Speakers Stress Development Cooperation Forum’s Role in Allowing for Fresh Policy Perspectives, as Economic and Social Council High-Level Segment Concludes

Ministerial Declaration Pledges Concrete Action to Implement 2030 Agenda

The Development Cooperation Forum was a neutral and impartial space that allowed for fresh perspectives and discussions of new development cooperation paradigms, the Economic and Social Council heard today, as its high-level segment ended today with the adoption of a ministerial declaration.

By the text, ministers and high representatives pledged that no one would be left behind in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. While reaffirming that eradicating poverty in all its forms was the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, they welcomed early efforts to address unfinished business from the Millennium Development Goals.

"Over the last two years, the Development Cooperation Forum has produced a wealth of inputs on the importance and tremendous potential of development cooperation as a lever for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda," said the Council President Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), in closing remarks.

Throughout the high-level segment, participants had looked closely at the links between sectors and policy domains, and had worked to break down silos, he said. For longer-term durability, efficiency and attaining three-dimensional development objectives, it was essential to involve local communities, scientists, the private sector and other groups in investment decisions on sustainable development, he added.

Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said that follow-up and review of implementation of the 2030 Agenda was instrumental towards achieving its high ambitions. "We are off to an excellent start," he said, emphasizing that the high-level segment called for attention to key areas, including a strong sense of national ownership, an integrated policy response, revitalized global partnerships, inclusive follow-up and review, and continued alignment of the United Nations development system.

The past two days had seen focused and forward-looking discussions, he continued, stressing that the future direction of the Forum had been reaffirmed. Participants had underscored the need to work with those in deepest poverty, urged for the fulfilment of official development assistance (ODA) commitments, and exchanged ideas around the complementary contribution of South-South cooperation.

Also today, the Council took note of several reports of the Secretary-General, namely "Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results" (document E/2016/64), "Trends and progress in international development cooperation" (document E/2016/65) and "Infrastructure for sustainable development for all" (document E/2016/70).

The Council's two-day Development Cooperation Forum came to an end with three panel discussions, titled, respectively, "Monitoring and review of development cooperation in the 2030 Agenda: quality, effectiveness and impact for sustainable development", "Development cooperation by the private sector, other non-State actors and blended development cooperation", and "Development cooperation perspectives on capacity-building and the role of technology development and facilitation in implementing the SDGs". The Council also held a wrap-up session on "Key messages from the 2016 Development Cooperation Forum".

The Economic and Social Council will next meet on 25 July at 10 a.m. to begin its Coordination and Management Meeting.

Panel I

Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Director of African Monitor, a non-governmental organization, moderated the day's first panel discussion, on "Monitoring and review of development cooperation in the 2030 Agenda: quality, effectiveness and impact for sustainable development". The featured panellists were: Fred Twesiime, Assistant Commissioner, Development Assistance and Regional Cooperation Department, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Uganda; Brenda Killen, Deputy-Director, Development Cooperation Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Petra Bayr, Member of Parliament, Austria; Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS); and Rosario Zeballos Arnez, Adviser on Institutional and International Relations, Regional Government of Villamontes, Bolivia. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, was the keynote speaker.

Ms. MNIKI-MANGALISO said that efforts for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development must focus on quality, effectiveness and impact. The 2030 Agenda implied that in order to move forward, some radical changes must occur in the scope of development cooperation and the concept of universality, among other things.

Mr. GASS, noted that 58 countries had participated in an accountability poll last week, and the findings were not surprising since monitoring mechanisms called for transparency. National parliaments were playing an increasing role in policy creation and there had been a strong emphasis on political leadership.

Mr. TWESIIME said Uganda had created a national development plan that localized 76 per cent of the Sustainable Development Goals. Strategies must be designed in such a way as to cover all aspects of policy, programme and activity outcomes. Goal-oriented incentives and sanctions were the key to success, he said, adding that, in fact, they enabled the private sector and civil society organizations to cooperate with the Government.

Ms. KILLEN emphasized the need for a common understanding of development cooperation, noting that while most countries had created development plans based on their own needs, prioritizing could be a challenge. Concerning the country results framework, she said there had been progress in reliability. Calling attention to a survey conducted in May, she said donors were ready to align with the frameworks. There was a need for open and inclusive discussion. "We should not reinvent the wheel," she said, emphasizing the need for participation by all stakeholders.

