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European Commissioner for Development
European Development Days / Brussels
16 October 2012
Good morning, everybody, I am very pleased to welcome President of Mozambique Armando Guebuza, President of Senegal Macky Sall, President of Benin Dr. Yayi Boni, President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Malawi Joyce Banda, President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and, of course, President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.
Let me begin by welcoming you all to Brussels for the 7th European Development Days. This year's umbrella theme is "inclusive and sustainable growth for human development" – itself a key theme of the EU's Agenda for Change.
The EDDs have established themselves as the place where the "movers and shakers" of the development world gather to exchange views and share ideas. We certainly have much to discuss and reflect on this year, not least because we have now set about making the Agenda for Change a reality and shaping a post-2015 development framework in earnest. I'm sure that our discussions over the next two days – coupled with the thoughts and insights of eminent keynote speakers from Europe and the world – will enable us, once again, to take the international development agenda forward.
I would like to begin by introducing a man who actually needs no introduction. He is a man who has shown his dedication to sustainability, inclusiveness and development throughout this political life. It has been my pleasure to serve under his leadership during the last 8 years – I would like to welcome my president, Jose Manuel Barroso on the stage.