Having committed itself to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030, Slovakia shares the responsibility for promoting sustainable development globally. It’s not only a moral commitment, it’s also a tool for building a more stable, peaceful, prosperous, and equitable world.
As a member of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Slovak Republic ranks among the most advanced countries in the world. In light of its positive macroeconomic development, Slovakia ceased to be a recipient and has become a donor of development assistance (ODA – Official Development Assistance). Ten years later, the country has become the 27th member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) – the leading international forum for providers of development co-operation.
The mechanism of providing development assistance was established in 2003 by creating the institutional, legal, and strategic framework for the Slovak development programming. Since 2003, Slovak Republic has been engaged in bilateral development assistance programmes and projects carried out in the developing countries, in addition to providing multilateral assistance and humanitarian aid. Simultaneously, as a member state of the European Union since 2004, Slovakia has been engaged in the funding of development activities carried out by the European Commission.
Focus on modernization
Slovakia’s development policies have focused primarily on upgrading the legal and strategic framework, sharpening the geographical and sectoral focus of the development assistance, improving the aid delivery (country strategy papers for programme countries in place) and introducing new financing modalities, such as tenders for service delivery and concessional export credits.
There are still challenges, which need to be addressed at the levels of political engagement, strategic orientation, aid volume and allocations, and management and organization of official development assistance (ODA).
Slovakia’s commitment to development has a distinct financial dimension. The EU has reaffirmed its collective commitment to achieve the 0.7% ODA/GNI target until 2030, whilst those Member States which joined the EU after 2002 strive to increase their ODA/GNI to 0.33%. At a national level, Slovakia is bound to this goal by the government resolution no. 5/2017, which tasks the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in cooperation with the Minister of Finance to continually increase the Official Development Assistance to the desired level by 2030, taking into consideration budgetary circumstances.
Partnership with UNDP
Since 2000, UNDP (Initially through its Bratislava Regional Centre, and then the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub) has been cooperating with new EU member states as emerging donors – providing them with development knowledge, operational mechanisms and procedures, offering the extensive network of country offices, and serving as a reliable partner in building development partnerships and capacities.
UNDP’s partnership with the Slovak Republic (established in 2002), has been the largest such initiative in the region, consisting of two elements: supporting ODA delivery and capacity building through the Slovak UNDP Trust Fund, and supporting public finance management reforms in partner countries through the Public Finance for Development Programme. The main partners of the UNDP in Slovakia are Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic.
Today’s partnership between the UNDP and Ministry of Finance has been focusing on implementation of common programmes in support of political and economic reforms in the region of Western Balkans and Eastern Europe (sharing Slovakia´s reform experience), and promotion of private sector involvement in development.