Ms. BAYR expressed regret that Austria's Parliament viewed the Sustainable Development Goals as the successor to the Millennium Development Goals. The new Goals were broader and required more tasks at the national and global level, she said. Four weeks ago, the Government had started a survey among parliamentarians on how structural changes could be done better, and Parliament was analysing its impact on the budget and the labour market, as well as on elderly and young people.

Mr. CHATURVEDI said that, as the reflection of a bottom-up exercise, the Sustainable Development Goals were led and coordinated by the United Nations system. While allowing countries to determine their own evaluation and monitoring policies, it was essential to ensure that a democratic and fair process took place. In addition, flexibility and engagement of all stakeholders were necessary for progress, he said, emphasizing the need to be clear in applying methods. Acknowledging that a "one-size-fits-all" approach would not work, he noted that Member States must allow the United Nations to lead the process.

Ms. ZEBALLOS said that her region's activities included providing free health care and education, and implementing strategies in coordination with various stakeholders.

The representative of Togo said that his country had a national result framework and most of the work was carried out by the Government. However, international cooperation and training assistance were needed for effective results.

The representative of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa said the Office advocated, promoted, monitored and evaluated traditional and innovative efforts and mechanisms for sustained support and commitments to the continent's transformative agenda. The United Nations monitoring mechanism was based on mutual accountability and universality, and its recommendations could improve effectiveness and partnership.

The representative of Italy said the second high-level meeting would be held in Nairobi in December, adding that it would provide a forum for exchanging views and sharing lessons learned. Noting that the European Union was developing a joint results framework, he asked panel members to share their views on the topic.

The representative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union asked why a universally agreed budget process was not applied to strengthen development cooperation.

Ms. KILLEN emphasized the need to push for better cooperation and hold each other accountable. While ensuring that resources were available to finance implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the international community must find platforms for exchanging views.

Mr. CHATURVEDI said the concepts of "blending" and "alignment" were confusing, and that resource flows required far more concerted efforts at the global level.

Ms. BAYR acknowledged the lack of capacity, saying that in order to ensure the full involvement of parliamentarians, more capacity-building activities must be carried out.

Ms. ZEBALLOS said there was a chain of command in implementing the 2030 Agenda and monitoring progress. Municipalities carried out activities to meet social needs, in coordination with civil society actors and the regional Government.

Mr. TWESIIME called upon the international community to be more mindful of the joint framework, which would only be possible if all stakeholders agreed on the goals.

Mr. GASS called attention to the changing development framework, saying that in order for implementation to succeed, there must be mutual accountability and open data.

Also participating were speakers representing Mexico, Ghana and Uganda, as well as the European Union.

Panel II

The second panel of the day was titled, "Development cooperation by the private sector, other non-State actors and blended development cooperation". Moderated by Matthew Martin, Director, Development Finance International, it featured a keynote address by Magdalena Gerger, Chief Executive Officer, Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development.

Panellists included: Alejandro Gamboa, Director, Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation, Colombia; Pio Wennubst, Assistant Director General, Global Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Switzerland; John Finnigan, Head of Development Organizations Corporate and Investment Banking, Citi; Mohamed Nizar, President, Privatization and Corporation Board, Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Maldives; Cordelia Lonsdale, Policy and Engagement Adviser, Development Initiatives; Rajiv Joshi, Managing Director, The B Team.

Ms. GERGER said there were a number of challenges, but also lessons learned with regard to reaching the full potential of possible cooperation between organizations and businesses. For business, the aims of sustainable development and maximizing business opportunities went hand in hand. When businesses developed their services, they sought to do so in a sustainable manner, which meant proud and engaged employees, satisfied customers and societies and communities that benefited.

The Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development was looking to take the lead by setting a positive example. The organization sought to reduce environmental impacts, create good working conditions, fight corruption and promote gender equality. They used round tables where ideas and solutions were exchanged. It was important for different elements of the organization to understand each other and to cooperate in the areas of innovation, investments and results. They worked to identify common interests while setting up multi-stakeholder goals, all while also respecting and understanding different roles and mandates.

