Procedure : 2012/2289(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0165/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0165/2013

Debates :

PV 13/06/2013 - 4
CRE 13/06/2013 - 4

Votes :

PV 13/06/2013 - 7.12
CRE 13/06/2013 - 7.12

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0283

REPORT     
PDF 305kWORD 196k
6 May 2013
PE 504.341v02-00 A7-0165/2013

on the Millennium Development Goals – defining the post-2015 framework

(2012/2289(INI))

Committee on Development

Rapporteur: Filip Kaczmarek

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Womens Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Millennium Development Goals – defining the post-2015 framework

(2012/2289(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000,

–   having regard to the Resolution entitled “Keeping the promise: United to achieve the Millennium Development Goals” adopted by the General Assembly at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals, at its sixty-fifth session in 2010,

–   having regard to the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995, the Declaration and Platform for Action adopted in Beijing and the subsequent outcome documents adopted at the UN Beijing +5, Beijing +10 and Beijing +15 Special Sessions on further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted on 9 June 2000, 11 March 2005 and 2 March 2010 respectively, in which member states undertook to take action to promote gender equality between women and men in 12 areas,

–   having regard to the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020,

–   having regard to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) decided upon in Cairo in 1994, recognising that sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental to realise sustainable development,

–   having regard to the report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) entitled ‘Beyond the Midpoint: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals’, published in January 2010,

–   having regard to the UNDP Human Development Report 2010 entitled ‘The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development’,

–   having regard to the UN ‘Gender Chart 2012’, which measures improvements regarding the gender equality aspects of the eight MDGs,

–   having regard to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2011 Human Development Report,

–   having regard to the final declaration adopted at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012,

–   having regard to the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, defining what constitutes discrimination against women and setting up an agenda for national action to put an end to such discrimination,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the human rights legal framework,

–   having regard to the work of the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, led jointly by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the UNDP, with support from all UN agencies and in consultation with relevant stakeholders,

–   having regard to the June 2012 UN Report to the UN Secretary General entitled “Realizing the future we want for all”,

–   having regard to the work of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the outcome of the Rio+20 conference,

–   having regard to the Monterrey Consensus adopted at the international conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey, Mexico, from 18 to 22 March 2002,

–   having regard to the declaration and action plan adopted at the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan in December 2011,

–   having regard to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action,

–   having regard to the European Consensus on Development(1) and the EU Code of Conduct on Complementarity and Division of Labour in Development Policy(2),

–   having regard to Article 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which reaffirms that the EU shall ensure consistency between its policies and activities, taking all of its objectives into account,

–   having regard to Article 208 TFEU, which stipulates that ‘the Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries’,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 12 April 2005 entitled ‘Policy Coherence for Development’ (COM(2005)0134), and the Council conclusions entitled ‘Policy Coherence for Development’, 3166th Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 14 May 2012,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘An EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges’ (COM(2010)0127),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 31 March 2010 entitled ‘Humanitarian Food Assistance’ (COM(2010)0126),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 3 October 2012 entitled ‘The EU Approach to Resilience: Learning from Food Security Crises’ (COM(2012)0586),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 12 March 2013 entitled ‘Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in External Assistance: an EU Policy Framework’ (COM(2013)0141),

–   having regard to the European Report on Development of 19 September 2008 entitled ‘Millennium Development Goals at Midpoint: Where do we stand and where do we need to go?’,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 27 February 2013 entitled “A decent life for all: Ending poverty and giving the world a sustainable future” (COM(2013)0092),

–   having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Partnership Instrument for cooperation with third countries (COM(2011)0843, SEC(2011)1475, SEC(2011)1476),

–   having regard to the Commission proposal of 7 December 2011 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (COM(2011)0840),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 29 July 2011 entitled ‘A Budget for Europe 2020’ (COM(2011)0500) and the Commission working paper of the same date entitled ‘A Budget for Europe 2020: the current system of funding, the challenges ahead, the results of stakeholders consultation and different options on the main horizontal and sectoral issues’ (SEC(2011)0868),

–   having regard to the Commission’s joint communication of 7 December 2011 to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Global Europe: A New Approach to financing EU external action’ (COM(2011)0865),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 7 December 2011 entitled ‘Preparation of the multiannual financial framework regarding the financing of EU cooperation for African, Caribbean and Pacific States and Overseas Countries and Territories for the 2014-2020 period’ (COM(2011)0837),

