Daily Management Review

Global development and cooperation necessitates a paradigm change in approach


Sustainable Development Goals, European Union, United Nations, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica,

So as to make the international conference on Financing for Development, which is to be held from the 13-16 of July in Addis Abbas - Ethiopia, more meaningful, the European Union has taken the lead and called for a “true paradigm shift” in global collaboration for sustainable development. With the twin threats of global warming and Climate Change looming largely over our heads, the conference in Addis Abbas will be quickly followed by another in New York and will head for a grand finale on Climate Change in Paris, to be held in December, this year.
Neven Mimica, the EU’s Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, sees a very great and unique opportunity, which these twin problems provide. Nations need to rise up to the challenge and take them by the horn. “These meetings will define our future and will set the level of ambition of the international community for the years and decades to come.”
It is he believes, a rare and a great opportunity, a “once in a lifetime” chance, to unshackle the reign of poverty, protect the environment through shared prosperity, promote peace and ensure that basic human rights are met, by all countries. Inclusive development and growth is what is required, not just for a single nation, but for all nations as a whole.
 He believes that the U.N’s Seld Development Goals (SDGs) should not only cover the traditional ground of eradicating poverty and improving health and education but move ahead and have a larger and wider approach. An approach that goes much further than that of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
These twin challenges of Global Warming and Climate Change is compelling enough and unless the socio-economic and environmental impacts are factored into a nation’s growth equation, the end result will have consequences for us as a species.
It is critical that nation states move towards a more universal and inclusive agenda. Which means that nations will have to challenge themselves to satisfy and meet their individual targets and at the same time positively contribute towards achieving global efforts as well. For as Mimica says, “Such a far-reaching agenda can only be delivered through a true global partnership.”
 The European Union’s Development Commissioner has the support and backing of eminent experts from France, Luxembourg, Finland and Germany, who have co-authored the 5th Edition of the European Report on Development (ERD).
 As per the E.U’s Commissioner, it is critically important that the agenda should serve all stakeholders, at all levels – public and private sectors as well as the Government. The agenda will come to fruition only when each plays its part. Policies should be framed with financial support so as to make them more meaningful and implementable.
 Basing itself on a volume of extensive evidences and supported by country specific experiences, the 5th Edition of the European Report on Development states that financing alone is insufficient, for it seldom reaches its intended objectives. Finance should be accompanied and supported by complementary policies so as to enable it and act as a pillar for its policies.
“The findings and analysis contained in the report provide a most valuable research-based contribution to the debate, particularly in view of the Addis Conference on Financing for Development – but also beyond. In this crucial year for international development cooperation, the 2015 European Report on Development can serve as a key point of reference, not just for the European Union, but for the international community at large,” said Neven Mimica while tabling the report.
The Report has three guiding principles which act as a major guideline for implementing its new development agenda:
·         It has to be sustainable, for it to be recognized as development.
·         It has to be resilient, for it to be recognized as development.
·         Women have to be part of its team, for it to be recognized as development.
By advocating a comprehensible approach for the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, the report supports and complements the work of the Commission in numerous ways. It does not just stop there, it challenges the Commission to keep thing ahead and pushes it for further progress. The report gains further weight by the fact that historically, the European Union as a whole has consistently remained the single biggest global donor of aid despite of it facing significant budgetary constraints.
 As per the latest available figures, the Europe Union’s collective developmental assistance has increased by 2.4% to a whopping Euro 58.2 billion. This aid has increased two years in a row and is today at its historic peak. As of 2014, its Official Development Assistance (ODA) represents 0.42% of its gross national income.
In October 1970, a resolution was adopted in the U.N General Assembly wherein a target of 0.7% of ODA/GNI was placed for each economically advanced country. That was the goal. “… each economically advanced country will progressively increase its official  development  assistance  to  the  developing  countries  and  will  exert  its  best  efforts  to  reach  a minimum net amount of 0.7 percent of its gross national product at market prices by the middle of the decade.”
However to date, although it has been repeatedly re-endorsed at the highest levels, this target has never once been reached.
“We are committed to playing our full part in all aspects of the post-2015 agenda, including means of implementation. In our February Communication  [on a Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015], the Commission was very clear. We proposed to the Member States a collective E.U. re-commitment to the 0.7 ODA/GNI target – and we hope indeed that there will be agreement amongst Member States on this ahead of Addis. At the same time, we expect other partners – including other developed economies and emerging actors – to also contribute their fair share. The efforts of the European Union alone will not be enough,” stressed Mimica.
Aware that this issue can be divisive, he goes on to say “To be able to speak of an ambitious outcome in Addis and New York, we will all need to raise our level of ambition. The EU is ready to engage with all partners to achieve this. We have been active and constructive in the negotiations so far, and we will continue to do so, taking a responsible, bridge-building approach.”