Her company, Systembolaget, dealt with the sale of alcohol throughout Sweden. It had developed a code of conduct that promoted Nordic and international cooperation throughout the global value chain. It had environmental targets, which were largely customer-driven. For instance, more than 10 per cent of sales were of organic products. Also, the company had internal and external gender equality-focused targets.

Mr. MARTIN said that the panel discussion would explore two different types of development cooperation. The first was private funding, which was money from sources like foundations, non-governmental organizations and corporate social responsibility programmes. The second was blended development cooperation, which combined private funding with public resources. There was a huge number of financing initiatives among various stakeholder groups, some of which had a great deal of overlap.

Mr. GAMBOA noted that among the biggest challenges facing Colombia was not only the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, but how to pursue its sustainable development ambitions in the context of the peace deal that would soon be signed in the country. The Government sought to present the future development framework as a portfolio of investment opportunities for the private sector. In that regard, partnerships would be essential. The goal of the international cooperation agency for Colombia was to align interests and leverage resources from the public, private and social sectors, resulting in sustainable programmes at the regional and local levels. The agency believed the Global Compact was very useful, while there was great focus in the country on addressing high unemployment among youth.

Mr. WENNUBST emphasized that, in general, systems were reluctant to change unless there was the perception of a hard-hitting global crisis. He recalled that in the 1960s, companies actively engaged in wastewater dumping. By the 2000s, extractive industries had started investing in water access, although societies were still not terribly concerned about water as a resource. However, by 2015, companies had started actively investing in water management. Official development assistance (ODA) likely had a great deal to do with that shift in how companies viewed water resources. Going forward, ODA should be more focused on innovation and incentives. The United Nations had a role to play in terms of norm-setting.

Mr. FINNIGAN said he believed there were three main pillars of development cooperation: policy change, capacity-building and financial cooperation. The annual funding requirement to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals was $4.5 trillion, yet global policymakers were concerned that only $1.5 trillion was projected to be available. Blended finance was of great importance as it represented a strategic combination of public philanthropic funds and private capital. Involving the private sector early and up-front in co-designing solutions was of vital importance. Pooling assets could bring a great deal of scale to programmes.

Mr. NIZAR recalled that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda had reaffirmed the importance of ODA. The availability of development finance had increased in recent times, with sources of such finance ranging from commercial banks to pension funds, insurance companies, and many more. But the amount of funds available was not adequate, making it nearly impossible for the Maldives to update its airport, a necessary step for attracting visitors in the Maldives tourist-driven economy. With the help of donor agencies and other partnerships, a consortium was formed, which led to make major improvements at the airport, benefitting the entire country.

Ms. LONSDALE noted that despite the availability of ample amounts of data, critical pieces were missing. There was a lack of information about how much financing was derived from official sources, and specifically, how much of it was ODA. She was not convinced that blended finance would be the "magic solution" in terms of addressing investment challenges in the least developed countries. It was important to recall that ODA was about more than just money or de-risking investments. It was also about technical capacity-building, experience and relationship-building.

Mr. JOSHI said that humans were living through the most challenging, but also the most exciting opportunity in human history. Never before had adequate technology, resources, finances and political will existed to meet the overarching goal of leaving no one behind. Businesses must be mobilized to act in different ways and they must recognize that their biggest contribution would be to change how they viewed themselves, while also helping to mobilize capital. It was no longer about businesses or Governments driving the development agenda, but the recognition that all actors had a role to play.

A representative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union spoke in the ensuing discussion, and questioned when Governments should seek public-private partnership to deliver basic goods or services.

Mr. JOSHI underscored that over the next 15 years, the way in which goods and services were produced would change dramatically. More attention should be paid to the middle level of economies, which were primarily responsible for driving job growth and creation.

Mr. GAMBOA stressed that thanks to technological advancements, there was a lot of information available in the private sector which could help inform better decision-making on the part of Governments.

The representative of Uganda said development cooperation was fuelled by trust. Given what was known about illicit financial flows, he asked what the private sector was doing to improve its in-house operations.

