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IP/10/1137

Brussels, 16 September 2010

President Barroso at the UN High Level Summit on Millennium Development Goals to push for a global commitment and shared responsibility in the fight against poverty

From 20 to 22 September, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will participate in the UN High Level Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York. The meeting aims at reviewing progress made towards the development goals and adding additional momentum into the global fight against poverty. As the world leading donor, contributing with around 56% of global aid, the EU remains firmly committed to reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and will call on all partners to increase their efforts and focus on results. To this end, the European Commission has proposed to devote up to €1 billion to reward performing partner countries and to support the most off-track ones in recognition of their engagement and needs.

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso said: “The European Commission is and will remain fully committed to ensure progress towards the Millennium Development goals. I firmly believe that they are achievable with strong political commitment from all partners and the right policies and resources. With only five years away of our target date, we now need to move up a gear. Some progress has been made to which the EU and the Commission contributed largely. But more remains to be done. Donors must live up to their promises and developing countries must take their future in their own hands. It is about solidarity, ownership and co-responsibility. We have a commitment to better the lives of billions of people and give everyone the chance to live in dignity. We must not fail those most in need. By working together we can and we will reach the goals by 2015.

10 years after the launch of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UN High Level Plenary Meeting in New York has been convened in order to assess and accelerate progress on the global objective of halving poverty by 2015. So far, global efforts to reach the MDGs have produced mixed results. There has been success in some areas, such as poverty reduction and increasing enrolment in primary education. However, several goals are still off-track, such as the fight against hunger and child and maternal mortality. Geographically, Sub-Saharan countries are most lagging behind.

General agreement has been reached on 9 September on an outcome document, which will form a platform for international efforts in the coming years. The EU remains determined to support the achievement of all goals globally by 2015 and is convinced that it can be done. The European Council in June reconfirmed its commitment to dedicate 0.7% of Gross National Income on development aid by 2015.

EU leaders further called on the High Level Plenary Meeting to agree on concrete actions. These should aim to increase ownership by developing countries, focus efforts on strategic areas, improve the impact of policies, mobilise more and predictable financing for development and make more effective use of development resources.

To support the implementation of these principles, the Commission is ready to offer up to €1 billion for reaching the MDGs to most committed and most in need African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

The Commission will mobilise money from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) that has not been allocated to specific objectives yet. The EDF is one of the main instruments of EU development aid and is at present undergoing its mid-term review. The European Commission is currently in discussions with the Member States on the modalities of the allocation.

Examples of the Commission's contributions so far to reaching the Millennium Development Goals

  • 24 million people assisted through food security related social transfers (MDG1)

  • 9 million children enrolled in primary education (MDG2)

  • 31 million households connected to better drinking water (MDG7)

  • 36,000 km of road constructed or maintained (MDG8)

These are some of the key results illustrating the contribution of the European Commission to achieving the MDGs in the past five years. With €12.3 billion in 2009, the European Commission provides around 13% of development cooperation funding worldwide. Its programmes are targeted at all sectors which are crucial for development in partner countries, such as education, health, infrastructure or peace and democracy (for more, see brochure in dedicated website)

In 2009 the European Union and its Member States gave a total of €49 billion in development aid, which globally makes the EU by far the largest donor, representing 56% of global aid.

See also

MEMO/10/419 including the agenda of President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs at the UN High Level Summit on MDGs

IP/10/451 of 21 April 2010

MEMO/10/145 of 21 April 2010

MEMO/10/147 of 21 April 2010

Link to dedicated website on "EU Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals"

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/millenium-development-goals/index_en.htm

Website of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/president/index_fr.htm

Website of Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm


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