Minister Cowen welcomes OECD endorsement of Government's aid programme
A major review of the Government's development co-operation programme has just been completed by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Its findings, published on 20th November, constitute a strong endorsement of the programme and its underlying objectives by the internationally recognised arbiter of quality and standards in overseas development assistance.
Commenting on the press announcement and report prepared by the DAC, Brian Cowen T.D, Minister for Foreign Affairs, said:
“I warmly welcome the outcome of this major international review of our development cooperation programme. A very positive judgement has been passed by Ireland's peers on our activities in the field of development cooperation.
The programme is making a profound difference to the lives of some of the poorest people on earth. Ireland has been praised by the international donor community for the quality, focus and effectiveness of its development cooperation activities.
This is a tribute to the vision and dedication of the Minister of State, Tom Kitt, T.D, and team he leads. It is also a tribute to the Government for the commitment we have shown in increasing Ireland's ODA resources towards the UN target of 0.7% of GNP and the example we have set internationally.
With wise investment of Irish taxpayer's money, the Government has attained the highest international standards in terms of quality and impact in the developing world. Our development cooperation programme commands huge international respect, as this Peer Review testifies.
Through our programme we are transforming the lives of very many extremely poor and vulnerable people, lifting them out of poverty and offering them hope and support. We can be justly proud of what is being achieved through the Development Cooperation Ireland programme on behalf of the Irish people.”
Note for editors
Development Cooperation Ireland is the official development cooperation programme of the Irish Government. It is situated within the Department of Foreign Affairs and has responsibility for the planning, management and oversight of funds made available from the Irish Government for overseas development assistance.
Within the OECD, there are more than two dozen specialised main committees. The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is the principal body through which the OECD deals with issues related to co-operation with developing countries.
The DAC is one of the key forums in which the major bilateral donors work together to increase the effectiveness of their common effort to support sustainable development. The mission of the DAC is to foster co-ordinated, integrated, effective and adequately financed international efforts in support of sustainable economic and social development.
The DAC contributes to the efforts of its Members to back the efforts of developing countries and their people to help themselves through four principal types of activities. These include:
• the provision of authoritative guidance for Members in the conduct of their development co-operation programmes;
• the conduct of periodic critical reviews of its Members' programmes of development co-operation;
• the provision of a forum for dialogue, exchange of experience and the building of international consensus on policy and management issues of interest to Members
• publishing statistics and reports on aid and other resource flows to developing countries
DAC Members include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Commission of the European Communities, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States. DAC Permanent Observers include the International Monetary Fund, The United Nations Development Programme, The World Bank.
The development cooperation programme of the Irish Government was reviewed this year by a team comprising members of the DAC Secretariat and peer examiners from Belgium and Switzerland. The last such review was conducted in 1999.