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Statement of the European Union to the General Debate of the 60th Session of the General Assembly

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Sunday, 18 September 2005

Statement of the European Union to the General Debate of the 60th Session of the General Assembly

At the Summit, which ended yesterday, world leaders took up the challenge of making the UN more efficient, effective and relevant. The European Union (EU) believes that the Summit Outcome is a clear milestone along the road of reform. It is a clear mandate for change, addressing challenges that the world has long faced - and others that the world is facing for the first time.

Summit Outcome on Development
The Summit provided the foundation for strengthening the global partnership between developed and developing countries set out at Monterrey. Earlier this year, the EU set a timetable to reach new levels of Official Development Assistance. By 2010, this assistance will account for 0.56 per cent of the EU's collective Gross National Income - resulting in an annual additional 20 billion Euros. By 2015 this proportion will reach 0.7 per cent. And EU member states recently agreed to support the G8 agreement to write off debt. In addition, the Summit recognised the value of developing innovative sources of financing. Sub-Saharan Africa is not on target to reach many of the goals for over 100 years and on some goals - including hunger and sanitation - the situation is actually going backwards. At least 50 per cent of the agreed increase in EU aid resources, therefore, will go to Africa; in plain terms this means a doubling of EU aid to Africa over the next five years. More aid on its own will not be enough. The real engines for making poverty history will be developing countries themselves. The EU believes that, as important as increasing aid, is making sure that it is used better and more effectively, in order to drive up standards of governance and help the poorest people for whom it is intended. This means developing countries adopting ambitious national development strategies, creating and reinforcing good governance structures, fostering a positive environment for economic growth and helping the private sector flourish. The EU welcomes the strong and comprehensive commitments made in this regard by the African countries through the African Union, and its NEPAD initiative, and reflected in the Summit Outcome.

Some would say that not enough progress was made on trade at the Summit. The EU believes that, through the Doha Round, the international community must deliver real gains for poor countries by reducing market barriers, abolishing export subsidies and significantly reducing trade-distorting domestic support, so that these countries can trade their way to higher growth and more jobs.
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