According to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Arab countries and institutions are among the most significant sources of development finance outside of the OECD-DAC. Within the framework of its "Arab-DAC-Dialogue", the DAC, therefore, prioritizes engaging with GCC donors to foster and enhance knowledge sharing and coordination in order to support developing countries more effectively in attaining development goals.
Since 2014, the UAE is a participant (i.e. member as a non-OECD country) of the OECD-DAC. In December 2015, Qatar and Saudi Arabia submitted their application to become participants of the DAC and thus follow the UAE’s path in terms of the country’s alignment with the OECD-DAC framework for Aid Effectiveness.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) engages in an institutional exchange on development and humanitarian issues with major donor countries of the GCC, especially the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to improve the impacts and results of humanitarian and development assistance (in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and sustainability). To this end, SDC has assigned a Regional Advisor for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid to the Swiss Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The Regional Advisor’s mandate is to engage in an institutional dialogue through thematic exchanges on topics of mutual interest, capacity building and peer reviews as well as trilateral cooperation with selected donor organizations from the UAE and other GCC focal countries in order to improve donor coordination along shared principles, foster mutual understanding, and, thereby, ultimately contribute to aid effectiveness in needy third countries.
As a result of his concerted efforts and in recognition of the support Switzerland has provided the DAC in its engagement with Arab countries and institutions, SDC was approached by the DAC with an invitation for Switzerland to host the Arab-DAC Dialogue on Development in 2017. The Arab DAC Dialogue on Development constitutes a great platform to discuss development issues of overall concern, identify ways to better co-ordinate activities, learn from each other’s experiences and engage in joint activities. Consequently, hosting this event represents an important milestone in the fruitful collaboration between all parties involved – SDC and the DAC as well as the GCC donor countries and further highlights the prominent role Switzerland and SDC is playing in the region.