OECD’s Gurría urges countries to act on UN Sustainable Development Goals
28 September 2015
Posted by: Author: OECD
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría today called on all countries to fully engage with the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and said advanced and emerging economies had a particular responsibility to translate the global goals into national policy and to support developing countries in doing the same.
As an evidence-based policy lab for the world, the OECD stands ready to help all countries integrate the goals into their agendas drawing on its long experience in collecting data, monitoring performance, and advising on good policies and practices in the areas covered by the goals adopted on Friday, he said.
"These goals are universal, to be embraced by countries at all levels of development. This includes OECD member countries,” Mr. Gurría told delegates at a UN summit on the SDGs. "The commitments made here in New York must lead to action on everything from inequality and jobs to climate change – and advanced economies must show leadership.”
"The OECD will work with the UN and for the UN to achieve the 2030 Agenda,” he added, after renewing a partnership with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for co-operation in trade, investment and development. (Read the full speech).
Achieving the post-2015 goals will require governments to work more closely with the business sector, civil society and philanthropic foundations, and give them a more equal role in development partnerships, according to the OECD’s 2015 annual report on development.
The Organisation is already working on many fronts to help developing countries. For example, its well-known Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is being adapted so that developing countries have better evidence on student learning at their fingertips. Efforts are also underway to help mobilise more domestic resources like private investment, tax revenues and remittances to finance the SDGs. These efforts include the Policy Framework for Investment, used by around 30 developing and emerging economies since 2006 to improve their investment environment, and a new measure of Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) which should encourage new resources by capturing sources of finance beyond official aid.
Numerous capacity building projects include Tax Inspectors Without Borders, a partnership with the UNDP that sends audit experts to work alongside developing country tax officials to strengthen tax audit capacity. Initial projects in countries such as Albania, Colombia, Ghana and Senegal show this approach can greatly increase tax revenues.
In parallel, authorities in 127 countries are working through the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes to tackle cross-border tax evasion, and all interested countries will be able to participate in a new inclusive framework being designed to monitor the implementation and impact of the OECD-G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, which addresses tax avoidance by multinationals.
This article first appeared on oecd.org.