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EU Commissioner for Development
Making the MDGs a reality for all
UN MDG Acceleration Event / New York
24 September 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The post-2015 agenda has reached the top of the international agenda. But we must not forget that meeting the current Millennium Development Goals remains an urgent priority. Our mobilisation for the next two years must be unconditional.
I therefore want to thank UNDP and the World Bank for organising today’s event which comes as a crucial reminder.
The MDGs have brought poverty eradication into the global spotlight, with some impressive results.
The EU has always been committed to the MDGs and I can happily say that the European Union has made a significant contribution to that progress.
Over the last ten years, the EU and its Member States have committed around 45 billion euro per year to development aid – more than half of all global assistance. Our support has paid off: since 2004, the EU has contributed to the enrolment of more than 13 million boys and girls at school, to the vaccination of around 18 million children and to providing more than 70 million people with access to water around the world.
However, there is no time for complacency; we have much unfinished business to attend to. The EU remains fully committed to doing its fair share, with its global partners.
MDG Initiative and other initiatives
The MDGs have been indeed at the core of EU development policy and actions. Through our Agenda for Change we are seeking to increase our development cooperation’s impact on the ground – and hence speed up progress towards the MDGs.
More specifically, we are currently implementing the 1 billion euro MDG initiative, launched at the 2010 MDG summit, targeting the most off-track MDGs: hunger, maternal health, child mortality and access to water and sanitation. We currently support nearly 70 actions in 46 countries, with a focus on Least Developed Countries.
We have also launched six-year MDG contracts worth 1.8 billion euro with 8 countries. They are an innovative financing mechanism in the form of enhanced budget support to reward performance against MDG-related outcome indicators. At least two-thirds of these indicators relate to health and education, with water, agriculture, business climate and infrastructure, public financial management and social vulnerability accounting for the rest.
Looking ahead, I can confirm that the next EU budget which will take us from 2014 to 2020 will maintain the current high level of EU aid. And most of it will be dedicated to the areas covered by the MDGs, combined with a focus on sustainable development.
We want to see every man, woman and child, no matter where they live in the world, enjoy a decent life by 2030. Poverty elimination within a single generation must be our mantra because it is doable. The MDGs have shown us how the world can come together around shared aims. Looking beyond the MDGs, a post-2015 agenda should reinforce the international community’s commitment to making sustainable development and freedom from poverty a reality for us all.