–   having regard to the Council conclusions on EU Support for Sustainable Change in Transition Societies, 3218th Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 31 January 2013,

–   having regard to the Council conclusions entitled ‘Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change’, 3166th Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 14 May 2012,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 12 September 2012 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘The roots of democracy and sustainable development: Europe’s engagement with Civil Society in external relations’ (COM(2012)0492),

–   having regard to the Commission’s public consultations on the preparation of an EU position ‘Towards a Post-2015 Development Framework’(3), which ran from 15 June 2012 to 15 September 2012 and was open to all interested stakeholders, individuals, organisations (governmental/non-governmental, parliamentary, academic, private-sector, etc.) and countries,

   having regard to the Commission communication of 21 April 2010 entitled ‘A twelve-point EU action plan in support of the Millennium Development Goals’ (COM(2010)0159),

–   having regard to the own-initiative report of 19 May 2010 on ‘progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: mid-term review in preparation of the UN high-level meeting in September 2010’ (2010/2037(INI)),

–   having regard to the January 2013 study entitled ‘Millennium Development Goals and beyond 2015 – a strong EU engagement’,

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the opinion of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0165/2013),

A. whereas the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have raised awareness that ending global poverty is an urgent challenge and a priority for global action thanks to their limited set of concrete and time-bound targets; whereas, two years from the 2015 target date for the MDGs, there has been significant progress: the target of reducing extreme poverty by half has been reached, as has the target of halving the proportion of people who lack dependable access to improved sources of drinking water, conditions for over 200 million people living in slums have been improved, primary school enrolment of girls now equals that of boys and accelerating progress in reducing child and maternal mortality can be seen; whereas, however, the current MDGs do not sufficiently address the root causes of poverty such as inequalities within and among countries, social exclusion, biodiversity and governance;

B.  whereas the European Consensus for Development, signed by the Commission, the Council and Parliament is an acquis communautaire; recalling the importance and scope of this document, which enshrines the European Roadmap for development, as well as the acquis and the guidelines arising from it;

C. whereas the MDGs have helped to define poverty as a multidimensional deprivation in people’s lives, covering education, health, the environment, food, employment, housing and gender equality;

D. whereas global challenges remain and are expected to increase – poverty, hunger and malnutrition, lack of access to quality health care for all, restricted access to medication, lack of proper, safe sanitation and hygiene, insufficient levels of quality, primary and secondary education, high unemployment – particularly youth unemployment, lack of social protection and respect for human rights, inequalities, including gender, as well as environmental degradation and climate change - prompting the need to find new development pathways that could lead to inclusive and sustainable development for all;

E.  whereas nearly one billion people in the world are undernourished and more than 200 million are unemployed; whereas only 28% of the global population is covered by comprehensive social protection systems, reflecting high degrees of informal employment and whereas an estimated 1.4 billion people lack access to sufficient energy services, hampering their ability to overcome poverty;

F.  whereas the problem of malnutrition in developing countries kills an estimated 2.6 million children every year and owing to the effects of climate change the number of undernourished is expected to increase;

G. whereas an estimated 140 million girls will become child brides by 2020 if current rates of early marriage continue;

H. whereas three-quarters of the world’s poor people live in middle income countries and, according to the World Development Indicators 2008 of the World Bank, income and wealth inequalities within countries have increased since the early 1980s, including in high-income countries; whereas insecurity about incomes and jobs has also increased owing to patterns of globalisation based on outsourcing and weaker labour protection;

I.   whereas it is projected that in 2015 more than 600 million people will still be using unimproved water sources which pose a risk to health and that one billion people, of which 70% are women , will be living on less than USD 1.25 per day, especially in a number of African countries, but also in emerging countries, and, if present trends continue, the MDG target to halve the proportion of people living without basic sanitation services will not be met until 2049; whereas currently almost 200 million people are unemployed, about 74 million of those are between the ages of 15 and 24, and only 20% of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage, while more than half lack any coverage at all; whereas declaring 2015 the European Year for Development will thus help raise public awareness in Europe of the importance of the new MDGs;

J.   whereas the global food, energy and financial crisis of 2007-2010, coupled with the global economic decline and climate change, highlighted the fragility of global food supply systems and exposed failures of financial and commodity markets and of global governance mechanisms;

