Several OECD events, consultations and meetings involving civil society organisations (CSOs) have taken place since March:Civil society at OECD E-Leaders meeting: New ICT solutions for public sector agility
Beyond 2015, a global civil society campaign pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to MDGs, organised a conference The World We Want Beyond 2015 which took place in Brussels on 24-25 May. Based on ongoing work discussions focused on six thematic areas, the social sector; mobility; economy, consumption & production; environment; the role of global governance in poverty reduction; and development in situations of conflict and fragility - all in a post 2015 context. Human rights, climate change & sustainability, as well as policy coherence for development (PCD) were dealt with as cross-cutting issues. The conference brought together about 130 participants from academia, think tanks and NGOs to move ahead (civil society’s) thinking on post-2015. This was a great opportunity for panel members (representatives from UNDESA, the European Commission, OECD, Irish Aid and the Beyond 2015 Executive Committee) to share their institutions’ ways of approaching the post-2015 challenge and exchange with civil society representatives. Hildegard Lingnau, Senior Councellor in the Development Co-operation Directorate, presented some OECD initiatives, which sparked a lot of interest, e.g.:
Simon Scott, Head of the Statistics and Monitoring Division in the Development Co-operation Directorate, addressed a colloquium organised by Coordination Sud on 24 May. Coordination Sud is the umbrella organisation for French CSOs interested in aid, development and relief issues. Around 30 participants from a wide variety of organisations discussed what should count as aid, and how to sharpen the developmental effectiveness of French aid in particular. Simon explained the rules for counting spending as official development assistance (ODA), and discussed the controversies over particular ODA items. The French official aid agency, the Agence Française de Développement, also participated, and there was a lively discussion concerning the increasing share of loans in France’s aid. Several CSO participants felt that grants would be preferable, especially for poor countries, and for social-sector projects. Some also said that the rules for counting loans as ODA were too liberal, and should be tightened up. Coordination Sud will use the results of the consultation to help formulate recommendations to the new French government on aid targets and priorities.
The Post-Busan Interim Group (PBIG) met for the third and final time in Paris last 21-22 May, 2012. This meeting was set to finalise the proposal for the Governance and Monitoring of the Global Partnership which will be approved during the final meeting of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness in June 2012. In preparation for the meeting, civil society, through BetterAid, prepared comments on the Draft Monitoring Proposal and the Draft Governance Proposal of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC). Civil society is calling for a Post-Busan Governance Framework that is based on a rights-based approach to development, with the establishment of a transparent, democratic and inclusive forum and fully recognising the rights of non-state actors and CSOs as independent development actors in their own right. It is also calling for an effective monitoring mechanism, with a core set of indicators, which measure progress both at the country and global levels towards fulfilling the commitments of Paris, Accra and Busan. BetterAid Co-Chairs Antonio Tujan and Mayra Moro-Coco represented civil society in the 3rd PBIG Meeting.
A special IdeaFactory for stakeholders was held on 21 May. 37 representatives from academia, private sector, civil society, media, parliaments, trade unions, think tanks, etc. discussed new approaches to economic and societal challenges with the OECD Secretary-General and OECD experts. The OECD received the mandate from Ministers to analyse the root causes of the crisis, draw lessons from it, and to update the OECD’s economic analysis and policy recommendations where needed. The OECD_IdeaFactory was an opportunity to start the discussion with relevant stakeholders to define and re-frame the issues, and provide food for thought for the process going forward.
|The OECD’s Task Force on Tax and Development met in Cape Town, South Africa on 9-10 May. Sixty delegates from OECD and non OECD countries, international and regional organisations, civil society and business took stock of the progress made since the previous meeting on 11-12 April 2011 and explored further ways to help developing countries better mobilise their domestic resources.|
The informal Task Force advises the OECD Development Assistance Committee and Committee on Fiscal Affairs. To respond to the demands expressed by developing countries, the main proposals of the Task Force are to develop the Tax Inspectors Without Borders initiative, advance international engagement principles, undertake tax and investment reviews for interested countries, finalise a needs assessment tool to support developing countries, work on enabling access to relevant comparables, make public the report on MNE Financial Reporting, encourage developing countries to join the Multilateral Convention, do more work on tax morale and taxpayer education, and call on the international organisations to better coordinate on diagnostic, benchmarking and surveying work in tax administration. The Task Force also welcomed the progress made by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in supporting the participation of developing countries. Read the outcomes statement.
