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26-27 November 2013Brussels - Tour & Taxis

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  • European Develomment Days promotes comprehensice approach to a better future

    Brussels, 28 November 2013 - European Development Days 2013 has helped to bridge gaps and close loops in the international development agenda. With its emphasis on a comprehensive and coherent approach...

    European Develomment Days promotes comprehensice approach to a better future

    Brussels, 28 November 2013 - European Development Days 2013 has helped to bridge gaps and close loops in the international development agenda. With its emphasis on a comprehensive and coherent approach, it has reinforced the growing trend towards seeing development as an issue for every country, and every citizen on an agenda for the whole of humanity.

    When he opened EDD13 on Tuesday, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, remarked on the need to bridge gaps in development, with the ambition "to construct a reinforced world-level partnership, based on solidarity with the poorest people, and an acceptance that the world of the 21st century is unquestionably interdependent and destined for integration".

    The recurrent theme among the dozens of plenary sessions, workshops and panel discussions over the last two days has been this interdependence – between issues, and between players. The challenges are universal, interrelated and need to be addressed together by all countries. The discussions have repeatedly highlighted links – between climate change and the limits of natural resources, between poverty, conflict and migration, between gender equality, equity and justice, and between education and inclusive and sustainable growth. EDD13 has presented a panorama of global issues that demand global engagement, a forward-looking development agenda and true international cooperation. It has contributed to a vision of a world where every man, every woman, every child lives in dignity and prosperity. As Barroso said, "it is both a human imperative and a matter of strategic intelligence".

    There was general agreement that that there should be a comprehensive and universal framework bringing together developed and developing countries.  At the closing session, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, noted a consensus on the need for a post-2015 global agenda. MDGs were presented as a unifying force: "Now we should come together on a new agenda", she said, emphasising the importance of involving civil society and the private sector too. The focus, she suggested, should be on combating poverty, education, but also protecting the planet, sustainability, youth unemployment, empowerment of women, infrastructure development. "The most difficult part in getting the consensus necessary will be the negotiation among countries, ensuring that each region feels it is engaged. The way to do it is through gaining support for the idea of one humanity". "This time we're talking about mutual responsibility –it’s a different ball game – we all commit to common goals for common humanity".

    Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, said it was time to prove that multilateralism works. "A good international formula for facing migration, climate and these issues is to persuade every nation that a solution is in its national interest. It requires accepting universality".

    Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair of Southern Voices on Post-MDGs at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, noted the risk of a participation deficit, including among the developing countries, often for lack of money, resources and expertise. He suggested that the developed world might also be guilty of an ambition deficit. "We will need an inclusive outcome, but the processes must be transparent too". Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, highlighted the importance within any partnership approach of ensuring that change was aimed at eliminating inequality – particularly income inequality. "This is not just morally repugnant, but also bad for economic and social progress", she said.

    The need for wide engagement and closer links across different issues was reflected repeatedly in earlier sessions. Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, told the meeting: "We are all players: as governments, as institutions, as individuals. We all have a moral responsibility to make sure that the work we do is inspired by principles of respect for the dignity of others." El Khidir Daloum, Director of Programmes at Saferworld, underlined the need to establish an environment in which development – and investment in development – is possible: "Security and development are clearly twins; they are inseparable and indivisible". And making progress in development is not just a matter for governments, said Sufian Ahmed, Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Ethiopia. "Without the private sector we cannot sustain economic growth." Similarly, as Dr Pacificah Florence Okemwa, Lecturer on Gender and Development Studies, Kenyatta University, Kenya, explained: "Enabling African youth to obtain education is not just about safeguarding their human dignity, but also working towards ensuring sustainable development." As Heidi Hautala, former Minister for International Development, Finland & President, Green European Foundation, said: "Much less will be achieved if we do not pay attention to the development impact of all policies."

    There has been progress. The proportion of the population living on less than 1.25 dollars a day has fallen from 43 % in 1990 to 22 % in 2010. The number of people without access to drinking water has been halved over the same period. Primary school inscriptions in developing countries are up by an average of 90 %, with young girls having almost the same chance of going to school as boys. Children are at much less risk of fatal disease or malnutrition. EU aid has helped provide qualified health professionals who have assisted at 7.5 million births.