K. whereas sustainability concerns, including the urgent need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and to achieve more equitable and sustainable management and governance of natural resources, represent the key challenge for a transformative agenda;

L.  whereas the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development affirms development as a fundamental human right; whereas the Declaration commits to a “human rights based” approach, characterized by the realisation of all human rights (economic, social, cultural, civil and political) and whereas the Declaration also commits to strengthening international cooperation;

M. whereas the achievement of the MDGs before the deadline will depend largely on the fulfilment of the Global Partnership for Development, and whereas the EU and its Member States should stick to their commitments and not allow the current economic and financial crisis to halt the progress that has been made;

N. whereas Article 208 TFEU establishes that the reduction and, in the long term, eradication of poverty is the primary objective of EU development policy;

O. whereas 50 years of donor-driven development policy have created excessive addiction and dependency(4);

P.  whereas the UN is working closely with all stakeholders, in an inclusive manner, to build on the momentum generated by the MDGs and to carry on with an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, which should be based on better quality aid, improved coordination, and respect for the principles of policy coherence;

Q. whereas the EU’s commitment to ensure policy coherence for development (PCD), in accordance with the conclusions of the European Council in 2005, was reaffirmed in its conclusions of 14 May 2012(5);

R.  whereas the EU, as the world’s largest donor, is determined to achieve the MDGs on time and is deeply engaged in the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda;

S.  whereas the European Parliament attaches particular relevance to this process and considers that the EU should work as a driving force for the post-2015 framework;

T.  whereas a significant number of fragile or conflict-affected states have not met a single MDG target(6);

U. whereas the lack of peace, security, democracy, respect for human rights and political stability, together with corruption and human rights violations, prevents poor countries from fulfilling their development potential;

V. whereas 75% of the world’s poor people live in middle-income countries (MICs), despite their economic growth and whereas the specific situation in MICs, should not therefore be overlooked when reviewing the MDGs while taking into account the principle of differentiation as agreed in the new development agenda;

I.   Millennium Development Goals and new challenges

1.  Affirms that the Millennium Development Goals defined in 2000 figure among many successes in middle-income countries and developing countries and that these results must be correctly analysed for the future framework in order to achieve more global and sustainable results;

2.  Stresses that the global landscape has dramatically changed over the last decade, as has the nature of poverty, with an increased gap and inequality between and within countries becoming a major issue in the context of poverty eradication;

3.  Points out that although some developing countries have become donors, they still face high and increasing levels of inequality comparable to that of other developing countries; points out that, among other things, climate change, food insecurity, migration, unemployment, demographic change, corruption, resource constraints, unsustainable growth, financial and economic crises and human rights violations pose complex and interrelated challenges;

4.  Recalls that environmental degradation jeopardises the achievement of MDGs, including the objective of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; in particular, recalls that persistent inequalities and struggles over scarce resources are among the key drivers of conflict, hunger, insecurity and violence, which in turn are key factors that hold back human development and efforts to achieve sustainable development; calls for the adoption of a more holistic approach that reflects the outcome and follow-up of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development;

5.  Stresses the need for coherence between the EU’s trade policies and its policies on development, in particular as regards the outermost regions;

6.  Urges the EU to lead with one strong voice during the discussions on the post-2015 framework and up until the UN Summit and to adopt a common, effective and ambitious position on the principles and goals that should be part of the new post-2015 development framework; points out, at the same time, that there must be a single, comprehensive and integrated framework,with clear benchmarks incorporating the key development and sustainability issues, and that this framework must be universal and global in nature, promoting prosperity, human rights and well-being for all and signifying the direct and active involvement of all countries in its construction and implementation, and paying attention to the role and responsibilities of richer countries - beyond financing - in its success;

7.  Points out that the global partnership for development should be reoriented to take into account the changed context and should be closely linked to the new dimensions of the post-2015 agenda; underlines that a reshaped and reinvigorated global partnership for development will be essential for implementing the post-2015 agenda and for ensuring effective accountability mechanisms at all levels;

8.  Considers that this unified approach requires due coordination between the EU and its Member States before it is presented at the New York Autumn Summit as well as high visibility during the negotiation process under the leadership of the European Commissioner for Development; calls on the EU, which is the major donor worldwide, to fully assume its role as the key player on the post-2015 agenda;

