Participants stressed development cooperation must evolve rapidly to better support countries that are facing challenges posed by an uneven COVID-19 pandemic recovery, the cost-of-living crisis, and the complex impacts of climate change.
The outcomes of the Forum will support collective policy actions in 2023, including at the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, the HLPF, the SDG Summit, and the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development.
The President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convened the eighth meeting of the UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), kicking off this year’s SDG financing discussions. The Forum focused on fostering high-impact development in the areas of climate resilience, social protection, and digital transformation while leaving no one behind.
Held under the theme, ‘Prioritizing the Lives and Livelihoods of the Most Vulnerable Through Risk-informed Development Cooperation,’ the Forum met in the ECOSOC Chamber at UN Headquarters in New York, US, from 14-15 March 2023. Recognizing that more than 1.2 billion people are living in countries vulnerable or exposed to food, energy, and financial shocks, participants stressed the need to support countries that are facing challenges posed by an uneven COVID-19 pandemic recovery, the cost-of-living crisis, and the complex impacts of climate change.
Opening the Forum, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed called for “a major transformation in development cooperation” to better protect the most vulnerable, invest in people, and ensure that development cooperation responds not only to today’s urgent needs but also to those of tomorrow.
Rabab Fatima, High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, said without effective development cooperation, least developed countries (LDCs) have no chance of achieving the SDGs. She underscored that a multidimensional vulnerability index to assess development needs for better results is long overdue.
Avinash Persaud, Special Envoy to the Prime Minister of Barbados on Investment and Financial Services, called for a “substantial replenishment” of official development assistance (ODA) in an amount exceeding USD 125 billion, noting the need to consider eligibility for such financing.
Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the UN Secretary-General’s report on trends and progress in international development cooperation points to the need to strengthen such cooperation.
Key messages coming out of the Forum include:
- Development cooperation must evolve rapidly to effectively address the ongoing global crises “by putting a laser focus on challenges of the most vulnerable countries and people.” Member States, inter alia, called for going beyond GDP, including more holistic criteria in assessing the needs for development cooperation, and considered the concept of “circular development cooperation” whereby “expertise and assistance on addressing vulnerabilities and structural gaps can flow from developing to developed countries.”
- Climate resilience must be more effectively embedded into development cooperation.
- Strong social protections systems must become a global priority.
- Development cooperation must scale up financing, technology transfer, and capacity building “to support inclusive livelihoods in developing countries through meaningful participation in the digital economy and e-commerce.”
“Making progress on these priorities will require … predictable development cooperation in all its forms,” including collective support to policy change and partnership, said ECOSOC President Lachezara Stoeva.
The outcomes of the Forum will support collective policy actions in 2023, including at the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD), High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the SDG Summit, and the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development. [2023 Development Cooperation Forum] [DESA Press Release] [UN Meetings Coverage: 14 March 2023] [UN Meetings Coverage: 15 March 2023]