The Missing Link: Improving the Transparency of Global Statistics for Sustainable Development in a Post-COVID Era, 12 April 2021

 

Remarks by Angel Gurría,

OECD Secretary-General

Paris, 12 April 2021

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

It is my pleasure to open this timely event on “Improving the Transparency of Global Statistics for Sustainable Development” and to present our first Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) data release.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for collective action to respond to global crises, including the need to strengthen access to information on global financial flows for sustainable development across sectors. This transparency is necessary not only to provide direct support to countries – particularly those that are most vulnerable – but also to assess the contributions made at the regional and global level.

Without this information, the international community will lack the necessary tools to design efficient global, regional and local responses. Responses that meet the needs of citizens, ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Measuring TOSSD aims to help fill this information gap through three important tools:

First, by improving transparency of official flows. This includes amounts mobilised from the private sector by official interventions support in the form of South-South co-operation.

Second, by providing developing countries with a comprehensive picture of the financing available for development.

And third, by measuring support for “International Public Goods”, which will shed further light on flows in the areas of climate or peacekeeping.
Official Development Assistance (ODA) has been central to the discussions on financing for development – we need more of it. It has proven to be indispensable for developing countries during crises and is critical for Least Developed Countries.

But as we head towards 2030, we need a complementary measure focused on sustainable development. A measure which reflects the true sustainable financing landscape and contributions by all actors.

Our first TOSSD data release is a breakthrough in the measurement of Financing for development. Our findings from 92 respondents, for example, reveal that TOSSD for the year 2019 amounts to: USD 297 billion. This includes 226 billion in cross-border flows to developing countries, 71 billion in support to International Public Goods, and 47 billion in private finance, which is also mobilised through official development interventions.

Importantly, this data demonstrates that TOSSD can shed light on other significant activities beyond ODA. This is because TOSSD observes the totality of official interventions by a large number of governments and organisations – therefore going beyond OECD membership. For example, TOSSD notably covers specific frameworks of collaboration, such as Triangular Co-operation.

As you will hear from our speakers today, the concept that was embedded in the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda has now become a useful and widely applicable measure. As a result, we are making good progress in TOSSD coverage and the OECD has been pleased to serve as the TOSSD Secretariat for the last four years.

However, TOSSD will only be comprehensive if all relevant countries report data to this framework. We need to ensure that it continues to be shaped and strengthened by all stakeholders that benefit from it.
This is why I would like to reiterate our open invitation for any interested country to join the partnership. And as we meet in the margins of the UN Financing for Development Forum, I should also reiterate our readiness to continue to work with the UN as we take TOSSD forward. We welcome the important work of this partnership and look forward to further strengthening our collaboration.

Dear Friends:

As we forge ahead, improving transparency in the data we use will be paramount to help us not only achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development but also tackle the many challenges that we face. The OECD is ready to work with, and for, you towards a resilient, sustainable and green recovery.

Thank you.

 

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