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Monday, 12 June 2017

Why development cooperation matters

Last week, Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement. This follows previous announcements on reducing US support to development. These decisions are deeply worrying – but must not distract us from the immense task ahead, writes Neven Mimica. Neven Mimica is European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development. When global challenges rise, we need to rise to the challenge. At a milestone moment for multilateralism, the United Nations adopted in 2015 a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals to respond to these challenges – applying for the first time to all countries. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, together with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, provide us with the most ambitious, most comprehensive framework ever, to set our planet firmly on the course of sustainable development and to eradicate poverty, in all its forms, within our generation. These agreements represent a great achievement for humanity. One that cannot be taken for granted. Last week, the president of the United States announced his decision to withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement. This follows previous announcements on reducing US support to development, including on the crucial issue of supporting reproductive health in developing countries. These decisions are deeply worrying – but must not distract us from the immense task ahead. For the European Union and its member states, these international commitments are irrevocable. And turning them into reality is not a far-off promise, it is an imperative urgency. This is why we have taken action together to reform the way we cooperate with developing countries, and fully align it with the new global goals. On 7 June 2016 a new European Consensus on Development has to be signed by the Presidents of the European Commission and of the European Parliament, and by all of our member states, henceforth framing all our development activities at European and national level. The European Union has long been the world’s leading force in development cooperation.

Source: Euroactiv