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Interministerial committee for development cooperation

The Law of 9 May 2012 amending the amended law of 6 January 1996 on development cooperation and humanitarian action defines the responsibilities of the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation (ICDC). It has the remit of giving its opinion on the broad outlines of development cooperation policy and the coherence of development policies. The law also asks the government to submit an annual report to the Chamber of Deputies on the work of the Committee, including the issue of the coherence of development policies. The Grand Ducal Regulation of 7 August 2012 lays down the make-up and mode of operation of the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation.

In 2020, the ICDC met five times under the chairmanship of the Director for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action. In addition to the routine updating on the flagship activities of Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation at each meeting, including, in particular, the reorientations of projects and programmes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of the ICDC placed special emphasis on policy coherence.

Thus, an initial joint meeting between the ICDC and the Interdepartmental Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) was held. While the ICDC coordinates the government’s development cooperation policies and the coherence of development policies, the ICSD, under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, is responsible for the planning, implementation and monitoring of the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) as a whole, ensuring the coherence of sustainable development policies. The joint session was facilitated by two experts from the OECD who presented the ‘Strengthening existing institutional mechanisms and capacities for policy coherence in Luxembourg’ project. Over a 24-month period this project will make it possible to work on the following aims: (a) strengthening Luxembourg government capacities to identify synergies, manage policy trade-offs and avoid negative spillovers when implementing the SDGs, and (b) improving understanding among policy makers and key stakeholders on how to apply policy coherence and integrated policy-making in practice to achieve the SDGs in Luxembourg and abroad. This work will be continued in 2021.

In addition, the presentation of the results and Luxembourg’s score in the 2020 edition of the Commitment for Development Index (CDI) by the Center for Global Development (CGD) made it possible to carry out an in-depth analysis and dialogue on the impact of the range of Luxembourg’s policies. Since the aim of the index is to draw attention to the ripple effect of policies and the way in which they impact the lives of residents of low and middle-income countries, the CGD is helping to encourage a debate on policies with an impact on development. A dialogue based on verifiable data thus contributes to a reform of policies in the direction of better coherence, in order to reduce inequality and poverty across the world.

At further meetings of the ICDC it has been possible to take stock of the evolution of certain European policies linked to development, such as the Team Europe approach, and to present ongoing work for the formulation of a sectoral strategy within the Directorate of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs on inclusive finance and the private sector at the service of development.

Representatives of the NGDOs’ Cercle were invited to the ICDC’s meetings for all discussions on policy coherence, and one was facilitated by the Cercle. The reports on these meetings are public and are available on the MFA’s website.