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DCF Preparatory Meeting Discusses Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development

9 February 2012: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held a preparatory meeting for the 2012 UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), in order to examine key development cooperation trends that have emerged in recent years, their impacts on the future of development cooperation, and related institutional arrangements. A key topic was "gearing development cooperation toward sustainable development." The 2012 DCF will take place from 5‐6 July 2012, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

The preparatory meeting, held on 9 February 2012, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on the theme, “The Changing Context of Development: What does it mean for Cooperation and Global Partnership?” consisted of two panel discussions, on "New dynamics of development cooperation: challenges and opportunities" and "Gearing development cooperation towards sustainable development."

The panel on the new dynamics of development cooperation considered how aid can be used to catalyze sustainable and pro-poor development results and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as how aid should be allocated between countries and sectors. Panelists also discussed the DCF's role in spurring greater impact and coherence in international development cooperation. The panel discussed the invitation to consult on implementation of the outcomes of the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4). While some countries called for stronger cooperation between the DCF and the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, others cautioned that the Busan agreements were not UN documents and called for a UN process to discuss these documents.

The panel on gearing development cooperation towards sustainable development considered: the implications for countries at different stages of development of transitioning towards a green economy; how the lessons learned and principles on aid effectiveness and effective development cooperation can be used in guiding development cooperation for sustainable development; and the role of the DCF in re-thinking a new architecture for development cooperation that is responsive to the challenges of sustainable development. The panel underlined that the DCF could play an important role in bringing together the two strands of discussion on development cooperation and on sustainable development, and also could be a key platform for stronger accountability. Panelists also highlighted that the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) is about equity.

ECOSOC President Miloš Koterec highlighted that the shift towards sustainable development would have an impact on the future of development cooperation and the allocation, delivery and use of aid. He called for greater clarity on how these two issues can be brought together.

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and UNCSD Secretary-General, outlined the priority areas that member States and stakeholders have agreed will help guide the creation of a framework to advance green economies, as follows: poverty eradication and green jobs, energy, water, food security, urbanization, disasters, oceans and seas, and climate change and biodiversity. He underlined that development cooperation programmes should be driven by recipient countries and highlighted the role of Rio+20 in reinvigorating development cooperation. [Summary of Meeting] [Meeting Website] [Sustainable Development Policy & Practice post on HLF-4]