First of all I would like on behalf of the EU countries to thank you, Mr. Chairman for organizing this important and very timely meeting.
I thank the representatives of the World Bank, IMF and the European Commission for their very rich and inspiring briefings. I take this opportunity to share with you the general views of the EU concerning the financial crisis.
The EU is convinced that the global response to the current global financial crisis should be primarily targeted on counter-cyclical measures and social protection schemes. The support should be concentrated to sectors that rapidly create employment and promote longer-term economic recovery in developing countries like agriculture, natural resources, infrastructure and renewable energy
Protectionism should in no case be seen as an answer to the crisis – global markets must remain open. The EU is therefore committed to a successful conclusion of the WTO’s Doha Development Round. The EU calls on all countries in a position to do so to provide quota-free and tariff-free market access for LDCs, including the countries on the PBC agenda.
The EU reaffirms its commitments in terms of the volume and effectiveness of the development assistance and its support of the MDGs. The EU calls on all donors to ensure that ODA commitments are not curtailed in times when partners need our support most. Speed of delivery, flexibility of response and predictability of aid are also crucial while respecting the principles of aid effectiveness.
The EU stresses the need to secure developing and emerging countries’ access to credit and trade financing as well as to micro-finance and to resume private capital flows. The EU believes that the World Bank and the Regional Development Banks are in a good position to significantly increase their counter-cyclical lending assistance.
The EU believes that the Peacebuilding Commission has a role to play in order to ensure that the specific needs of countries emerging from conflict are taken into account in times of the global financial crisis. Close cooperation with other UN organs, and in particular ECOSOC, is of importance in this respect.
The mobilization of the additional funds and the support of the good governance should be the priority for PBC. Member States could consider a special release of funds from PBF for projects in areas like micro-finance, youth employment, agricultural production.