-regional alliances need to integrate the MDGs into their activities and programmes.
These observations and recommendations were well-received by conference participants and are to be included in the final report for the New York MDG Summit on 22 September 2010.
During this conference, Colm Foy had discussions with Turkish officials, including the President of Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), Mr Musa Kulaklikaya, Turkish Minister of State Cevdet Yilmaz, Deputy prime Minister and Minister of State of Turkey Ali Babacan and Moldovan Minister of State Victor Bodiu, as well as Deputy Minister of the Economy of the Ukraine, Iryna Kryuchkova, Albanian Deputy Minister of Labour and Equal Opportunities Ms Filloreta Kodra and other senior officials from the region.