Ms. GERGER responded that trust was the cornerstone of partnerships with corporations. She highlighted, however, that corruption and dubious behaviours were not only a challenge for the private sector, but also for Governments.

The representative of Nicaragua noted that the private sector sought profit and asked for more information about business diplomacy for development initiatives.

Representatives of the China Foundation for Peace and Development and the trade unions major group also spoke.

Panel III

Sven Jurgenson (Estonia), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, chaired the panel discussion on "Development cooperation perspectives on capacity-building and the role of technology development and facilitation in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals". Moderated by Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the discussion featured a keynote address by Meshgan Al Awar, Secretary-General of the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment, United Arab Emirates. The panellists were Muhsin Syihab, Deputy Director, Economic Development and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia; Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); Gyan Chandra Acharya, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States; and Mark Lewis, Assistant Director, Institute for Capacity Development, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ms. AL AWAR said the United Arab Emirates was both a developing country and one of the world's largest donors. In October, it would be hosting the 2016 Global South-South Development Expo to highlight concrete initiatives that could be replicated elsewhere. Since 1971 the country had been undergoing a transformation that had resulted from good governance, strong investment and an emphasis on education, she said. The United Arab Emirates was sparing no effort to implement the 2030 Agenda, she said. That could be seen in its efforts to build capacity for women. Some 58.6 per cent of the country's science and engineering graduates were women, she said, also pointing to inclusive national policies such as "equal pay for equal work". The United Arab Emirates had established a Gender Balance Council and signed an agreement with UN-Women to launch the Gulf countries' first liaison office in Abu Dhabi. Citing examples of similar successes in such areas as renewable energy, she went on to underscore the importance of capacity-building for monitoring and review. "It's all about continuous improvement and achieving the Goals," she said, describing her organization's work in awarding the Zayed International Prize for the Environment.

Mr. HARRIS said that access to science, technology and innovation was unequally distributed - a fact that threatened to leave people behind in terms of the 2030 Agenda's implementation. Among other things, he called on the panellists to consider development cooperation as a way to help countries galvanize science, technology and innovation for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. SYIHAB said the use of science, technology and innovation must be open and transparent, and that partnerships must make a difference in achieving sustainable development. National ownership was critical because it would stimulate the mobilization of resources, he said, adding that monitoring and measuring progress was also important. Calling for needs-based assessments to further improve technology cooperation and capacity-building, he said "technology development will become an essential catalyst for the Sustainable Development Goals". Policy on research and innovation should be strengthened, especially in developing countries, he emphasized, advocating an intellectual property regime that would facilitate wider access to technology in such countries. Indonesia had been actively involved in South-South and triangular cooperation, he said, calling on all development agents to align their priorities with the Sustainable Development Goals - and especially to reach those furthest behind.

Ms. BA�RCENA said the world was facing a major change marked by increasing inequality, climate change and the decoupling of the financial sector from the real economy. A complex technological transformation was also under way, and the extent to which the world embraced that revolution would determine the course of the future. Noting that billions of people today were connected through mobile devices, he said there had also been breakthroughs in such new areas as nanotechnology and the Internet of Things. "We have to manage this technological revolution," she said, emphasizing that developing countries must be actively included so as to ensure that no one was left behind. Calling on the international community to harness the potential of the technological revolution to transfer green technology to developing countries, she said "national initiatives will not be enough", noting that the Forum for Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development had recently been established in that regard. Among other concrete proposals, she said that the region needed a common digital market and a fund for the transfer of technology.

Mr. ACHARYA emphasized that capacity development must be focused on least developed and other vulnerable countries. Even today, after decades of development, those countries were still highly dependent on ODA. Stressing the need for public-private partnerships, investment in renewable energy and climate-proofing infrastructure, he said the capacity of the world's 48 least developed countries to adopt and integrate technology was very limited. In that regard, he called for the creation of a technology bank that could ensure the transfer of appropriate new technology while holding down related administrative costs.

Mr. LEWIS said the IMF focused much of its work on building the capacity of developing countries. Among other things, it was active in the domestic resource-mobilization agenda and worked with partners to develop tax policy and diagnostic tools. In the "underappreciated and underfunded" area of statistics, he said, data were crucial to helping States make policy changes relating to poverty reduction. There was a need to think about outcomes instead of outputs, he said, calling on partners to act "nimbly and quickly" if outcomes were not being achieved. Peer-to-peer learning - through which countries compared and contrasted experiences and learned from each other - was also crucial and could be achieved through South-South cooperation, he said.

