Debate

The development agenda of the future requires more than aid

In a year, the world will have new development goals to eradicate extreme poverty. The months ahead will be marked by negotiations and discussions on content and funding. As a natural part of Sweden's work for a new development agenda, Sida will do everything we can to contribute to the goals being well-balanced, focused and feasible. It writes Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Page

The opening of the UN General Assembly creates a melting pot of discussions about the new demands, challenges and opportunities that a new development agenda places on Sweden and other leading nations in international development cooperation. During a week in the USA, I have participated in several discussions and bring home a strong feeling that 2015 is a year that can provide a fresh start for the sustainable development cooperation of the future.

During the week in the USA, Sweden has, among other things, launched a new partnership for climate initiatives and a global innovation fund. We have moved forward positions on financing the development agenda.

For me, these different activities in many ways represent the issues that are high priorities for next year. Then the new sustainable development goals post-2015 will be set and issues related to climate and financing will be dominant.

If we get what we want, the new goals will integrate values ​​clearly linked to gender equality, human rights and sustainability in its various dimensions. In order to achieve the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, a broad view of sustainability is needed. And new, innovative ways are needed to finance development as well as to collaborate to achieve the goals. This is a starting point for Sida's priorities in the future.

We see before us a development where development assistance is becoming less and less in relation to other financial flows such as direct investments and remittances. The world's total aid of about $ 135 billion will not be enough to meet the future development agenda. This does not mean that aid becomes less important, on the contrary! Development cooperation will continue to play an important role in combating poverty and oppression. We can do this by also mobilizing and interacting with other resources in addition to development assistance. In order to finance and implement the new development agenda, we need to design new methods, tools and collaborations. We must create new instruments and develop our methods to create good results in the best possible way in each country and context in which we work.

Sweden will, through Sida, many of our active civil society organizations and also innovative companies, be present at a number of meetings where the most important issues will be addressed before the new ambitious and broad development agenda is set. The meetings are milestones and the processes that lead to them are central means of making a mark on the agenda.

The report presented by the UN Secretary-General with his views on what the new goals should contain is a very important starting point for negotiations and talks that will lead to the final goals that will be presented in about a year.

The milestones also include, for example, the climate meetings in New York and Lima, the World Bank's annual meeting in October and several other events. But achieving sustainable goals also requires sustainable financing and innovation. That is why many are talking about and aiming for the Financing for Development meeting in Addis Ababa in July next year. There, world leaders will deliver commitments on how to fund the new development agenda. It is about national resource mobilization through taxes, about aid from both high- and middle-income countries, about the role of business both nationally and multinationally, philanthropists, civil society and other actors.

The results in Addis Ababa will have a major impact on how the goals will be received, on how climate challenges and development issues will be handled.

I will work for Sida to play a central role as part of Sweden's efforts to contribute to the new agenda. I now hope that all Swedish actors - both popularly rooted civil society organizations and the business actors who are at the forefront of sustainability issues, trade unions and academia - will be involved and ensure that the values ​​we agree on are on the agenda when we participate in these meetings and preparations. We want to lead the change. To do that, we must be visible and clear in forums where the change is made.

We have a lot to learn from others and there are so many people, organizations and companies to be inspired by. The ideas that are shared and the discussions that we take part in have value for what Swedish development assistance will look like in the future.

I want us to do everything we can for a good result of the important meetings we have ahead of us, where Sweden can contribute with spring innovation thinking about how to finance efforts for sustainable development that benefits people living in poverty. I want us to contribute to a set of well-formulated new development goals that will guide our work for many years to come.

Together, we are involved in laying the foundation for the results that in the short and long term will benefit the people we work for. We have a responsibility to make it an inclusive process where their voices are heard and to work together for a sustainable future without extreme poverty. 

Charlotte Petri Gornitzka,
Director General of Sida

This is a debate article. The author is responsible for analysis and opinions in the text.

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