On 11 May, the OECD Economic Policy Committee (EPC) held its regular consultation meeting with representatives from the Business Advisory (BIAC) and Trade Union Advisory (TUAC) Committees to the OECD. The meeting was chaired by Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, US. OECD Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist, Pier Carlo Padoan, also participated. The meeting focused on the economic situation and jobs crisis. The main messages of the meeting were subsequently reported to the Committee.
On 30 April, Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration; Monica Bhatia, Head of the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes; as well as several OECD staff met with a group of CSOs, who are affiliated with the Tax Justice Network. The informal meeting addressed a range of tax issues, in particular the international context around the tax and development agenda, the OECD’s Task Force on Tax and Development, and the work of the Global Forum. Participants found the exchange of information and views useful and there was a decision to continue the dialogue and to keep communication channels open.
Responding to the economic and social challenges of the diabetes epidemics – a chronic condition that affects over 80 million people across the OECD – is no task for governments alone. As a main partner of initiatives to encourage healthy lifestyles across communities, schools and disadvantaged population groups, civil society has a major role to play. Co-operation with business is also to be harnessed, for example by encouraging the promotion of wellness programmes, the production of healthy food and clear food labelling. These were but a few of the solutions discussed during the European Diabetes Leadership Forum (EDLF), an event that gathered some 800 participants from civil society, governments and business in Copenhagen, on 25-26 April. After discussing three core elements of an approach to tackling diabetes – prevention of obesity, unhealthy lifestyles and physical inactivity; early detection targeting people at high risk of developing diabetes; and the role of doctors in delivering good quality care – the Forum participants agreed to a Copenhagen Roadmap, which delineates practical initiatives and policies to tackle diabetes effectively. More information at: http://www.diabetesleadershipforum.eu/ and on the OECD page.
On 24 April, representatives from the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) met with OECD staff to discuss the OECD Strategy on Development. It also served as an opportunity to present the international trade union movement’s work on development, in particular development co-operation, and to discuss future opportunities for TUAC/ITUC engagement on development issues at the OECD.
On 13 April, the OECD brought together experts from the OECD, other international organisations, civil society, government and business to discuss the draft Toolkit for Integrity and consult on next steps for the CleanGovBiz initiative. Responding to global political momentum, CleanGovBiz an OECD-led initiative working with UNODC, the World Bank, the FATF, Transparency International, EITI, and other partners, supports governments, business and civil society in reinforcing the fight against corruption and improving integrity. Since early 2011, experts from the OECD and partner organisations have been working together to assemble a “Toolkit for Integrity” that provides a unique resource for fighting corruption in multiple areas. A set of priority policy measures, user-friendly guidance on their implementation, examples of good practices and references to relevant existing tools has been developed for each policy area covered. More information
The Chair and Co-Chairs of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) held its annual consultation with BIAC and TUAC in Ankara, Turkey, on 5 April. The meeting was chaired by Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs. The Chair was also represented by Ambassador Kadri Ecvet Tezcan. The two Vice-Chairs, Chile and Poland, were represented respectively by Ambassador Jorge Arancibia and Ambassador Marcin Wilczek. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, and Deputy Secretary-General Yves Leterme both participated in the meeting. Discussions focused on topics related to the MCM, which included economic growth, jobs, inequality, skills, gender, new approaches to economic challenges, development, trade, tax, good governance, anti-corruption, and green growth. The consultation was productive and provided important insights to the Ministerial Meeting. For the third time, BIAC and TUAC were invited to fully participate in the MCM sessions on 23 and 24 May, which both social partners welcomed. See also BIAC and TUAC statements to the MCM.
|Upon invitation by the Mexican Ministry of Public Administration, national E-leaders from the OECD and partnering countries gathered on 26-27 March in Mexico City to advance digital governance mechanisms for better public services, agile public sectors, more efficient spending and inclusive democracies. The meeting proposed a mandate for the OECD to conduct exploratory work on digital governance and to develop a policy instrument on e-government.|
Attendees from civil society, business, academia and other international organizations brought multi-stakeholder views to the lively debate. Social entrepreneurs from Canada (David Eaves, www.eaves.ca) and Mexico (Jorge Soto, www.citivox.com) contributed substantively to discussions about the challenges facing E-Leaders as a result of rising economic and fiscal, social and digital governance pressures. The use of Twitter allowed a wider community of Internet users to join simultaneous online discussions via @OECD_ICT. The final communiqué and a summary of the event are available at www.oecd.org/governance/eleaders