Summary: 14 July 2015, Addis Ababa – Remarks by European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, at the plenary session of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
Neven Mimica, European Commissiomer for International Cooperation and Development
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the Plenary Session of the Third Conference on Financing for Development
Ladies and gentlemen,
I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
Let me first thank the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the President of the General Assembly as well as ambassadors Geir Pedersen and George Talbot for their tireless work over the past months.
We are living in a world that is more connected and more complex than ever before.
2015 is a historical year in our struggle against poverty and for sustainable development. The conjunction of three UN conferences – Addis, New York and Paris – provides us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To make the most of this opportunity, we need a new global partnership that transforms and strengthens the way in which the international community works together.
The European Union will play its part. We will implement the new universal agenda at home. And we will continue to promote sustainable development worldwide in its economic, social and environmental dimensions, with a particular focus on countries most in need.
Europe is the most open market in the world for developing countries’ exports. The EU has granted duty-free and quota-free market access, resulting in over 35 billion euros annually of Least Developed Countries (LDC) exports to the EU.
The EU collectively provides more than half of the global Official Development Assistance (ODA) and is committed to collectively achieve the UN 0.7% ODA/GNI target within the timeframe of the post-2015 agenda, including an unprecedented commitment to dedicate collectively 0.15 – 0.20% of ODA/Gross National Income (GNI) to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the short term. We call on others to follow us. The EU reiterates its strong political commitment to Africa and undertakes to further prioritise and increase its financial assistance for Africa.
The EU will make sure that at least 20% of its spending will address climate change objectives.
The European Union is also a pioneer in the design and use of innovative financing mechanisms. The EU through its blending facilities should help to mobilise up to 100 billion euros in investments for poverty eradication and sustainable development by 2020.
The EU will continue to put issues of human rights, gender equality, peaceful societies and justice for all at the core of our action. I’m therefore particularly pleased that this agenda recognises the need to address these key issues.
This Conference is critical. We are all here to decide how we can use financial and non-financial resources to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be agreed in New York, whilst preparing the climate agreement to be adopted in Paris. Success here in Addis is key as it will set the stage for all the rest.
The draft outcome document before us offers major progress towards these shared objectives. Of course, it includes elements that are not optimal for all. I will not hide that some bits of the text remain problematic for us. However, in a spirit of compromise, and recognising that all sides have made concessions over the past weeks, we would be willing to agree to it as it is. The text should not be reopened, as this would undermine our important work so far. It should be closed now, in Addis, so as to ensure that this Conference is a resounding success. I do hope that all delegations can agree with this.
The text contains a strong package of measures to support the economic transformation especially in LDCs and fragile states – including through support for domestic resource mobilisation, catalytic use of ODA and strong trade commitments. We must now seize the opportunity to move forward together to harness all the resources and other means available to drive forward sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Our new global partnership has a high level of ambition, which I would sum up in three words:
First – Integration. There is only one agenda! The new global partnership must serve the full post-2015 agenda and address all three dimensions of sustainable development in an integrated fashion.
Second – Comprehensiveness. The new global partnership must rely on the mobilisation and effective use of all relevant means of implementation including sound policies and institutions, at all levels and supported by a multi-stakeholder approach.
And third – Universality. The new global partnership will be based on all contributing their fair share. All countries will have to take policy action and mobilise resources and all will need to monitor and report on results.
Implementing sustainable development goes far beyond financial commitment. For instance, capacity building and cooperation in the field of science, technologies and innovation are key components to realise the SDGs. I want to underline the key importance of setting now, in Addis Ababa, the right policy framework for our action.
By this, I mean that:
Good governance, democracy, the rule of law, the fight against corruption and illicit financial flows as well as effective, accountable and inclusive institutions are crucial.
Policy coherence at all levels by all countries should be at the core of our new global partnership. We must all assess the impact of our policy decisions on poverty and on sustainable development including climate change.
We must seek maximum impact from our activities, and apply the lessons we have learnt about making development support more effective.
All our actions will have to be monitored in a transparent way to keep us on track in implementing this challenging new agenda. To ensure this, we should aim for one overarching monitoring, accountability and review framework.
We have an ambitious programme. But ambition is needed if we are to fulfil the noble objective we have set ourselves: the end of extreme poverty and a sustainable future for all.
Let’s start working. This is our world, our dignity, our future.
- Ref: SP15-063EN
- EU source:
- UN forum:
- Date: 14/7/2015