I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The EU would like to thank all the panellists for their insightful contributions to the critical item of discussion before us today. Taking active part in global initiatives to fight the current economic, food and climate change crisis, the EU is firmly committed to comprehensive, timely, targeted and coordinated action to support developing countries, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
To ensure a fair and sustainable recovery for all, the EU recognises its commitments to support developing countries in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG:s). The EU will take targeted, counter-cyclical measures aimed at protecting the most vulnerable countries and groups and at sustaining economic activity and employment, with particular attention to the private sector and productive capacity. The EU commit also to further improve the effectiveness of its aid, based on the principles outlined in the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), alongside with continued efforts to work together for governance, stability and gender equality, and promote an open global economy and more efficient and inclusive global institutions.
We call upon donor countries to reaffirm their commitment to support developing countries in meeting the MDG:s and to achieve their respective ODA targets made in the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus, the 2005 World Summit, the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, in the Doha Declaration and, most recently, at the G20 London Summit in April 2009. In light of the ongoing financial and economical crisis, the realization of all ODA commitments is even more crucial. The EU:s collective ODA increased during 2008 – reaching more than 49 billion Euros, or 0,4 percent of GNI. The EU is committed to to continue these efforts .
It is appalling that over 1 billion people in the world are going hungry and the number is increasing in the context of the economic crisis, hitting those that are most vulnerable and the poorest.
The EU recognizes the crucial importance of revitalising agriculture in the context of the current food and economical crisis. In reviewing existing strategies and support programmes, the EU will strive to ensure continued support for, and increased investment in, agriculture and food security, with particular attention to small scale farmers, and taking into account the crucial role of women in this regard.
The EU underlines the importance of the ongoing work on the Global Partnership on Agriculture and Food Security (GPAFS), in close collaboration with relevant food and agriculture international organizations and also in the context of the G8. The EU strongly welcomes the G8 initiative to improve food security on a global level and the statement of commitment last week.
Significant additional resources will be needed to fund investments on a range of issues related to production, markets, infrastructure etc. The EU has committed to provide increased resources for food security, primarily large allocation of 1 billion Euro for the next three years. This, with the aim of benefiting a range of developing countries directly, as well as via NGOs and international organisations involved in food and agricultural development.
In coping with the current crisis, it is of utmost importance that developing countries are encouraged and assisted on a path of sustainable development. In view of the challenges posed by climate change to developing countries, the European Union remains committed to take on a leading role in bringing about a global and comprehensive climate agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009. The European Union recalls the major target of the universal mobilization to keep the global average temperature growth below 2°C and its commitment to reduce its own emission level by 30 percent, provided that other developed countries do the same and that advanced developing countries contribute adequately within their capacities.
The EU underlines the need to ensure that all initiatives taken to ensure financial stability, renewed growth and creation of jobs, promotes a green recovery – putting economies on a low carbon path in the medium to long term. Also with a view to achieving reductions in carbon emissions, these efforts should be in line with recommendations from the scientific community.
The United Nations has a central role in the efforts to support developing countries tackle a variety of global social, economic, financial and environmental challenges and to foster sustainable development in all its dimensions. The UN’s capacity to Deliver as One should be strengthened, as recommended by the UN Panel on System-Wide Coherence. Coherence and coordination of policies and actions between the UN, the international financial institutions and the relevant regional organisations should be strengthened. We also call on the UN, working with other global institutions, to establish an effective mechanism to monitor the impact of the crisis on the poorest and most vulnerable. The EU supports the recent agreement of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) on the nine joint initiatives, and call for a swift development and implementation of these agreed initiatives.