Plenary 2: Moving forward – How effective development can deliver the 2030 Agenda
Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
Nairobi, Kenya, 30 November 2016
(as prepared for delivery)
Excellencies Ministers, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to be alongside Minister Gatete of Rwanda and our distinguished panellists for this discussion on effective development and the 2030 Agenda.
As I mentioned at the opening of our conference, we need to go from billions to trillions when it comes to development finance. The Global Partnership provides a strong platform for bringing together the wide range of actors to make that happen.
Minister Gatete: your country, Rwanda, was a pioneer when, ten years ago, it was the first African country to publish a national aid policy, spelling out how aid would be used effectively to help meet the MDGs. I am pleased to see how far Rwanda has come since then. We are delighted to have Rwanda as a new Co-Chair of the Global Partnership as it embarks on a new phase.
While more and better development finance will be crucial, it is far from being the only determinant of success when it comes to the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs are both complex and ambitious. Achieving them will depend above all on our ability to design and implement sound public policies.
The three Goals chosen as a focus for this session – Goals 8, 10 and 16 – serve as excellent examples of how we need to do much more than just throw money at problems in order to succeed. Allow me to say a few words about each of them.
When it comes to Goal 8 (inclusive growth, full employment, and decent work): we’ve all heard the numbers. In the OECD countries alone, the average disposable income of the richest 10% is now almost ten times that of the poorest 10%. And we see similar, trends and worse numbers in most developing countries.
The OECD’s recent work on inclusive growth has shown that high inequality in fact harms economic growth. So rather than seeing growth and equality as a trade-off, we should instead see them as mutually reinforcing.
Globally, the world of work continues to change. Falling or stagnant wages in many countries, combined with labour market insecurity, are real problems. SDG 8 aims to fix this. In September this year, I had the pleasure of launching the Global Deal with Prime Minister Lofven of Sweden and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, underscoring the OECD’s commitment to strengthening the dialogue among companies, trade unions and governments.
I should also mention the importance of responsible business conduct. The OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises have helped combat bribery, promote due diligence in mineral supply chains, and tackle some of the challenges of the garment supply chain that shocked the world at the time of the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013. We all have more work to do.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I often remind OECD countries that the SDG’s are universal Goals, which means that they too need to make progress at home, not just in emerging and developing countries. Gender inequality is a good example of this challenge. In some OECD countries, the gender wage gap is as high as 36% – in other words, in these countries, women earn a third less than men for comparable jobs.
Finally, when it comes to Goal 16, we are reminded of the importance of peace, and of effective and accountable institutions, for development. There is a very real risk – faced with the daunting challenges of ending poverty and combatting climate change – that we overlook the nexus of poverty, violence and fragility. We would do this at our peril.
Weak institutions, fragility, violence and conflict create persistent vulnerabilities that undo development gains. If these challenges are not met, millions of people will remain mired in them: the migration crisis will continue; and violent radicalism will flourish. Earlier today, we launched States of Fragility 2016, which draws attention to these threats. Breaking this deadly cycle requires new, transparent, and multi-dimensional models to measure and monitor fragility, and to uncover the forces that underpin conflict. Only by analysing what is broken will we know how to fix it.
It is possible. And the Global Partnership also is an important vehicle to achieve the SDGs. Working together, bringing our collective skills, knowledge and resources into play, there is nothing we can’t do.
The OECD stands ready to work with you on this ambitious agenda and to design, develop and deliver better policies for better lives.