EU Presidency Statement - Interactive dialogue with President Lagos of Chile on the fight against poverty and hunger
Summary: July 20, 2004: Interactive dialogue with President Lagos of Chile on the fight against poverty and hunger. Statement read by Mr. Koen Davidse, Minister plenipotentiary, on behalf of the European Union (New York)
The EU welcomes this opportunity to discuss with you the issues of financing for development, and we welcome your commitment, Mr. President, to combating poverty and achieving social equity.
At the 2005 major event, with the participation of heads of state and government, we will reinvigorate our efforts to implement the Millennium Declaration, achieve the MDGs and fulfill the promise of our Monterrey partnership commitments. Already, it is clear that we face a very significant challenge in achieving the MDGs in sub Saharan Africa.
The integral implementation of the Monterrey Consensus will be crucial if we are to make the necessary progress. We expect that developing countries fulfill their part of the Monterrey commitments by achieving an enabling environment with good governance and optimal domestic resource mobilization.
The EU itself has a strong commitment to its own responsibilities under the Monterrey Consensus. Immediately before Monterrey, the EU Council adopted the “Barcelona commitments.” The European Commission reports annually and publicly on their implemention. We invite others to undertake similar reporting, while recognising the significance of the Monterrey Consensus for achieving the MDGs.
- All EU member States have reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the UN ODA goal of 0.7%. Four member States have already achieved this goal while a number of others have established specific time frames in which they will strive to reach it. As a first significant step, at Monterrey, the EU made a collective commitment to achieve an EU average ODA of 0.39% of GNI by 2006. The member States, individually, also committed to increasing their ODA volumes, within their respective budget allocation processes, to at least 0.33% of GNI by 2006. The latest European Commission report shows that the EU is on track to implement its ODA commitment. In 2002 the EU member states increased their ODA by 5.8% in real terms, compared to 2001, to reach a collective average of 0.35% of GNI. This May, the EU welcomed ten new member States. All of the acceding States have begun to make the transition to becoming donors and are committed to EU development policy.
- In addition to increased resources, it is essential that developing partners make aid more effective. This means translating the Rome Declaration on Harmonisation into practice. It requires enhanced joint planning between donors, led by recipient governments and focussed on alignment with nationally owned development strategies such as Poverty Reduction Strategies, as well as alignment with country systems and procedures.
- The EU at Monterrey committed itself to trade related assistance to developing countries, in addition to the EU's commitment to an open, equitable, rules-based and non-discriminatory trading system and a successful Doha Development Round. The EU has also called on developed countries and major developing countries to follow the EU and provide duty and quota free access to all products from LDCs.
In addition, in order to achieve the MDGs, the EU looks forward to reviewing proposals for innovative financing with great interest, and will judge them on their merits, their practical feasibility, additionality, predictability and sustainability of financing they may provide. The EU welcomes the opportunity to study them thanks to the studies sponsored by Brazil, France, Chile, Spain, as well as other initiatives by EU member states, and the UN study requested in the Monterrey Consensus. These will help clarify the issues and map the opportunities. Our first priority, however, remain increased ODA and other steps agreed at Monterrey.
In closing, the enormous challenge of achieving the MDGs calls for a strong partnership between all development partners, on the basis of the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the outcomes of the other major UN summits and conferences. And once again, we welcome your focus on these issues, Mr. President.
- Ref: PRES04-215EN
- EU source: EU Presidency
- UN forum: Second Committee (Economic and Financial Affairs, Environment)
- Date: 20/7/2004
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