    But huge and urgent problems remain. Millions remain trapped in poverty. Too many women and babies struggle to survive childbirth. Stable access to nutritious food remains a luxury for millions. Youth unemployment, soil erosion, unequal access to healthcare and many other problems persist. To overcome them, development aid remains as vital as ever.

    Eliasson stressed the need for action now in his remarks to the closing session. "We should speed up implementation on MDGs – particularly on issues such as sanitation. And there is a need for new instruments for financing development – with more involvement of the private sector," he said. And many speakers in earlier sessions highlighted the urgency of action. Florence Chenoweth, Minister for Agriculture, Liberia, cautioned that "Our world is becoming a less predictable and more threatening place for the hungry and most vulnerable." Noting that many people are still suffering from hunger and malnutrition, Dr Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute, said: "We cannot wait. We must take urgent action."

    With only two years to go before the deadline that was set for completing the MDGs, EDD13 has helped to build consensus around its central theme of ‘A vision for the post-2015 agenda’. "They shaped national policy," said Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, as he closed the EDD13.  "It is important to build on that to define a single robust framework", he said. "But we have to convince every nation that the framework is in their national interest."

     

    For further quotes of high level speakers, please visit:

    http://eudevdays.eu/press/quotes

    You can catch up on all EDD13 auditorium sessions:

    http://eudevdays.eu/audiovisual/web-streaming

     

    More informations
  • Development gains risk being washed away if action is neglected on climate change

    Brussels, 28 November 2013 – "We will not obtain the development and growth we need in the 21st century if we don't take account of climate change", predicted Connie Hedegaard, EU...

    Development gains risk being washed away if action is neglected on climate change

    Brussels, 28 November 2013 – "We will not obtain the development and growth we need in the 21st century if we don't take account of climate change", predicted Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, at EDD13. Fresh in from the COPS 19 international climate change talks in Warsaw, and in a direct reference to the catastrophic Haiyan typhoon in The Philippines, the Commissioner warned: "If we don't get this right, then what gets washed away is development".

    Now, in the wake of the Warsaw conference, the EU is starting to prepare its position, she went on. "We can do better in linking climate change and development", she said."We are doing our homework ready to deliver next year. "In mid-January the Commission will present its targets in time for a discussion at the summit of EU leaders in March".

    "We need to break away from the old ways of thinking", she said. It is no longer appropriate to work in terms of separate responsibilities for environment or finance or energy. "We have to think things through across the board, and take a more coherent approach to defining our development strategies." She also stressed the need for coherence among a wide range of stakeholders. It was important to employ a bottom-up as well as a top-down process, she said.  "If we are going to be effective in climate change we must involve all sectors", she said, suggesting that the results of the Warsaw meeting showed that "bottom-up efforts had not been big enough".

    Her view was widely supported by other members of a panel entitled "Poverty eradication & climate change: Friends or foes?". Adriana Dinu, Deputy Executive Coordinator, Global Environment Facility, United Nations Development Programme said "There is no doubt that climate change threatens poverty reduction efforts worldwide". She warned that for the 1bn who live in extreme poverty, "any gains will be impossible if we do not address climate change".

    Thijs Berman, a Member of the European Parliament's committee on development, also shared the opinion: "It is impossible to define a development policy that isn't linked to climate change", he said.

    Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, not only endorsed the need for a stronger link between the two subjects, but also expressed impatience at the lack of progress in turning words into action. "We have been talking for years", she said. There has been economic growth, but it has not eased the situation for many people – particularly the urban poor in the developed world, crammed into slums in eco-fragile areas such as swamps on the edge of cities, because the slums grow faster than the policy actions that could alter the underlying circumstances for the existence of slums. "Trying to combat poverty without operating in terms of development is doomed to failure", she said.

    Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme also recognised that "We are slow at dealing with the mess we have created". Despite ample evidence about climate change and its negative impact on the world's poorest, "How is it that we know we can fix it but we don't act quickly enough to curb the problem?" he asked. "If you want to solve problems in countries with many people living in poverty, you have to factor in climate change", he said.

