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ODA Struggles as Post-2015 Draws Near

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 20 2013 (IPS) - Millennium Development Goal Eight has become a big focus for the Secretary General and other United Nations officials as the deadline draws nearer.  In a press conference last week,  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched the Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force Report 2013.

Entitled “The Global Partnership for Development: The Challenge We Face,” the report follows the commitments that countries have made in regards to debt relief, aid, trade and access to medicine and technologies.

Joined by Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Shamshad Akhtar and Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau for Development Policy the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Olav Kjorven, the Secretary General spoke on the progress of MDG 8.

“As the report shows, tariffs of exports from developing countries are down.  Exports from developing to developed countries are up.  A larger portion of exports from least developed countries are being admitted tax-free.  Access to mobile phone/technology and the internet continue to rapidly expand.” Ban remarked.

The MDG Task Force which was set up by the Secretary General to help monitor the efforts by the global community to close the gap between commitment and delivery has had some gains, but also endured a few challenges, even with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income.

“While global economic trends are slowly improving, the crisis continues to take a toll.  For the first time in a long while, Official Development Assistance has fallen for two consecutive years.” said Ban.

With debt restructuring needed and limited access to technology plaguing developing countries, the challenges faced pick at the progress of the MDG Gap Task Force, yet optimism is still to be found.

Partnerships formed between developed countries and developing countries are the foundation for practical solutions to fighting financial and economic difficulties.  While still being able to face the issues within their own countries, governments are also maintaining their commitments to partnerships outside their borders, making it easier to trade and opening up access to new markets.

It’s the
big guy helps the little guy mentality that strikes as obvious, however not so simple. As the report states:

“While there are advances to report in increasing countries to new technologies, in duty-free access for exports from developing countries and, to a lesser extent, in efforts to increase access to more affordable essential medicines, the international community is not fully delivering on its commitments to development assistance and to reaching an agreement on development-oriented multilateral trade.  The differences in directions taken and the disparity in results weaken the cohesiveness of the global partnership.  As many developing countries are redoubling their efforts to accelerate the progress towards achieving the MDGs by 2015, more policy coherence and consistency is needed within the global partnership to support the endeavours of developing countries.”

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