The 12th European Development Days (EDDs) will open tomorrow, bringing together Europe's and the world's development community, under the theme 'Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest'.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who will open the EDDs tomorrow, said: "There can be no sustainable development if half of the world's population is left behind. We need equal participation and leadership of women and girls in all spheres of life – both in Europe and in the world. This is what we will focus on during these European Development Days."
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica emphasised: "The EDDs gather the development community from all corners of the globe to learn from each other and to inspire new partnerships. Only if we act together, will we manage to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, and empower them to truly be at the forefront of sustainable development".
From the European Commission, the President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, First-Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, as well as Commissioners Cecilia Malmström, Neven Mimica, Christos Stylianides, Phil Hogan and Mariya Gabriel, will participate at the event.
The European Development Days will furthermore be joined by many high-level speakers and participants including: Her Majesty Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians; Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain; Her Royal Highness Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark; President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca; Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg; President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani; President of Rwanda Paul Kagamé; President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré; President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou; President of Liberia George Weah; Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed,and many more.
Sixteen Young Leaders from around the world will join high-level panels to exchange ideas and experiences with policy-makers and world leaders. Participation and voices of young people will be additionally promoted this year by a large Youth Lounge that would facilitate youth organisations and activists' gatherings and discussions on gender equality and other development issues.
The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2018 will be awarded to journalists for their outstanding reporting on sustainable development, with a special focus on the elimination of violence against women and girls.
Today, in the margins of the European Development Days, Commissioner Mimica will sign new support for Burkina Faso, together with President Kaboré. More information will be made available at 18:00 here. On Wednesday, he will sign a new package of assistance for Liberia, together with Liberian President George Weah.
A full cultural programme featuring international artists, musicians and film-makers will complement the event, while the Global Village, a fair composed of 92 stands, will bring together international stakeholders to share projects or reports related to the EDDs' main themes and thread.
European Development Days were launched in 2006 as a way to gather the international development community and discuss the way forward to eradicate poverty.
Organised by the European Commission, the EDDs have become a kind of "Davos for development", a strong reference point for the international development community to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire innovative solutions and new partnerships to face the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2006, 100 world leaders, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 4500 organisations, and 42 000 participants from 154 countries have attended the EDDs.
At the EDDs, journalists will have the opportunity to speak to many participants, including political leaders, policy-makers, business leaders, key personalities of the women's rights movement, entrepreneurs, young people, as well as non-governmental organisations and academia. Specific media facilities and opportunities are offered to the international press such as TV and radio studios, press conference room, Facebook live corner (more information here).
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