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Versión Español | March 2014


Feeding the Post-2015 Global Discussion on Effective Development Cooperation

Guatemala is closer to using biofuels with support from the OAS

“Effective Development Cooperation" is a complex and evolving concept of growing concern for a diversity of stakeholders from developing and developed countries alike. On March 7, 2014, Member State delegations, along with representatives of regional and international organizations, the private sector and academia convened at OAS headquarters in Washington DC to share their views and recommendations on the formulation and implementation of development cooperation policies and programs.  

The forum highlighted the evolution of cooperation in the Americas, driven by the transition of most countries in the region from low to middle income economies, accompanied by an increasingly important role played by the private sector in ensuring sustained and long term development. In addition, specific recommendations were made on issues to be considered on the post-2015 development agenda.  

“The OAS has adopted an inclusive approach towards cooperation, based on the understanding that all member states have experiences and knowledge to share and exchange. This inclusive approach is aligned with what is expected for the post-2015 agenda and goes beyond the Millennium Development Goals” said OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin in his opening remarks.  

The OAS has been playing an instrumental role not only in facilitating policy dialogue -critical to guiding informed and demand driven cooperation initiatives - but also in supporting different cooperation modalities. Through its active engagement and consolidated networks, the organization continues to enrich the regional body of experience and knowledge on multilateral, horizontal and triangular cooperation. “Cooperation is the thread that runs through everything we do at the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (OAS-SEDI). Cooperation is of fundamental importance for us to be able to implement and achieve our objectives,” said OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Sherry Tross.  

Advancing the theme even further, Ambassador Angus Friday, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the OAS, made a direct call to Member States to deepen regional cooperation and to support the development work of the OAS, declaring that “We must infect ourselves with success and end the mindset of smallness and victimization. We are not small developing islands but great ocean states.”

In understanding the role of the private sector as a development partner, participants underscored that its involvement is not philanthropic, but strategic to improving and sustaining competitive advantage in the long term. Dr. Djordjija Petkoski, from the Wharton Business School and Adviser at the World Bank, noted that contrary to popular belief, “the private sector’s profit motive, and the resulting value created for shareholders, is aligned with the need to sustain growth in order to reduce poverty”. In addition, the role of government in supporting the private sector was repeatedly highlighted, particularly in ensuring market governance– transparency, predictability and clarity. “The private sector is a development agent, but to be effective it requires an enabling environment from governments” emphasized OAS Secretary of External Relations, Alfonso Quiñonez.  

The evolution of LAC not only as a receiver but also as a provider of cooperation was also central to the discussion. Regional examples of countries providing South-South and triangular cooperation were presented, notably Chile, which through its Agency for International Cooperation (AGCI) currently provides assistance to 31 countries and is associated with 12 donor countries to offer triangular cooperation. Other panelists included representatives from USAID, UNDP and the World Bank, who stressed that knowledge sharing between countries can be its own form of cooperation, and that multilateral organizations can play an important role in managing such information and in facilitating exchanges to scale up successful experiences.  

Recommendations and conclusions from the forum will provide input for the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation to be held in Mexico on April 2014. This first High-Level event will reconfirm the importance of cooperation in the global development agenda and address the very issues discussed in the forum: the role of business in supporting development, knowledge sharing, South-South and triangular cooperation, domestic resource mobilization, and challenges of middle-income countries.  

"Latin America and the Caribbean has had a modest role in global discussions to define the development agenda. It is time -at the meeting in Mexico and beyond- for the region to have its voice clearly heard. The intensity of today’s discussions confirms the relevance for the region of the topics that have been selected for this first meeting of the Global Alliance" concluded Ambassador Bruno Figueroa, Director-General of the Technical and Scientific Cooperation of the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AMEXCID).  

The Forum was organized by the OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development and the Secretariat for External Relations through its Inter-American Cooperation Network (CooperaNet) and the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD), with the financial support of the Canadian government.

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