6 November 2009

Vienna-DCF Symposium to Explore How Aid Can be More Effective

VIENNA, 6 November (UN Information Service) - In Preparation for the 2010 Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), more than 150 participants, including governments, multilateral organizations, aid agencies, civil society, private sector and academia, will gather in Vienna on 12 - 13 November 2009 for the High-level Symposium on "Accountable and Transparent Development Cooperation: Towards a More Inclusive Framework". Policy-makers from developed and developing countries and representatives of civil society, parliaments and local governments will look together at ways of enhancing the impact of aid in serving the poor, including making development cooperation more accessible.

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger will address the meeting on Thursday, 12 November during the opening of the event where ECOSOC President Sylvie Lucas, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang will also deliver opening remarks. Senior policy-makers, including several Ministers are expected to participate.

The two-day symposium is the first of several meetings planned in the run up to the 2010 Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) biennial Development Cooperation Forum, a body tasked to review trends in development cooperation and improve coherence in the activities of various development cooperation actors.

At a time when the economic crisis puts development cooperation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at risk, the DCF can help mobilize countries to scale up and make more effective use of aid in order to reach the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.

Discussions at the Vienna symposium will focus primarily on the responsibilities of donors and recipients countries (mutual accountability) in development cooperation, and the challenges they face to make aid more predictable and less volatile.

The event will be organized around eight sessions with country-based case studies, panel discussions and interactive dialogue, addressing the some of the following topics: (i) Promoting mutual accountability mechanisms at the global and regional level; (ii) Mutual accountability reviews at the country level; (iii) DCF Stakeholder consultations on global and national mutual accountability and aid transparency; (iv) Strengthening international aid transparency and information-sharing. Specific sessions will also be devoted to improving information on south-south cooperation and the role of aid policy coherence.

Meeting proceedings, summaries, and other official documents- will be made available through: http://www.un.org/ecosoc/newfunct/dcfvienna10.shtml

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For more information, contact:

Newton Kanhema,
UN Department of Public Information
+1 212 963 5602

Anne Thomas,
UN Information Service Vienna
+43 1 260 60 5588

Paul Simon,
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
+1 917 367 5027


About the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

ECOSOC is the principal United Nations body for coordinating and reviewing economic and social policies, providing advice and fostering dialogue on development issues. The biennial Development Cooperation Forum, which was mandated at the 2005 World Summit, discusses issues relating to effectiveness and coherence - and provides policy guidance and recommendations on how to improve the quality and impact of development cooperation.

For more information, visit