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U.N. Secretary General Expresses Concern Over Drop In Official Development Assistance

“There is an urgent need to reverse the fall in official development assistance (ODA), [U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said] as he set out key elements for a development agenda beyond 2015” in a progress report (.pdf) to the U.N. general assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), The Guardian reports. “Ban expressed concern at the drop in ODA — which comes under MDG 8, the global partnership — over the past two years,” the newspaper writes, noting “ODA fell by four percent in real terms last year, following a two percent dip in 2011, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” which “attributed the drop in aid for the second year in a row to the economic crisis in Europe, but predicted a moderate recovery next year.”

“The report says ODA will remain crucial to leverage other finance, particularly for the least developed countries and those emerging from conflicts and disasters,” The Guardian notes. “It will be critical, it adds, for donors to establish a timetable for meeting ODA targets and enhancing the principles on development effectiveness, as set out in Busan, South Korea, where ownership of development strategy by aid recipients was emphasized,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Looking beyond 2015, when the MDGs expire, Ban said the key elements of a future development agenda should include: universality, to mobilize all developed and developing countries and leave no one behind; sustainable development, to tackle interlinked challenges, including a clear focus on ending extreme poverty in all its forms; and inclusive economic transformations, ensuring decent jobs, backed by sustainable technologies” (Tran, 8/16).