Uganda to host the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum symposium

World leaders, gathered at the United Nations in September 2015, adopted a successor international development agenda to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The new Agenda 2030, which comprises of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, is a global call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all human beings enjoy peace and prosperity.

Building on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs apply to all countries, and aim to address the fundamental causes of poverty and underdevelopment rather than focusing on the symptoms.

Whereas the SDGs are universal in nature, their implementation is expected to take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and to respect national policies and priorities. This is what localisation of the SDGs is about, more so as it will be critical also in guiding government policy and funding for the next 15 years.
In Uganda’s case, Government is localising the SDGs at the strategic level of its policies and the National Development Plan (NDPII). Beyond that, Government’s preoccupation is ensuring effective implementation of the NDP II and its successors to ensure better public service delivery. According to the latest United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Uganda, the NDP II (2015/16- 2019/20) has incorporated 76 per cent of the SDGs placing Uganda among the first countries with national plans that meaningfully equate to a National Sustainable Development Strategy.

Government intends to ensure the public sector (particularly the local governments) drives action on the SDGs, with quality and equitable public services as the primary mechanism through which SDGs can become a reality for citizens.

For instance, Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will be required to have and report against a clearly defined portfolio of public services – MDA Service Delivery Profiles - with measureable performance indicators that will be rigorously monitored and evaluated throughout the life cycle of the SDGs.

Also critical to the SDGs implementation will be renewed national and global partnerships – emphasised under Goal 17 – to stimulate action to deliver on the new agenda.

In the past, partnership has been traditionally limited to cooperation between governments either at a bilateral or multilateral level. Under the 2030 Agenda, however, this understanding has been broadened to bring together governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors.  

From November 4-6 2015, Uganda in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), will host the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) High-level Symposium to contribute to strengthening the global partnership for the benefit of people all over the world.

The Symposium, which is also supported by contributions from UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC), will take place in Kampala at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort.

The DCF, is the principal platform for global policy dialogue on development cooperation, engaging all stakeholders to review trends and progress in development cooperation.
The Kampala Symposium is one of three global engagements that will contribute to the 5th High-level Meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, to be held in New York in July 2016.

It will provide a platform for evidence based sharing and will ultimately produce concrete policy guidance on development cooperation post-2015, to put into practice at international, regional, national and local level.  

The Symposium will be officiated by His Excellency the President of Uganda and co-chaired by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. More than 200 Ministers, high-level representatives and experts from all regions of the world will convene for an informal and frank dialogue, leading to practical advice on SDG implementation.

The Uganda DCF provides a first opportunity to discuss, under the United Nations auspices, and with participation of all development cooperation actors, the implementation of the Financing for Development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

With the overarching theme “Development Cooperation for a New Era: Making the Renewed Global Partnership for Sustainable Development a Reality,” the symposium will discuss development cooperation for the new agenda: ways to motivate, support and further shape development cooperation as a critical ‘means of implementation’ in the post-2015 era.

The Symposium will also seek to provide answers to how countries, including Uganda, will align development cooperation policies and interventions to implement the SDGs, as well as how to monitor and review the impact of development cooperation on the new sustainable development agenda.

Discussions will take account of specific experiences of countries, and explore the key role of the private sector and other non-state actors; the role of blended financing; the results of development cooperation at country level; and how integrated, aligned and country-driven monitoring and reporting frameworks can work in practice.

This interaction will build consensus on a shared position for the future of development cooperation across the globe as the Post-2015 Agenda comes into play.

It will further bring to the table key issues related to ownership of the new global agenda, which needs translation into strategies and action at national and local levels, with a distinctive role for development cooperation as part of the broader global partnership for sustainable development.

Particular attention will be placed on the challenges that Africa faces as a region. Promoting technology facilitation and capacity building, and addressing gaps in technology, science and innovation will also be central to the discussion.

As a country, we feel honoured to host this important Symposium which will contribute to making sustainable development, a reality for all, to ensure we leave no one behind.