In the ensuing discussion, speakers raised a number of issues relating to the funding, development, sharing and transfer of technology.

The representative of Sri Lanka, noting that a Sustainable Development Act would soon be tabled in Parliament, said that attaining the Sustainable Development Goals would require enormous technological capacity. While Sri Lanka had leapfrogged into the technological revolution, it expected more international support, as well as greater urgency and resolve.

The representative of Ghana stressed that while it was important to build the capacity of institutions, it was critical to enhance individual capacity.

The representative of Turkey said the vision laid out in the 2030 Agenda must be translated into the practice of stronger international development cooperation. Describing Turkey's efforts in providing ODA, he noted that the country also worked to meet the needs of its Syrian guests.

The representative of South Africa stressed that women were particularly important in driving the science-policy interface forward. Recalling the recent withdrawal of several Member States from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), he expressed concern about the impact that might have going forward.

Wrap-up Session

Moderated by Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the wrap-up session featured the following panellists: Ana Ciuti, General Director of International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Argentina; Jack McConnell, Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom; Juan Somavia, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Chile and former Co-Chair, Independent Team of Advisers to the Economic and Social Council Bureau; and Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mr. LOPES said it was important to retain the shift of emphasis from the financing dimension of development to a partnership dimension, particularly since the Sustainable Development Goals were different from the Millennium Development Goals. The new development framework involved a much more comprehensive look at development and would require a more creative and innovative approach, he said.

Ms. CIUTI said Argentina was a middle-income country that had suffered from the decline in official assistance, much like many other countries in Latin America, but through South-South cooperation, it was making a great effort to help less developed countries. Argentina was no longer receiving the types of assistance it had received in the past, and required innovative efforts to move ahead through new relationships with countries of the global North.

Mr. MCCONNELL noted that new development cooperation ideas were being discussed in many different forums, but the lack of urgency in moving forward was cause for concern. The quest for perfection was perhaps blocking progress towards new Development Goals. Concerned that parliaments were not actively engaged in finding solutions, he asked whether the international community was underestimating the scale of the challenge of delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals in the least developed countries and in fragile, conflict-affected States.

Mr. SOMAVA�A said that nearly all the solutions explored by the Independent Team of Advisers during its four months of work reverted back to development cooperation. One of the challenges of development cooperation revolved around the need for a change in mindset, which the Secretary-General had emphasized by saying that the entire international community must learn to think differently. The success of the 2030 Agenda would be based on policy integration across the economic, environmental and social spheres, he said, adding that national ownership of the future development framework would ultimately result in societal ownership.

Ms. GILMORE emphasized that the world was in the midst of a historic moment, although far greater urgency was needed to understand why transformative change would be essential to implementing the 2030 Agenda. Although the Sustainable Development Goals had been formulated in a very inclusive environment, the system meant to deliver them was not fit for purpose, she said. Without active partnering with those living in deprivation as rights holders, the transformation required to fulfil global development aspirations would be significantly beyond the reach of the international community. Data, financing, policy coherence, and other requirements were all important, but they paled in comparison to the need to respect the rights of all human beings.

Ms. CIUTI, responding to a question from the moderator, said mayors across Argentina had endorsed the 2030 Agenda, which would help to decrease regional and local challenges.

Mr. SOMAVA�A said it was surprising that political leaders had actually reached agreement on the 2030 Agenda. However, the international system must now adapt to the bold promises contained within the development framework, and Governments must be left to decide on their own how they wished to pursue their development goals.

Mr. MCCONNELL said it was extremely important that the incoming Secretary-General express strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. The world would not fulfil the aspiration of leaving no one behind without targeting those farthest behind as a first priority. The young people who were so engaged in the consultation process should be placed at the forefront of accountability on delivery, he said.

The representative of Pakistan agreed that young people would be most affected by the 2030 Agenda, emphasizing the critical importance of according them a higher priority as time progressed.