    Frédéric Bontems, Director for Development Policies and Global Public Goods at the French Foreign Ministry pointed out that poverty and climate change "used to be thought of as different subjects", but "We have to see them as a common problem now". He saw the spirit of climate change talks taking on an increasing awareness of the needs of the poorest and of the most vulnerable.

    For further quotes of high level speakers, please visit:

    http://eudevdays.eu/press/quotes

    You can catch up on all EDD13 auditorium sessions:

    http://eudevdays.eu/audiovisual/web-streaming

    More informations
  • Improving women's rights needs more than government action

    Brussels, 27 November 2013 – Women in positions of political influence have a major role in advancing gender equality in developing countries, but the successor targets to the MDGs must promote change...

    Improving women's rights needs more than government action

    Brussels, 27 November 2013 – Women in positions of political influence have a major role in advancing gender equality in developing countries, but the successor targets to the MDGs must promote change within society as a whole, too, a high-level panel recognised today in a discussion at EDD13.

    Portia Simpson-Miller, serving her second term as the Prime Minister of Jamaica, said that although women now take a more prominent role in Jamaica in politics, and the country now provides equal pay for equal work, "we still need to move forward". Women "have always been the backbone of Jamaica, they have always found a way to feed their families and to push their men", she said. "But we still need to push for policies for women". Key improvements that are needed, in her view, are better financing for women's issues ("political will is not enough"), and greater change among boys. Women are more numerous in the West Indies university, she pointed out: "We need our boys to be educated too, so that our better educated women can find themselves suitable mates!"

    Julia Duncan-Cassell, Minister for Gender and Development of Liberia – a country that has re-elected a woman president – said: "Even if we have a strong president in our country, we need to work on all levels. So it is vital that there are targets assure the rights of women and girls to live free from violence and in a world full of opportunity".

    Contrasting the central role of women in Jamaican society to the experience in Liberia, where women were abused and maltreated through many years of civil war, Duncan-Cassell said:  "In gender equality, there is no one-size-fits-all solution". Men have long held the upper hand, and it was only when women "played a pivotal role in bringing an end to civil war" that they began to gain any leverage. Even now, women are still only thinly represented in politics, and "we have to work three times harder because men have the money". "Having a woman as head of state doesn't solve everything", she concluded.

    John Hendra, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, agreed that it was imperative to focus on the role of men and boys. It was, he said, necessary to anchor the understanding that development and growth require effective enforcement of gender equality. He cited survey data suggesting that high incidences of male violence against women were associated not only with issues of status, poverty, or alcoholism, but also with a sense of impunity. "We have to resocialise men and rethink masculinity", he said.

    "We need new goals to ensure we get rid of structural constraints and power relations that are the root causes of gender inequality", said Hendra. "We must focus on violence, on unequal access to resources, on getting women more fully involved in decision making in the private as well as the public sector".

    Joanna Maycock, President of the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development – CONCORD – argued that since "inequality is not an accident, but is something that men and women have created", it was necessary to work together to remedy that.  But she saw hope for change not only through innovative approaches to business and to economic empowerment of women, but through other novel factors, such as a generation of young women who connect with one another through social media in new forms of activism. "This can unleash the power of women", she said.

    Ismat Jahan, Vice-chairwoman of the UN Commission for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, said: "Women unfortunately face discrimination due to the mindset of traditional attitudes that need to be changed". Jahan is from Bangladesh, which has a woman prime minister, a woman leader of the opposition, and many women in government  – but she admitted that the status of women in public life is not fully reflected at grassroots level. "We have work to do to mobilise women who are poor", she said.

    Ambassador Mara Marinaki, Managing Director for Global and Multilateral Issues in the European External Action Service remarked that although the MDGs may not have been perfect or perfectly accomplished, "they did put gender quality on the map". "Now we have to make them equal parties in society", she said.

