OECD High Level Meeting of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), 30-31 October 2017, OECD Conference Centre, Paris

The High Level Meeting of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD was held on 30-31 October 2017 in Paris. The Hungarian delegation was led by Mr. Ferenc Dancs, Deputy State Secretary for International Cooperation.

Douglas Frantz, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD for global relations and development reminded the Member States that in today’s rapidly changing world the DAC has to adapt to the constant changes and answer promptly to the emerging challenges. He drew the attention to the role of data in international development and to the necessity of resource mobilization in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Member States discussed the challenges of the change of the development narrative in the era of the 2030 Agenda. They agreed that in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda, cooperation beyond governments is necessary, between all of the concerned stakeholders, following a whole of society approach. Charlotte Petri-Gornitzka, the DAC Chair emphasized that the DAC has to continue to build on its core competencies in the future, but beyond that it has to develop innovative approaches to foster private sector resource mobilization.

Regarding fostering development finance through and beyond ODA and the new approaches of development finance, participants agreed that the DAC plays a crucial role in resource mobilization, fostering more inclusive and climate compatible development pathways and development effectiveness. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, 5-7 trillion USD is needed annually, the financing gap in developing countries is currently 2,5 trillion USD.

Following the natural disasters of 2017, Member States mandated the DAC to examine short term financing mechanisms available for high income countries graduated from the list of ODA recipients hit by humanitarian disasters, including the reinstatement to the DAC list of ODA recipients. However it should be avoided to regroup financial resources to countries hit by natural disasters from Member States’ ODA budgets, which should target the poorest African countries. Member States also mandated the Committee to examine the possibility of reinstatement to the DAC list of ODA recipients in response to economic setbacks. Currently, only rules of graduation from the list exist with no procedure for reinstatement to the list in case of drop of a country’s GNI below the ODA threshold.

The meeting also handled the special challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the area of international development. SIDS countries do not belong to the poorest countries, however climate change, heavy dependence on volatile export markets and changes of energy prices make them face special challenges. Representing the SIDS group, Grenada emphasized the role of innovation and reported about the next steps of the creation of hurricane resistant and climate-intelligent zones.

Participants of the High Level Meeting reinforced the engagement of developed countries to more efficient international development cooperation, resource mobilization, cooperation with all stakeholders and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and gave a strong mandate to the DAC to play a crucial role in the process.

Anita Obermayer