“For those of you who were present in Berlin, at the DCF Germany Symposium, let me recall a particular moment when a mayor was so moved by what was being discussed on the panel, that while making her comments from the floor, she walked up to the podium and handed flyers to the panelists, vividly pointing out how her city was handling things in a different way, to ensure development cooperation was directed where it was most needed and would have the greatest impact, on the lives of the poorest and most marginalized.
Without suggesting you all advance on the podium, I want to encourage you to be animated by this same spirit in our work together during these two days – and beyond.”
This statement by President of ECOSOC Martin Sadijk during the opening of the UN Development Cooperation Forum, referring to the input of UCLG Champion Mayor Celéstine Ketcha Courtes, is one of a few instances where the importance of the role of local government in development cooperation and the post-2015 agenda found itself emphasized.
In the weeks following the UN Development Cooperation Forum, which took place July 10th - 11th in New York, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), has been publishing various presentations and summaries of sessions and side events to their website dedicated to the event. These summaries and press releases emphasize the importance of addressing poverty reduction, of finding new resources of aid, of building new partnerships, and of redefining development cooperation in the post-2015 agenda.
Local government, though not often specifically named during the main sessions of the DCF, is best poised to tackle these issues. The DPI Press Release on Day 2 of the event sums it up best by citing UCLG Champion Mayor Nomveliso Nyukwana:
"Ms. NYUKWANA said that if development cooperation was to be effective, the role of local government needed to be recognized. The people, civil society, and the business sector were there. Coherence would then move upwards. Peer–to-peer capacity-building was not just money, but experience, assistance and technology. Also needed were strategies that were aligned with national strategies."
"The Local Dimension of Development Cooperation" was also the theme of a side event during the UN DCF, and further information including a summary on this event will be added in the near future, so please check back on the UN ECOSOC webpage for the DCF.