Today as a part of the Development Cooperation Forum, a meeting was held to discuss the role of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the post 2015 development agenda. Beginning the meeting, Ms. Randel gave a statement on the critical role of ODA in eradicating extreme poverty, and how to target and better mobilize resources for development. In recent years ODA has increased, with 2013 having the highest recorded ODA expenditures. However, Ms. Randel pointed out that ODA must focus on impacting the bottom 20% of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Ms. Randel also pointed out the importance of harnessing other resources for development like foreign direct investment, remittances, and public/private debt flows.
Following, H.E. Mr. Géro of Benin spoke about how ODA is needed as a tool for investment in developing countries for roads, energy infrastructure, transportation, and industrialization. Markets are very new in developing countries, and oftentimes developing countries are excluded from participating in the global market, so ODA is needed to make up for this deficit. He concluded by stating that ODA must not be guided by political considerations, but rather guided by considerations of what development objectives we hope to achieve.
Next, Mr. Solheim from OECD gave a statement on suggestions to improve ODA. He said that ODA should be targeted more towards LDCs, because even though overall ODA amounts are increasing, they are decreasing for LDCs and fragile states. Mr. Solheim also suggested improving ODA by targeting it towards encouraging more private investment, supporting peace, and using it to assist countries in domestic resource mobilization and better taxation systems.
Following, Mr. Alonso emphasized the importance of ODA in Middle Income Countries (MICs), stating that MICs need development assistance as well in order for them to meet their development goals. Overall, there has been a reduction in global absolute poverty, but an increase in relative poverty in MICs.
Concluding the meeting, H.E. Mr. Phuong of Viet Nam stated that in the post 2015 development agenda, ODA should be used together with public expenditures to attract private investment, directly tackle poverty, and support developing countries socioeconomic development plans. He also called for climate change adaptation projects, the efficient use of natural resources, institutional reforms, and capacity building to help developing countries tap into their national funds.
Meeting Title: Development Cooperation Forum Session 2 “The critical role of Offical Development Assistance (ODA) in development cooperation post-2015”
Speakers: Ms. Judith Randel, Executive Director, Development Initiatives, United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland; His Excellency Fulbert Amoussouga Géro, Minister at the Presidency of the Republic of Benin, in charge of coordinating policies and implementation of the MDGs and the SDGs; Mr. Erik Solheim, Chair, Development Assistance Committee, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Mr. José Antonio Alonso, Professor, Universidad Complutense of Madrid; H.E. Nguyen The Phuong, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, Viet Nam
Date: 10 July 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan