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Aiming high – an end to global poverty - 04/03/2013

Man standing on bare land using EU flag as cloak © EU

As the world’s biggest aid donor, the EU is leading efforts to set new UN targets to lift people out of poverty and achieve sustainable development.

Over the past decade, the EU has worked to hit targets set by the UN for a drastic reduction in global poverty by 2015. Millions of people have been helped and lives saved, but much remains to be done.

The Commission is calling on EU countries to take the lead in planning the next phase of this global effort to eliminate extreme poverty, after 2015.

It has outlined a common EU approach on this issue – the result of a broad consultation process involving EU leaders, stakeholders and citizens.

Efforts to end extreme poverty should be coupled with sustainable development. That means doing more to deal with the problems of climate change, scarce resources, environmental damage and social inequalities.

Ingredients for development

A post-2015 plan should update existing UN targets and cover issues such as social protection.

Social development and the environmental measures should be a core part of structural reforms in developing economies.

And there is no way of achieving inclusive, sustainable development without tackling issues of justice, equality, fairness, the empowerment of women and gender equality – important values in their own right.

A decent life for all

The goals of development aid should be clear and ambitious, setting identifiable minimum targets. These goals should also seek to improve the quality of life for all, in areas such as education, nutrition, and access to clean water and air.

The lives of every man, woman and child should be at or above these minimum standards by 2030.

Effective partnerships among governments, civil society and the private sector are necessary to reach these goals.

Next steps

The EU is looking to get all member government to agree on its common position by autumn this year, when all UN countries meet to discuss progress towards current 2015 development targets and plan for the next phase.

The common EU position should also be integrated into global efforts to set targets for sustainable development for all countries.

More on EU development aid

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