    For further quotes of high level speakers, please visit: http://eudevdays.eu/press/quotes

    You can follow EDD13 live on: http://eudevdays.eu/audiovisual/web-streaming

    More informations

A snapshot from EDD13

Announcements

  • Making the most of EDD13 photos

    Please note that all photos available on the 'Photos' section of the website, and the 'Best Moments' section of each auditorium...

    Making the most of EDD13 photos

    Please note that all photos available on the 'Photos' section of the website, and the 'Best Moments' section of each auditorium and lab session page, are free to use under a Creative Commons licence. We encourage you to use them in your publications and end of year reports! 

    In line with the terms of the licence, please kindly credit the European Commission (i.e. © European Commission) when reproducing each photo, also indicating if changes have been made to the original version.

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  • BBC at EDD13: 'Rwanda: Africa's Agricultural Success Story?'

    Recorded live at EDD13 and first broadcast on 7 December 2013, the latest episode of the BBC World Service's 'The Forum', entitled 'Rwanda: Africa's Agricultural Success Story?', sees...

    BBC at EDD13: 'Rwanda: Africa's Agricultural Success Story?'

    Recorded live at EDD13 and first broadcast on 7 December 2013, the latest episode of the BBC World Service's 'The Forum', entitled 'Rwanda: Africa's Agricultural Success Story?', sees host Bridget Kendall joined by Rwanda’s top agriculture official Ernest Ruzindaza, EuropeAid’s Jean-Pierre Halkin, African Soil Atlas collaborator Luca Montanarella and WaterAid’s Girish Menon. 

    With a staggering one billion people undernourished, and a growing world population, how do we manage these essential resources for life to make sure there is enough to go round?

    Click here to hear what the panel had to say.

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  • Catch up on the EDD13 conversation: it's not too late!

    If you couldn't make EDD13 in person, or you missed some of the live coverage online, don't worry! You can catch all the best speaker quotes, read summaries of all 80 lab and auditorium...

    Catch up on the EDD13 conversation: it's not too late!

    If you couldn't make EDD13 in person, or you missed some of the live coverage online, don't worry! You can catch all the best speaker quotes, read summaries of all 80 lab and auditorium sessions, see photos of speakers as well as from around the forum and all sessions, and replay video coverage of all 20 auditorium sessions on demand. For an overview of all lab and auditorium sessions to access these features, click here.
     
    You are also warmly invited to continue the conversation online, by having your say on Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #EDD13
     
    Let's keep up the momentum in the lead up to 2015 and beyond!
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  • EDD13 draws to a close

    The eighth edition of European Development Days may have now drawn to a close, but the many important conversations, partnerships and sharing of ideas witnessed during the past two days will...

    EDD13 draws to a close

    The eighth edition of European Development Days may have now drawn to a close, but the many important conversations, partnerships and sharing of ideas witnessed during the past two days will doubtless continue in the year ahead.
     
    The EDD team would like to thank our speakers, participants, stakeholders and session organisers for making this such a successful and memorable edition of the forum.
     
    Check back on this website in the coming days for the best speaker quotes, summaries of all 80 auditorium and lab sessions, photos from all sessions and from around the forum, speaker photos, snapshots and buzz videos. 
     
    And remember that if you missed any of the action, you can replay video coverage of all 20 auditorium sessions on demand. For an overview of all sessions, click here.
     
    You are also warmly invited to continue the conversation online, by having your say on Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #EDD13
    More informations
  • Send us your EDD13 photos!

    Do you want your photos to feature in a slideshow on the EDD homepage?

    Whether on-site at the forum in Brussels, at a special event in another country, or watching the live web-streaming online...

    Send us your EDD13 photos!

    Do you want your photos to feature in a slideshow on the EDD homepage?

    Whether on-site at the forum in Brussels, at a special event in another country, or watching the live web-streaming online, show us how you're engaging with EDD13! 

    Serious or humorous, poignant or optimistic, get snapping and e-mail your photos to photo@eudevdays.eu

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EDD13: On-site and online around the world

 

Send us your snapshots! Whether on-site in Brussels, at a special event, or watching the live web-streaming online, show us how you're engaging with EDD13! Serious or humourous, poignant or optimistic, e-mail your photos to photo@eudevdays.eu



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