G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting
Session 1: Expanding Partnership for Development
Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
Tokyo, 5 April 2008
The Changing Landscape of Development Co-operation
I have three points I would like to contribute to our discussions this afternoon:
1. First: all of us share a common interest in seeing well-functioning, successful and sustainable societies and economies emerge all around the world.
2. Second: the aid architecture is becoming ever more complex. There are more key actors playing major roles – as bilateral providers of development assistance, vertical funds, private foundations and sovereign providers. This is fundamentally positive, bringing new energy, new ideas and approaches, and new funding. But, if it is to have a strong development impact, we need to identify ways of ensuring the coherence of our various efforts through information sharing and dialogue.
3. Third, against this background the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), where development co-operation policy has been discussed for nearly five decades, is opening up to sharing its experience and its activities, and to learning from others who are emerging on the development scene, in tandem with an opening up of the OECD more generally.
Indeed, we are in the process of enlarging our membership, with Chile, Israel, Estonia, Russia and Slovenia. At the same time, we are enhancing our relations with Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, with a view to possible membership, and with South-East Asia. And we have a number of new initiatives which will expand our contributions to development; for example, the new Partnership for Democratic Governance and our work with the Heiligendamm Dialogue Process. We are very proud of these new ties, which will increase the OECD’s contributions to countries and to global governance.
Achieving Sustainable Societies and Economies
Today, fighting human misery, even in a remote corner of the world, has become a global responsibility. Poverty is the ultimate systemic risk. We need to leverage development co operation to address this global challenge. Renewed efforts such as the Steering Group on the MDGs in Africa established by the UN Secretary General are welcome, and we are honoured that the OECD was asked to take part in it.
At the OECD, we have strengthened our effort to track aid flows. Only with better information, and a more forward-looking discussion on coherence in development cooperation efforts, can we make a difference.
We are also working closer with new actors on the development cooperation scene. But more needs to be done. Let me propose some steps forward.
The Accra High Level Forum and Aid Effectiveness
First and foremost is aid. As we announced yesterday, the preliminary ODA figures show that in 2007, there was only a small rise in aid – 2.4 per cent – excluding the expected major fall in debt relief. Half way into the six years covered by the Gleneagles commitment on ODA (2004-2010), total aid has risen by 15 per cent. But to meet the 2010 Gleneagles targets for aid – to get from $80 billion in 2004, to $130 billion in 2010 – the rate of increase needs to more than double. We must make good on our development promises, and we should not be deterred by global and domestic economic turbulence. The lives of millions of people – and global prosperity – are at stake.
Generating an increase in aid of the magnitude envisaged by G7 leaders requires much stronger national and international resource mobilisation and coordination efforts. We are trying to achieve real transfers of aid resources on a scale and in a time frame that has never been attempted or achieved before in history.
The ambition of the post-Monterrey Consensus pledges by G7 Heads of State has generated a new impetus in the aid effort. Achieving an increase in aid of this scale goes hand in hand with the reform programme embodied in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Increased predictability of aid, and a better capacity to absorb and put to effective use these scaled up flows will be crucial.
We have an upcoming and important opportunity to review our performance and make further progress. The Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will be hosted by Ghana at the beginning of September in Accra. We hope to produce the Accra Agenda for Action (the AAA) that will carry aid reform forward on some key fronts, including ownership and conditionality, predictability and the division of labour, capacity development and the use of country systems, especially for procurement.
The aim of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is to streamline the aid effort and to make development co operation more effective. Key words include harmonisation, ownership, alignment, mutual accountability and management for results. Early indications are that the picture of how donors and partners are implementing the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is mixed. In Accra, we can take stock of how well we are doing and what remains to be done.
There is broad agreement on the fundamental principles of aid effectiveness, but there may be different interpretations of what they mean in practice and therefore we need your engagement.
I invite you to come to the Accra High Level Forum. It will be an important milestone in our efforts to achieve better results on development cooperation in all regions of the world.