Dear Focal Points for Policy Coherence for Development,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to this new International Platform for Policy Coherence for Development. As far as I know, it is the first of its kind and it responds to a growing demand from a wide range of stakeholders to share experiences and good practices on PCD.
The launch of the Platform comes at a very timely moment, as the OECD is in the process of elaborating an Organisation-wide Strategy on Development. At the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Ministerial Council Meeting, members made an historic decision to launch an OECD Strategy on Development. They endorsed a strategic framework which provides the Organisation with the basis to broaden its approach to development, drawing more effectively on its multidisciplinary expertise and longstanding experience in development co-operation, and strengthening its partnerships and mechanisms for knowledge sharing. This strategy in my view offers the best opportunity yet for elevating PCD on our agenda since we will be engaging directly with non-member stakeholders who are best placed to provide feedback on how global and national policies impact on them. We hope therefore that all stakeholders with make use of this web-based Platform to ensure as much knowledge sharing as possible.
For the OECD, this is a decisive moment for development. The global economy is experiencing a major structural transformation. Some regions continue to benefit from rapid growth, while others feel the impacts of a protracted economic and financial crisis. Inequality within and among countries continues to grow and despite overall progress in poverty reduction, there remain huge pockets of poverty in both low and middle income countries. In this rapidly changing context, predictability and quality of ODA remain crucial. It is essential also that advanced economies should deliver on their commitments on aid volume and that they take further action to improve their performance at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in Busan, South Korea, on 29 November – 1 December. The Busan conference is also an opportunity to explore the transition from aid effectiveness to the broader notion of development effectiveness.
At the same time, there is growing awareness that policies and practices in a wide range of areas - at the global, national and local levels - can have major impacts on the ability of developing countries to make sustainable progress. This can include trade, investment, agriculture and fisheries, taxation, security, innovation and migration. The OECD can and should play an important role in promoting PCD. It is well placed to enhance greater coherence as it brings together policy makers from all public policy areas through dialogue, peer reviews and knowledge sharing. Since the early 1990s, the OECD has played a pivotal role in promoting PCD. OECD’s work on PCD was mandated at the 2002 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting as part of the OECD Action for a Shared Development Agenda. Recognising the importance of PCD for reaching the MDGs, OECD Ministers renewed their commitment to PCD in June 2008 by issuing a Ministerial Declaration on PCD. We have an excellent base to take this work forward.
I believe our new approach to development now offers the best opportunity yet to extend the evidence and analysis base on both positive and negative spillovers across all public policies. In elaborating the Strategy, we will focus on four areas to begin with where the OECD can provide value added. These include: innovative and sustainable sources of growth; (ii) mobilisation of resources for development; (iii) governance for development, and; (iv) measuring progress for development. Supporting policy coherence for development is one of the Strategy’s primary objectives, providing important new impetus to this work stream. Therefore, to ensure synergies, the International Platform on PCD will also be organised around these four areas. More specifically, 16 sub-themes will be discussed over a period of 16 months.
The OECD is very pleased to be hosting this International Platform for Policy Coherence and hope that it will become a useful and interactive tool as we strive to design better policies for development. On our part, we will build on the collective expertise of the OECD in various policy areas and make better use of our comparative advantage as policy pathfinder and standard setter.
Once again, welcome!
Deputy Secretary-General for Development