The Latvian Foreign Ministry’s Parliamentary State Secretary for EU Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, during discussions at the Foreign Affairs Council on Development which took place in Brussels on 26 May, stressed that “financing for development is but a small part of support available for developing countries. The EU’s support for economic reforms and reform of public administration is of equal importance when ensuring that what is invested yields sustainable results. Sharing reform experience with the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries is also a priority for development cooperation implemented by Latvia.”
The Parliamentary State Secretary also emphasised that the EU is already today the most open market in the world for developing countries, and in addition, the EU is providing its expertise in technological and innovative solutions, thereby promoting the sustainable economic growth of these countries.
The aim of the Foreign Affairs Council (Development) was to agree on a common EU position in regard to financing the UN’s new post-2015 development goals. The Parliamentary State Secretary also expressed satisfaction that, following intensive discussion, the Ministers have managed to reach a consensus on the total amount of EU funding for development until 2030, which will reconfirm the role of the EU as the biggest donor in the world.
The Ministers also agreed on joint action for empowerment of women. In most developing countries, women continue to be restricted in their opportunities to access economic resources, and this includes also the rights to do business or purchase agricultural land. Surveys show that by closing the gender employment gap, the GDP growth could increase by 15% in developing countries.
In the context of recent tragic incidents in the Mediterranean, the Ministers also exchanged views on how development cooperation could help tackle the root causes of migration. The Ministers were of one mind that the incidents themselves create the necessity for increasing the support given for eradication of poverty and strengthening peace and stability in developing countries thereby reducing the flow of migrants to Europe.
At the end of the meeting, the Ministers met with the EU Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and discussed preparations for the most important UN conferences this year on the new Sustainable Development Goals and their financing. Those conferences take place in Addis Ababa in June, and in New York City in September.
The conclusions adopted by the meeting of the EU Ministers for Development at the Foreign Affairs Council, “A New Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015” are published at the following link: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/05/26-fac-dev-council-conclusions-global-partnership/.
The UN is currently working on new post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals which include the eradication of poverty and tackling challenges to sustainable development. Alongside the UN intergovernmental negotiations on the goals, the talks are ongoing on the funding of the new goals and the means for their implementation; an agreement must be reached on this at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development which will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13 to 16 July.
Tel.: (+371) 67016 272
Fax: (+371) 67828 121
Follow the Foreign Ministry: