Press release 260/2012
6 November 2012
Finland must concentrate its development cooperation efforts and clarify their goals and benchmarks applied to them. At the same time, Finland must confirm how it can fulfil its international commitment to provide 0.7 per cent of GNI to development cooperation by 2015, the OECD points out in its review of Finnish development policy and cooperation system, published today, 6 November. The OECD makes 13 recommendations to Finland. By implementing these, Finland could improve the impact and predictability of its development policy, and therefore better support developing countries in their own efforts.
“The review highlights many issues that have already been addressed in the new Development Policy Action Plan. In addition, the Government has committed itself to increasing the otherwise frozen development co-operation funding by using the auction revenues obtained from the EU Emission Trading System,” said Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala in the publication event.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has also addressed the issue of enhancing the focus in development cooperation.
“The new country programmes, used for steering the Finnish cooperation in the long-term partner countries, are an important tool for this purpose. Our assistance to multilateral organisations, such as the UN and development banks, will be reviewed during the winter and reformed on the basis of results obtained. As concerns NGOs, we are currently in the process of selecting new partner organisations, which will increase the programme-based work, as recommended by the OECD,” Hautala explained.
The review also emphasises the role of policy coherence for development. According to the OECD, this is an area where Finland still has room for improvement.
“Reconciling different interests is not always easy, but we are making progress in this arena as well. We have selected food security as a specific theme and, for example, agricultural, fisheries, environmental, trade and development policies are all associated with it," Minister Hautala pointed out.
The OECD commends Finland for, for example, respect of the priorities set by the developing countries themselves, flexibility and the emphasis on the outcomes. The OECD considers, for example, the new business forum, aiming at seeking new opportunities for public-private sector partnerships for reduction of poverty, an excellent initiative.
Furthermore, the OECD encourages Finland to hold on to competent staff, to concentrate humanitarian aid efforts as well, and to inform openly and actively about this work.
The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) reviews the development policy and cooperation systems of the member states every four to five years. The peer reviews are carried out by the OECD secretariat and representatives of two other member states. In addition to the secretariat, Finland’s examiners this time were Switzerland and Austria. The OECD also follows up on the implementation of the recommendations made. The previous OECD review of Finnish development policy and cooperation was conducted in 2008.
Hanna Rinkineva, counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 16056230, firstname.lastname@example.org