Statement by European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs following the European development ministers Council
I warmly welcome the council conclusions on EU Official Development Assistance (ODA) recalling the need to deliver on our commitments to collectively spend 0.7% of GNI to official development assistance by 2015, thus making a decisive step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
I realise some EU countries are severely affected by the on-going crisis but let me recall that even in times of crisis Europeans show their deeply rooted solidarity with partner countries: according to the Eurobarometer survey of October 2012, 85% of EU citizens believe that Europe should continue helping developing countries.
Today is also an important step in the debate on the post-2015 development agenda. Together with my colleague, Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik, I warmly welcome the endorsement by the Ministers of the development of Council conclusions that set out a strong EU position which should help achieve a decent life for all by 2030.
The Council conclusions which are now to be approved by EU Environment Ministers and, subsequently, the EU General Affairs Council in June send the right message by stating that we need a single integrated framework that brings together the strands of poverty, sustainability, equity and security. It is indeed increasingly clear that efforts to end poverty must go hand-in-hand with global and national action on sustainability. For example, we clearly recognize that if we do not deal with climate change, we will never succeed in eradicating poverty.
The publication later this week of the report of the UN High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda - in which I have had the honour to serve - will provide an important contribution to the on-going debate on the post-2015 agenda.
Finally, I welcome the endorsement by EU development ministers of the Communication on nutrition – “Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in external assistance: an EU policy framework” – presented by the Commission in March this year. We indeed have to increase our efforts to improve the nutrition of mothers and children in order to reduce mortality and diseases, as well as the impediments to growth and development caused by under-nutrition.