Director-General Participates in Fourth High Level Foum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan
Sixty years ago, it was through the port of Busan in the Republic of Korea that international aid reached a country torn by war. Today, the country has become a donor that is hosting the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness from 29 November to 1 December, with the ambition of building a new global partnership for effective development cooperation.
"Investment in education and foreign assistance drove our social and economic development. Today, we want to share this experience with the world to help developing countries overcome poverty and hunger," said Mr Ju-Ho Lee, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, opening the event on Education Official Development Assistance on 29 November.
During the session, the Director-General and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan were joined by participants from the OECD, World Bank, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, the Global Partnership for Education and the Korean Educational Development Institute.
All spoke with one voice on education as an investment that pays off and saves lives, as Queen Rania repeatedly stated, putting particular emphasis on training qualified teachers.
In her keynote address, the Director-General stated that education has a good story to tell on aid effectiveness in terms of national plans, tracking progress and predictable support through pooled funding. Nevertheless, the current USD 5.8 billion in aid to education falls far short of needs. Some donors are pulling out of education altogether. "The combination of decreasing and poorly targeted aid could be devastating," said Mrs Bokova. "We need smarter and more strategic aid – aid that targets bottlenecks and that builds capacity to release national resources and talent."
The fact that developing countries pledged to increase their commitments to education during the November Global Partnership Replenishment Conference in Copenhagen sends a strong message to external donors, said Carol Bellamy, chair of the Partnership.
As part of the United Nations delegation to Busan, Ms. Bokova participated in a session on capacity building and knowledge exchange where she stressed the importance of bringing the right information to decision-makers and the multiplier effect of investing in the capacity of women and girls.
At a session organized by the United Development Group on Internationally Agreed Goals, Norms and Standards as drivers of development, the Director-General stressed that "development is not just about money" underlining how the agenda was evolving, and stressing the notions of equity, sustainability and measuring results as vital.
According to a statement issued by the United Nations Development Group at the Forum, "development cooperation cannot wait. Aid should be allocated more efficiently and equitably to deliver development results for the poorest women, men and children. Busan provides a critical opportunity for Governments, civil society, the private sector and other groups to send a clear message that strengthened development cooperation is key to achieving sustainable development."