The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.
The EU is very pleased to participate in todays high level policy dialogue on current developments in the world economy and international cooperation, and looks forward to a dynamic discussion on this theme.
As the Union expressed last year, this meeting is part of the important dialogue between the Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions, the WTO and UNCTAD and is a further opportunity for us to build on previous discussions on the follow-up to the Monterrey Consensus and the 2005 Summit Outcome. We were pleased to see the active participation during this years ECOSOC Spring Meeting and look forward to strengthened and continued discussions with the major institutional stakeholders in the future to ensure coherence, coordination and cooperation on issues on our common agenda.
Recent World Bank reports indicate that after solid, broad-based growth for the last three years, the world economy is expected to decelerate in 2007. Those same reports detail that developing countries as a whole have continued their strong economic performance during 2006 and growth is expected to remain robust in 2007, despite some moderation.
The World Economic Situation and Prospects report 2007, says the performance of the world economy over the past few years was remarkably broad-based, with 96 out of 159 countries for which data was available increasing per capita output by 3 per cent or higher.
Unfortunately, however, that same report notes that even continued growth does not guarantee achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, because 44 individual countries, many in Africa, failed to achieve growth of over 3 per cent, despite regional averages.
How do we explain that in the face of positive global numbers we are still facing a mixed picture in reaching the MDGs? Among other factors, it is a question of inequality, within and among nations and a deficit in pro-poor, employment generating growth. In our increasingly interdependent world, it is through a collaborative approach at the national, regional and international levels that we should address these challenges.
Africa and the least developed countries face particular challenges in todays globalized economy. It is for this reason that we should give them special attention. In this context, we highlight the importance of addressing the special needs of fragile states, in particular their unfortunate situation of their often being donor orphans.
The foundation for development is peace and security, as well as the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all. It is on this solid basis, where, inter alia, gender equality and the empowerment of women are central to national level activities, for achieving sustainable development.
The EU reaffirms its commitment to the MDGs which are the rallying point to ramp up and improve the living conditions of the poor all over the world. 2007 is a particularly important year in our path to achieving these goals as we have now reached the mid-point to 2015. In this context, we are especially pleased that the ECOSOC has chosen to discuss the eradication of poverty and hunger (MDG1) at this groundbreaking session and we look forward to the holding of the first AMR and to the launching of the DCF.
The Monterrey Consensus is the foundation for the global partnership in which the international community should work within to achieve these goals. As agreed in that landmark document and reaffirmed in the World Summit Outcome, every country has responsibility for its own development and the role of good governance, sound national policies and development strategies cannot be overemphasized in the achievement of sustainable development. The mobilization of national resources is a key contribution to this partnership. In this context, the important role of South-South cooperation, and that of emerging donors that are broadening the options for growth and poverty reduction, should be recognised and further explored.
On the foundation of shared responsibility and partnership, the EU has taken effective measures to reach our commitment as donors. The Union has collectively surpassed the 2006 ODA target of 0,39% of GNI, set in 2005 before the World Summit Outcome. The Union has set new ambitious targets for 2010 and 2015, including new levels for Africa. The Union is currently providing 57% of global ODA and is committed to reaching the target of 0,7% of GNI by 2015.
The EU is also committed to improve the quality and effectiveness of aid and will continue to implement the Paris Declaration, as well as actively participate in the High Level meeting in Ghana in 2008 on the follow up to this document.
Trade is an engine for growth. A successful conclusion of the Doha Round trade negotiations is essential and depends on developed and developing countries alike.
The EU is also committed to a strong and coherent United Nations at the heart of an effective multilateralism, which is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century such as poverty eradication, sustainable development and humanitarian relief. The UN´s universal membership, neutrality and political independence enable it to play a unique role. We are seeking a United Nations better able to support developing countries in achieving the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals by truly country-owned approaches. In this context we look forward to continued discussions on system-wide coherence, the upcoming UNCTAD XII to be held in Accra in April of 2008 and to the follow-up international conference on financing for development taking place in Doha in 2008.
We look forward to our discussions in the context of this high level segment on the eradication of poverty and hunger, as our partnership in reaching this important goal is essential for the achievement of all of the MDGs. In this context, it is important that the key stakeholders share in this common dialogue.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.