The Director-General welcomes OECD’s decision to revise UNESCO’s ODA coefficient upwards

The Director-General welcomes OECD’s decision to revise  UNESCO’s ODA coefficient upwards
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 18 June 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, expressed his satisfaction with the decision by the OECD to revise UNESCO’s official development assistance (ODA) coefficient.

At its May 2009 meeting the OECD Development Assistance Council (DAC) Working Party on Statistics reviewed and approved a general methodology for assessing official development assistance eligibility (ODA-eligibility) of international agencies and for deriving coefficients for international agencies that qualify, in part, as ODA-eligible. This coefficient is designed to assess the percentage of an organization’s activities which contribute to development according to OECD’s definitions, and may have an impact on allocations decided by Member States in the development area. UNESCO had been discussing its ODA coefficient with the OECD Secretariat, and was one of the international agencies under review.

The Director-General has been notified that the DAC Working Party has decided to raise the UNESCO ODA coefficient from 25% to 44%, with the change to take effect as from the current year reporting on ODA flows in 2008. Mr Matsuura welcomes this change which reflects a recognition of the significant work carried out by UNESCO with respect to official development assistance.

However, the Director-General still regrets that the OECD/DAC Secretariat did not accept his proposal to raise UNESCO’s ODA coefficient to at least 75%. He further regrets that the OECD/DAC Working Party had excluded the entire range of UNESCO’s normative activities, as well as of activities in the field of culture and social sciences, which contribute to the development of Member States in these areas. The issue of consistency in the application of the OECD/DAC definitions across agencies is also a challenge, which UNESCO will raise with OECD and other partners.

Nevertheless, the Director-General notes that the DAC Working Party has agreed to re-consider the ODA coefficient of UNESCO at its next meeting in June 2010, as an exception to the general procedure under which coefficients remain valid for a minimum of five years, on the basis of additional information concerning the development focus of activities carried out at UNESCO Headquarters on behalf of ODA-eligible beneficiaries.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 120-2009
  • 19-06-2009
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