3 The SDGs and policy coherence
The SDGs have broadened our understanding of what constitutes development-relevant policy. The 2030 Agenda makes it clear that the various policy areas must be seen in connection with one another, and shows how efforts in one part of the world can affect the situation in another.
Policy whose primary aim is to safeguard Norwegian interests at home and abroad also has consequences for other countries, either directly or indirectly, for example by affecting global public goods such as climate and global security. Development policy is interlinked with other policy areas.
Since 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has had a close dialogue with the other ministries on the impact of their policies on low-income countries. This dialogue is summarised once a year in a report to the Storting on the coherence of the Norwegian Government’s policy in key areas with a view to promoting development in poor countries.
At the global level, investment and trade are more important for development in poor countries than aid is. The expectations and principles the Norwegian state has set for corporate social responsibility are therefore a key element in the debate on policy coherence.
The 2030 Agenda accentuates the need to coordinate foreign and domestic policy in order to bring about development in all countries and safeguard global public goods. With this in view, we will establish a policy coherence forum to promote development in low-income countries.