Summary: 13 July 2015, Addis Ababa – Remarks by EU Commissioner Mimica at the Round table on “Global Partnership and the Three Dimensions of Sustainable Development” in Addis Ababa.
– Check against Delivery –
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour to join you today and contribute the European Union’s perspective to this distinguished round-table, on the first day of a conference that has the potential to be historic.
Here in Addis, we are given the chance to essentially re-define the way the international community works together.
As the previous speakers noted, we are in need of a global partnership that is more than just a nice concept. What we need is an operational partnership, able to transform the commitments in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda into a better reality for people all around the world.
Let us not underestimate how far we’ve come:
- It is a major achievement that we are now talking of a post-2015 agenda that incorporates all three dimensions of sustainable development.
- It is a major achievement that this will be an agenda for all countries. Moving beyond the north-south dichotomy is important. Not because the north wants to divest itself of responsibility for implementation – quite the contrary. But because we recognise that for the new development agenda to succeed, it must reflect changing realities and our shared aspirations. We must all contribute our fair share.
- And it is a major achievement that we are taking a comprehensive approach to the means of implementation. We need integrated financing solutions, which comprise domestic resources, investments and aid. We need to use Official Development Assistance more strategically, more catalytically, to mobilise other means of implementation and maximise their impact. And we need to combine finance with enabling policies and strong institutions to achieve lasting results.
The EU has sought from the start to be a central, constructive and supportive player in the various 2015 processes.
Domestic resource mobilisation will be crucial. As Monterrey taught us, every country has primary responsibility for its own development. And the EU will step up its efforts to support our partner countries in increasing domestic revenues, building the capacity of tax administrations and tackling tax avoidance, tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
We also have reaffirmed our commitment to achieve the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income for Official Development Assistance within the timeframe of the post-2015 agenda. And we have taken on even more ambitious commitments on ODA for Least Developed Countries: to reach 0.15% in the short term, and 0.20% in the timeframe of the agenda.
It is however clear that ODA alone will not be enough to finance such a far-reaching set of Goals. And therefore, this cannot be a global partnership just between governments. At the EU, we seek to make full use of innovative financing mechanisms and promote further partnerships with the private sector. Our aim is to unlock €100 billion of investments for sustainable development by 2020 through our blending facilities.
I mentioned already that an enhanced global partnership cannot be just about financing, and I would insist on this point. Our evidence shows that finance seldom reaches the intended objectives, unless it comes together with good policies.
The EU is determined to use our full range of policies to implement the agenda internally, and to develop strong partnerships with other countries as they do the same.
Recent research has confirmed, for example, the positive effects that EU trade policies have had on growth and poverty reduction in Least Developed Countries. Duty free and quota free market access results in over €35 billion annually of LDC exports to the European Union.
The principle of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development therefore becomes more relevant than ever. It requires systematic dialogue between different stakeholders and sound assessment of the impact of policies on development. The involvement of parliaments, civil society, business, academia and the scientific community is absolutely vital in this respect.
And this is also the case when it comes to keeping track of our progress towards our financing targets and towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. All our actions will have to be carefully and transparently monitored – at all levels, and by all actors. Putting in place one integrated overarching monitoring, accountability and review framework, supported by reliable data, will be a challenge – but it is an absolute necessity.
On the plane, I was reading the UN Secretary General’s speech of Friday to the Economic and Social Council, urging “all parties to overcome differences and find a common pathway – starting from Addis Ababa and leading to the end of poverty and a sustainable world for all.”
My message today is that the EU is ready to respond to this call – as part of stronger, more effective global partnership for sustainable development. We have the means, we have the political will and at the end of this conference we must have an agreement on an Action Agenda worthy of the expectations of an entire generation for a better future.
- Ref: SP15-062EN
- EU source:
- UN forum:
- Date: 13/7/2015