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Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): twelve-point action plan

Further efforts are required in order to achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, although significant progress has been made in certain regions of the world in certain areas. The Commission therefore presents a medium-term action plan to accelerate progress. This action plan was used as the basis for drawing up a common European position for the United Nations “MDG Summit” held in New York from 20 to 22 September.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions of 21 April 2010 - A twelve-point EU action plan in support of the Millennium Development Goals [COM(2010)0159 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The European Union (EU) has undertaken to help accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The developing countries have not made equal progress; some areas and regions are significantly behind. For example, improvements have been made in reducing extreme poverty, and in the areas of universal primary education and access to water. But 1.4 billion people still live in extreme poverty (51% of them in Sub-Saharan Africa) and one sixth of the world’s population is undernourished. There has been little progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, or with regard to access to sanitation.

Achieving the commitments of official development assistance

The EU has committed itself to increasing its official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) by 2015. This commitment should be respected, despite the difficulties associated with the economic and financial crisis. The Commission therefore proposes to:

  • establish annual action plans to optimise the implementation of ODA;
  • strengthen the EU accountability mechanism, based on an assessment of ODA;
  • enact national legislation for setting ODA targets.

In addition, the Commission calls on other international donors to increase their contribution in line with EU ODA.

Improving the effectiveness of aid

The EU should strengthen the effectiveness of development aid and the coordination of the various actors involved. From this perspective, the Commission proposes in particular to:

  • progressively use a joint programming framework and a single programming cycle for the EU and its Member States by 2013;
  • introduce an Operational Framework for aid effectiveness, division of labour, transparency of funding, mutual accountability of the EU and developing countries;
  • encourage other donors to follow the principles of aid effectiveness.

Action plan to accelerate progress towards the MDGs

To accelerate progress towards the MDGs, the Commission proposes to:

  • target as a priority the countries and populations which are furthest behind, including countries in situations of fragility and least developed countries (LDCs);
  • target the MDGs which are furthest behind and improve the impact of European sectoral policies, particularly in the key sectors of health, education, food security and gender equality;
  • foster ownership of MDGs by partner countries, particularly by integrating these goals into their own development strategies and by improving the quality of statistical data;
  • adopt a Work Programme on Policy Coherence for Development concerning all European policies which are likely to affect partner countries. This applies particularly in the key areas of trade and finance, climate change, food security, migration and security;
  • promote the mobilisation of domestic resources, in particular through better national and international tax governance and the strengthening of partner countries’ tax systems;
  • promote regional integration and trade, which stimulate growth and jobs;
  • identify and promote innovative sources of funding, including via public-private partnerships, with a view to ensuring stable incomes for sustainable development, including in the poorest and most vulnerable countries;
  • support climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in partner countries, particularly by promoting cooperation, research and access to green technologies;
  • create long-term security conditions, given that most of the countries behind in achieving the MDGs are in a fragile situation as a result of armed conflicts;
  • give a new impulse to the process of reform of the international governance architecture, in order to improve the effectiveness and legitimacy of the process through better inclusion of the poorest countries, whose interests are often marginalised.

These objectives are to be implemented by the Council and EU countries. The Commission will monitor the action plan and its funding.

Last updated: 04.08.2010
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