Switzerland plays key role in development policy dialogue with Arab donors

Press release, 27.03.2017

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is hosting this year's dialogue between the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee and Arab donors, aimed at implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires coordinated action by all donors as well as targeted and effective deployment of limited resources. The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are among the biggest sources of development finance. The event, being held in Bern on 27–28 March, complements the SDC's wider development policy dialogue with Arab donors, which also takes place in the Gulf region.

The Arab-DAC Dialogue on Development between the members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the main GCC donors has been taking place since 2014. This year, the focus is on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular how the development finance of DAC and GCC donors can be better coordinated and how partnerships can be forged that combine the respective strengths of the participating institutions. The target outcomes include ensuring a good education for children, even in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, and creating better access to financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises. The effectiveness of developing countries' efforts will also be addressed, with an exchange of experiences on implementing the principles of the Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.

SDC organises Arab-Swiss Water Day

As part of its hosting of this year's Arab-DAC Dialogue, Switzerland is also organising an Arab-Swiss Water Day. Geared towards Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), the event will examine the sustainability of investments in water infrastructure and sanitary facilities as well as cooperation with the private sector in the search for innovative solutions. The focus on water – the source of social, economic and environmental development – reflects the key role played by Switzerland in formulating a comprehensive goal on water within the 2030 Agenda.

The Arab-DAC Dialogue and Arab-Swiss Water Day take place in Bern on 27–28 March. Around 80 participants are expected to attend.

Biggest donors outside the OECD DAC

The GCC countries are among the biggest sources of development finance outside the OECD's Development Assistance Committee. Joint efforts involving the GCC donors are therefore needed to meet the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Like Switzerland, most GCC countries have signed up to the Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which aims to enhance the effectiveness of international cooperation through adherence to common principles and improved coordination between donors. To this end, Switzerland engages in institutional dialogue on development policy and humanitarian issues with selected GCC donors, and has a regional adviser for this purpose in Abu Dhabi. The international cooperation adviser provides the instruments needed to implement the Busan Agenda and engages in thematic exchange on topics including food security, private sector involvement in implementing and financing the 2030 Agenda, and impact assessment in international cooperation. Alongside policy dialogue, Switzerland seeks to develop mutually beneficial co-financing arrangements with Arab donors, for example in the area of health in Tanzania with donors from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. It also works with such donors to identify solutions to global challenges on issues such as climate change, water and food security.

The DAC invited Switzerland to host the 2017 Arab-DAC Dialogue on Development on the strength of its involvement in the Gulf region. This will enhance Switzerland's standing and reputation in a region that is in many respects of strategic interest to our country.

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs