Development Co-operation Directorate

OECD DAC Senior Level Meeting, Paris 18-19 January 2022


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Chair’s Summary

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD hosted a virtual Senior Level Meeting (SLM) on 18 and 19 January 2022.


Over 200 global leaders of development co-operation participated, including record numbers of high-level participants from beyond the DAC (including Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates), as well as representatives from the UN, IMF, World Bank, civil society, and other development banks. Their engagement underscored the importance of increasing global collaboration to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the need to strengthen multilateralism and collective action in the face of complex global challenges.

Participants recognised that demands for finance for sustainable development were outstripping supply and agreed that Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources needs to work as hard as possible to ensure it delivers results for developing countries. To increase finance for sustainable development, DAC members emphasised the need to strengthen work on domestic resource mobilisation, aid for trade, sustainable finance investments, debt, Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) and other innovative finance tools.

Members agreed that DAC norms, standards, rules and commitment to transparency and accountability are critically important to achieve our shared goals. Participants welcomed the DAC Chair’s plan to follow up the SLM with dedicated events on the DAC Recommendations on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus and the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment, as well as on autocracy and democracy. While DAC members are rightly proud of their values, they also recognised that the DAC has to listen to and learn from others, including those with differing views. A planned DAC-organised meeting of Global Development Co-operation Providers will provide an important opportunity to engage countries beyond the DAC and OECD, including African and Asia-Pacific leaders. Members welcomed the fruitful dialogue with civil society organisations and the recently agreed DAC recommendation on enabling civil society in development cooperation and humanitarian assistance.

The DAC SLM set out clear future priorities on topics ranging from pandemic response and recovery to climate action and financing for sustainable development, which will shape the DAC’s work over the coming years. The OECD Secretary-General called on the DAC to play a key role in OECD-wide efforts in these areas. Recognising the global nature of many of the crises the world is facing, he highlighted the DAC’s role in supporting global public goods, especially vaccination and crisis resilience and in supporting developing countries to respond to climate change. Building on these themes, members highlighted the importance of international policy coherence and integrating SDG delivery objectives across domestic and international policy making.

DAC members prioritised strengthening support for developing countries in the wake of COVID-19, highlighting the value of increasing international co-ordination and co-operation efforts, including through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT)-Accelerator and its COVAX mechanism. Members shared new commitments supporting vaccination in developing countries, the importance of building local and regional capacity for vaccine production and highlighted the need to tackle vaccine hesitancy. As the DAC awaits a decision from statistical experts on the valuation of vaccines as ODA, many members called for a more joined-up approach to promoting global public goods.

DAC members are increasingly focussed on supporting a robust recovery from the pandemic. Among other things, they urged increased action to strengthen health systems and to build resilience to future shocks. More generally, pre-pandemic development challenges persist and in many cases, have been exacerbated. The macro-economic outlook is bleak for many developing countries. Given limited resources for sustainable development, the recovery must protect investments in long-term resilience-building activities, as well as ensuring adequate financing of immediate humanitarian interventions.

DAC members strongly welcomed the DAC Declaration on a new approach to align development co-operation with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. They highlighted the unique role of the DAC in supporting developing countries to achieve their climate, environmental and biodiversity goals, including adaptation to the consequences of climate change and just transitions to low emission economies. Members emphasised the need to maximise the quantity and quality of climate finance and to increase finance for adaptation. They agreed on the need to ensure policies reflect and are relevant to the diversity of developing country contexts, including Small Island Developing States, ocean-based economies, Least Developed Countries and fragile contexts. Members urged the DAC to complete a delivery plan - and to deliver it - as soon as possible.

Improving the quality and quantity of ODA and other forms of development finance and official mechanisms to support developing countries’ progress towards the SDGs remain central to the DAC’s work. Many DAC members emphasised the continued relevance of the development effectiveness principles and highlighted the forthcoming Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) Summit in December 2022 as an important milestone to drive progress towards achieving the SDGs.

While the attention of many developed countries is shifting to the post-pandemic world and the opportunities it may offer, many developing countries are still in the eye of the storm. Without the resources to fund recovery, they will be living with the consequences of COVID-19 for years to come. The pandemic has reversed progress towards many SDGs, contributed to record humanitarian needs and undermined the “Decade for Action”. The Chair concluded by saying that the DAC - as a values-based coalition of willing, generous and like-minded donors - must respond to this global crisis by redoubling the DAC’s commitment to the SDGs and supporting our partner countries to achieve their development goals.


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