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Poul Nielson

Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

"Towards a global partnership for sustainable development" - "Report on the preparations of the International Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey)" - "Responses to the challenges of globalisation : a study on the international monetary and financial system and on financing development"

Press Conference

Brussels, 13 February 2002

We have an incredible challenge :

  • Poverty. 800 million people suffer from hunger. The gap between rich and poor is growing. The richest three men on earth have assets equal to the annual output of the 48 poorest nations.

  • Environment. Increased pressure on natural resources. Water, land, soil, biodiversity, forests and fish stocks are exploited beyond their limits. 1,2 billion people lack safe drinking water.

  • Thirdly, non-inclusive globalization deepens economic, financial and political instability in many countries and in the world as a whole. This provides a breeding ground for cronyism and corruption, armed conflict and terrorism in many places around the world.

  • To face this deep 'global governance gap' the world has a comprehensive and complete conference agenda for the next year: Implementing the Doha Development Agenda, success at the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey (March 2002) and thirdly the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002).

  • The Communication adopted today on "Towards a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development" clearly sets out what, in the Commission's view, would be the respective responsibilities of the industrialized countries, the developing countries and, collectively, the international institutions in order to achieve global sustainability. All including the USA and Japan must commit themselves to politically challenging choices. We call for a global deal.

  • In Doha, multilateral diplomacy recovered from the failure in Seattle and the Kyoto impasse. Today, the Commission re-affirms its commitment to the Doha Development Agenda, sets out a number of ideas for taking its implementation forward and proposes an EU line for the Monterrey and Johannesburg summits.

  • Doha has set an agenda for a version of pro-poor globalization. But the EU clearly recognizes that a free world market alone would not lead to equitable and sustainable development. The European summits in Göteborg already stressed the need to make progress towards the target of setting aside 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) for development co-operation. Following 11 September, the Laeken summit re-inforced this logic.

  • For Monterrey, therefore, the Commission is suggesting five concrete proposals (see background note for circulation) for increasing the quality and quantity of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

    • A sizeable increase in ODA. We urge member states to increase aid so as to have a chance of reaching the Millennium Development Goals.

    • Strengthen and harmonize procedures and improve coherence with other policies

    • Further efforts to untie Community aid and fully untie all bilateral aid

    • Promote an agenda on global public goods as a basis for mobilising additional resources, including through innovative sources of funding. The themes are developed in much further detail in the "study on the responses to the challenges of globalisation" also adopted today.

    • As also stated in Doha, increased trade-related technical assistance

  • Success in Monterrey paves the way for success at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Ten years after the 1992 Rio summit, the Johannesburg summit is an opportunity to reinforce the sense of a global community. The communication "Towards a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development" set out our objectives and proposed actions. Let me quickly summarize:

  • The Summit should bring the world nothing less than a 'Global Deal'.

  • The EU must lead by example in the following five areas:

    • Strengthening coherence of EU policies. We will strive to assure that all EU policies notably the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy, regulation of arms exports and immigration policies are conducive to global sustainable development, 

    • Making globalization sustainable by assuring that Doha will become a true development round,

    • Fighting poverty by assuring that Monterrey brings meaningful and measurable financial results, 

    • Stopping environmental degradation by implementing multilateral environmental agreements, ratifying Kyoto, intensify the struggle against illegal logging, launch an EU water initiative and so on.

    • Improving global governance by making global governance structures more inclusive.

  • Today's package is a strong expression of the Commission's commitment to multilateralism. The world needs more international co-operation, more governance, more equity and greater solidarity between the winners and losers of globalization.

The specific preparations for Monterrey are clearly part of what was decided today. Making the material public gives a picture of the situation in the Member States. This is the first time that this has been done collectively and where the Member States show what they are planning to do to achieve the 0.7% objective. We will present this, as well as initiatives on untying aid and development co-operation in Monterrey.

I would like to underline the importance of the totality of this. Doha on its own, Monterrey on its own and Johannesburg on its own aren't enough, but the totality of these events is. We are working on a deliverable orientated approach. The EU is capable of doing what needs to be done in this world. Our responsibility is clear and we are supporting multilateralism.

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