European Commissioner for International
Co-operation & Developmentwww.paneuropeannetworks.com
Pan European Networks: Government
2030 Agenda with its structural changes needs to be updated so that
our development policy is fully fit for purpose and allows the EU to keep
a leading role in global development co-operation.
At the same time, we are re-thinking our longstanding partnership with
African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (the Cotonou Partnership). We
launched a public consultation at the end of last year to see which issues
a future partnership should focus on and how this could be turned into
an effective vehicle to promote our common interest, given the many
common challenges we face. Results have revealed a number of
concerns regarding inequalities, climate change, migration and peace,
and security, which the EU will tackle in its future common framework
for development, while also addressing the need for a more advanced
private sector and business development, in order to promote sustainable
and inclusive growth. On their side, our African, Caribbean and Pacific
partners are also reflecting on their own future objectives and ambitions.
A key cross-cutting issue is gender. We will not be able to achieve
sustainable development if we leave half of the world’s population behind.
This is why promoting gender equality and achieving women’s
empowerment are a top priority for me. Last year, the EU agreed on the
new EU Gender Action Plan in external relations for 2016-2020 to
transform the lives of girls and women of all ages across the globe. The
new Gender Action Plan places gender at the centre of what we do, and
enforces our engagement on its delivery in order to implement all our
aims under the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in
particular the fifth SDG. Progress needs to be accelerated on improving
the livelihoods of women and girls if we are to transform our world and
encourage development that is really sustainable.
The European Union has already made a huge impact on many lives
through its development policy and we remain the largest donor of
development aid, but we are faced with complex challenges. Only by
working together with all our partners will we be able to achieve the
ambitious vision within the 2030 Agenda.
ast year was an unparalleled year of importance for international
development, with the ‘Post 2015 process’ taking place – the
international negotiations, led by the United Nations, to put in
place the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. During the past
15 years the European Union has been a strong upholder of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which have been a motor for
delivering unparalleled progress in development.
The EU made significant contributions to achieving the MDGs. It created,
for example, an EU food facility which made a decisive difference to the
lives of 150 million people in 49 countries. However, overall progress
on the MDGs has been uneven across the globe. Considerable
challenges remain, especially in fragile and conflict-affected states, as
well as in the least developed countries. Also, new challenges have
arisen since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000. The
Millennium Declaration and the Rio+20 outcomes remain central
reference points for the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda
represents an ambitious new blueprint for the eradication of poverty and
achievement of sustainable development in all three of its dimensions
(economic, social and environmental).
An important new element is the universality of the 2030 Agenda. Now
every country falls under the new framework, both developing and
developed countries. In addition, the new agenda focuses much more
on the responsibility of every country for its own sustainable
development, including the full range of internal and external policies
and the need to collect more and better use of domestic resources and
put in place the necessary internal policies and governance structures.
All actors, including the private sector, civil society, scientific and
knowledge institutions, local authorities and social partners, will have a
part to play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
These fundamental changes in the global development framework need
to be reflected in a renewed EU development policy. The common vision
between the EU and its member states on how to best implement the