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EU Commissioner for Development
A vision for the post-2015 Agenda
European Development Days - Opening Ceremony / Brussels
26 November 2013
Let me begin by welcoming you all to the 8th European Development Days. I’m very happy that this year we have once again brought together prestigious guests from all over the world: Heads of States and Governments, policy makers, thinkers and advocates of the development community and beyond.
We’ve gathered today to share our ideas around a “vision for the post-2015 agenda”. The European Union is determined to help shape this agenda as a constructive partner in the post-2015 process. We have adopted our initial position last Spring, and a number of EU representatives have contributed to the UN High-Level Panel on the post-2015 agenda, alongside such eminent fellow panellists as President Sirleaf of Liberia and Emilia Pires, Timor-Leste's Minister of Finance – both of whom, I’m delighted to say, have travelled to Brussels to attend this event.
The global challenges we face require global answers and global actions. Only when we act together are we truly stronger. That’s why I’m very much looking forward to this year’s event. I’m convinced that our collective thoughts and insights over the next two days will enrich the global post-2015 conversation.
Our forward-looking agenda will see us debate how we can best secure a sustainable, poverty-free future for our children and our children’s children. So it’s wonderful that we have with us the four winners of the European Development Days “Young Voices Against Poverty” video contest: Evelina from Russia; Anastasija from Latvia; André from Brazil and Nina from Croatia. Moreover, the Youth Ambassadors present will be looking to ask our various panellists some searching questions. And with two of this year’s sessions covering youth and governance and youth employment, this year’s EDD certainly have a youthful feel.
And now, to get this year’s European Development Days off to a fine start, let me introduce a man whose commitment to development is tireless. Most recently he delivered a strong and inspiring statement about the EU’s determination to be a trustworthy partner in development cooperation at the UN Special Event on MDGs and the post-2015 framework in September. Please welcome Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to the stage.