Global development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) is the globally agreed, long-term roadmap for development. It comprises the 17 Global Goals (also known as the Sustainable Development Goals) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. The 2030 Agenda is well aligned with Australian Government policy both domestically and internationally. In particular, the global goals support the investment priorities of the Australia aid policy. The 2030 Agenda also ensures a strong focus on key issues for Australia including gender equality, governance and strengthening tax systems.

Read more: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

International Development Finance

The third International Financing for Development Conference took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-16 July 2015. The Conference built on the outcomes of earlier financing conferences in Monterrey (2002) and Doha (2008). The focus was on broadening the range of sources of finance including from developing and emerging economies, the private sector and new philanthropic organisations. Importantly, it also emphasized the importance of building the right enabling environments in developing countries to promote economic growth and attract investment. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda outcome document places a strong emphasis on each country’s responsibility for its own development, the importance of focusing on economic growth, the vital role of the private sector and the ways in which the empowerment of women and girls can drive growth. At the Conference, Australia was proud to join the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) and committed to doubling our investment in strengthening developing countries’ tax systems from $16 million in 2014-15 to $32 million in 2020.

Global Development Governance and Effectiveness

Australia is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of development efforts through a range of global programs.

Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and the Busan Agreement

In 2011 Governments, NGOs, private sector organisations and other development partners came together to discuss and agree broad principles for effective development cooperation. The Busan Agreement recognised the value that all development partners bring to international development cooperation, and set out broad principles for cooperation: ownership of development priorities by developing countries, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships, transparency and accountability.

Born out of the Busan Agreement the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) aims to bring together all development partners to: maintain and strengthen political momentum for more effective development co-operation; ensure accountability for implementing Busan commitments; and facilitate knowledge exchange and sharing of lessons learned.

Australia is a strong supporter of the GPEDC and continues to engage in its global monitoring activities and high-level meetings. Australia contributed to the 2016 global monitoring round of the GPEDC, which drew record participation and diversity—81 developing countries, 125 development partners, and hundreds of civil society organisations, private sector representatives, and foundations participated. The monitoring round focused on strengthening developing country institutions; transparency and predictability of development cooperation; gender equality; and multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Development Assistance Committee

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is an international forum for donor governments to exchange policy experience and identify good practice. The DAC sets and monitors global standards in key areas of overseas development assistance, compiles development statistics and facilitates peer reviews of members’ development programs.

Australia is an active member of the DAC, contributing to reform efforts currently underway to increase the forum’s relevance and impact. Australia has also played an active role in efforts to modernise Official Development Assistance (ODA) measures, standards and systems. This has included: adjustments to the way ODA loans are measured; a commitment to target ODA to countries most in need; updates to peace and security directives and work on a new measure for ‘total official support for sustainable development’ to complement the ODA measure.

Australia contributes to shaping the analytical work of the DAC, including through support for the DAC Program of Work and Budget as well as work to improve peer review process. Australia takes part in DAC policy networks, including for gender equality, fragility and governance (for which Australia is co-chair). Australia also works with those bodies and programs that align closely with Australia’s development priorities, in particular on conflict and fragility, leveraging other drivers of development such as domestic finance, and development finance statistics.

Millennium Development Goals

Australia was one of 189 countries that adopted the Millennium Declaration in 2000, which subsequently led to the formation of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs, which expired at the end of 2015, were a shared vision for reducing poverty; and improving health, gender equality, education and the environment.

The world has made good progress toward achieving the MDGs. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. In fact the poverty reduction target was met five years ahead of schedule. The target on improving access to safe drinking water has also been met and other targets, including the target on achieving gender parity in primary education, are close to being met.

However, despite considerable success, several targets were not met, including halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger and addressing maternal and child mortality. In the Indo-Pacific, progress has been mixed and large disparities still exist in overall levels of poverty.

Like other countries, Australia has taken the lessons learned from the MDGs into the development of the 2030 Agenda.

Last Updated: 2 May 2016