EU Development Ministers meet in Brussels

19/05/2014 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Today, 19 May, EU development ministers are meeting in Brussels for their annual spring meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council.

The agenda includes discussions about the global framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals and an update on the EU commitments on overseas aid.

Dóchas members and other European NGOs are calling on the Ministers to use the meeting well.

And that means:

  • Step up EU action on gender equality –  The EU has had an ambitious action plan for gender equality and women ‘s rights since 2010, and Ireland is one of the countries that have been pushing for this action plan to be implemented. But progress is too slow. NGOs want the EU to act more decisively to ensur power, education and financial resources are dedicated to girls and women.2014 is the first year in a new seven-year budget period for the EU, meaning that existing strategies and plans for all EU aid programmes will be revised; a golden opportunity to use the EU Gender Action Plan to ensure that all plans are imbued with a gender perspective
  • A new global framework for “sustainable development” – The member states of the UN are negotiating a new global agreement on what the priorities for sustainable development should be. This new global development agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be “universal”, ie apply to rich and poor countries alike. Dóchas members believe this universaility is a prerequisite for the new goals to work for a truly global sustainable development. Dóchas calls on EU Development Ministers to ensure this universality principle is maintained in the final negotiations.
  • Keeping promises on overseas aid – Dóchas and its member organisations also urge the EU Ministers to increase the pressure on countries – like Ireland – that do not meet the goal of allocating 0.7% of their gross national income to development cooperation. Despite repeated promises, the EU average aid budget stands at 0.41%. The Millennium Development Goals will not be reached if countries do not stick to the deal and there is great risk that the EU loses credibility in the negotiations on financing for development of the global development agenda.

 

 

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