Ms. GILMORE said one major challenge was the need to create a new incentive scheme to ensure that synergies within and between countries would be rewarded.

Also speaking was the representative of Congo.

Action

The Council then took up the Draft Ministerial Declaration of the High-Level Segment of its 2016 session and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (document E/2016/L.24-E/HLPF/2016/L.2).

Prior to the action, the representative of Nicaragua emphasized the need to establish a new global order, change current consumption and production patterns, and promote social inclusion, fairness, compassion and the human right to development. As previously stated, his delegation had reservations to paragraph 19 of the Ministerial Declaration, which dealt with climate change. He regretted that the negotiations on that document had not allowed for a spirit of collaboration.

The Council adopted the Ministerial Declaration, as orally corrected.

Speaking following the action, the representative of Australia, noting that her country had co-facilitated negotiations on the Ministerial Declaration, said she had been encouraged by the positive and constructive spirit shown during that process. Welcoming the willingness of many delegates to make compromises, she said moving forward in a cohesive and united manner would be critical to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda and to leaving no one behind.

The representative of Peru, as the other co-facilitator of the negotiations, recalled that several sensitive issues had arisen during the talks that had required flexibility on the part of delegations. Nevertheless, on the issue of climate change, one delegation had preferred to resort to a vote. That delegation had chosen not to take part in the negotiations despite having had the opportunity to do so.

The representative of the European Union delegation said the High-Level Political Forum had shown that it could live up to its mandate. In particular, the national voluntary reviews had proved their potential as valuable tools. The key role of stakeholders had also been made clear, she said, adding that "we need to hear their voices" in the years to come.

In other action, the Council also took note of several reports of the Secretary-General, namely on "Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results" (document E/2016/64), "Trends and progress in international development cooperation" (document E/2016/65) and "Infrastructure for sustainable development for all" (document E/2016/70).

Closing Remarks

WU HONGBO, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the follow-up and review of efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda would be instrumental towards achieving its high ambitions. "We are off to an excellent start," he said in that regard, noting that the high-level segment had demonstrated the importance of a sense of national ownership. Listing several other takeaways from the session, he said increasingly complex development challenges called for an integrated policy response and that a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development was imperative. An inclusive follow-up and review was fundamental, and the United Nations development system must continue to align itself with the 2030 Agenda in order to better support its implementation.

Noting that the past two days had seen focused and forward-looking discussions, he said the imperative and future direction of development cooperation had been reaffirmed and that participants had stressed the need to work with the world's poorest people to ensure that no one was left behind. They had emphasized the need to fulfil and prioritize ODA commitments and had pointed to the importance of South-South cooperation, among other things. In addition, they had pointed to challenges in data collection, convergence and disaggregation, particularly in developing countries, and had spotlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships and a bottom-up approach. The actions taken now would influence the timely realization of the 2030 Agenda, he concluded, calling on participants to build on inspiring examples where development cooperation was already working.

OH JOON (Republic of Korea), President of the Economic and Social Council, recalled that the Council, throughout its 2016 session, had worked to provide integrated policy options and recommendations, address gaps and contribute to the overall review of initial progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda. As the culmination of that work, the high-level segment had looked closely at the link between sectors and policy domains, and it had worked to break down the silos that had prevented actors from working together in an integrated manner. Among other things, he noted that involving local communities, scientists, the private sector and other groups in investment decisions on sustainable development was especially beneficial for longer-term durability, efficiency and attaining three-dimensional development objectives.

At the global level, the architecture for follow-up and review of implementation, with the High-Level Political Forum as the central platform, was now well established, he said. The Ministerial Declaration would guide actions going forward, in particular by creating new norms and policy recommendations. The Council would continue to provide a space for Governments and stakeholders to come together through substantive leadership and policy guidance, conducting reviews of progress and trends in sustainable development and international development cooperation, forging links between the normative and operational work of the United Nations development system and promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships, among other things.

"Over the last two years, the Development Cooperation Forum has produced a wealth of inputs on the importance and tremendous potential of development cooperation as a lever for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda," he said, adding that it was a neutral and impartial space that allowed for fresh perspectives and discussions of new development cooperation paradigms.

Source: United Nations

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