9.  Calls for the goals of the post-2015 development framework to include the MDGs as well as the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and promote prosperity and well-being for all, including disadvantaged groups, such as women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities; stresses that there must be genuine flexibility according to capacities to set national targets with direct and active involvement of developing countries and development partners, especially civil society; points out that rich countries must make strong commitments, both related to their own development and to their policies that affect other countries;

10. Stresses that the lack of progress on those MDGs that relate to the position of women is caused not only by financial or technical obstacles, but particularly by a lack of political will;

II. Poverty eradication

11. Urges that poverty eradication, which is the primary objective of EU development cooperation, and the achievement of sustainable social and environmental development within the planetary boundaries must be the imperative global priorities for the post-2015 development agenda;

12. Stresses that inequality hampers economic development and poverty reduction efforts; in particular, recalls that high levels of inequality make it difficult to construct broad-based, redistributive and fiscally sustainable social welfare systems that are grounded on principles of social solidarity, while high levels of inequality may raise crime levels or cause violent conflict, especially in multi-ethnic societies; believes that the structural causes of poverty need to be addressed in order to bring real change to society;

13. Acknowledges the ways in which development and poverty eradication are intertwined with the challenges of peace and security, the environment, human rights, gender equality, democracy and good governance; hence, calls for a renewed approach to poverty eradication which takes into consideration the importance of inclusive economic development and growth, redistribution of wealth through budgetary means, decent work, efficient professional training, environmental sustainability, human rights and good governance;

14. Calls for the “post-MDG agenda” to be anchored to the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development, which not only affirms development as a fundamental human right but also addresses development as a process;

15. Calls for the integration of gender mainstreaming into a growth-oriented approach to end poverty and for the inclusion of gender equality in all EU programmes, policies and strategies and across the post-2015 framework;

16. Stresses that inclusiveness is a dynamic concept that goes beyond a “pro-poor” strategy, and implies broadening the focus to include vulnerable populations in precarious livelihoods, which calls for development strategy to be anchored in the macroeconomic framework; considers that defining qualitative indicators will be critical to monitor both the degree to which development progress is inclusive and sustainable, and the extent to which the needs of the most deprived and vulnerable groups are being addressed;

17. Calls, in this connection, for a broader definition of poverty than one based on gross domestic product (GDP) alone; stresses that global and national averages exclude large numbers of the world’s poor;

Health, nutrition, education and social protection

18. Recognises that addressing child and maternal malnutrition requires long-term development strategies, focusing on sectors which influence malnutrition, such as health, education, water and sanitation, and agriculture;

19. Recalls that the multidimensionality of human well-being needs to be fully acknowledged; recalls, in this respect, that health, nutrition, social protection, gender equality and education are key drivers of poverty eradication and inclusive economic development;

20. Stresses the importance of reducing gender gaps firstly in education, when it comes to raising the average quality of human capital, and secondly in health, in order to make better progress in improving maternal health and reducing child mortality rates;

21. Asks for the EU to strongly defend the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights and the integration of HIV/AIDS, inter alia in the provision of voluntary family planning, safe abortion and contraceptives;

22. Stresses that the post-2015 MDG framework includes a specific goal on the elimination of all forms of violence against women;

23. Stresses that access to universal health coverage (UHC) - combining both treatment and a preventive approach -, universal access to adequate nutritious food, and high quality education for all and at all levels which enable employment should be considered to be major goals of the post-2015 agenda;

24. Insists that the post-2015 framework must include, firstly, targets on the accessibility and affordability of quality health care with a focus on health promotion, prevention and curative interventions including sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV/AIDS as key elements, and secondly, practical steps towards the establishment of basic health care systems that ensure prevention, treatment, care and support for all people, including the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups such as minorities, prisoners, migrants, undocumented people, sex workers and drug users;

25. Calls for accelerated global action to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality and reaffirms the central importance of universal access to reproductive health care;

26. Calls for continued support for research into more effective and sustainable prevention and treatment programmes, including research and development in relation to effective forms of medical intervention, including vaccines, drugs and diagnostics;

27. Notes that women play a crucial role in nutrition and food security, being responsible for 80 % of farming in Africa, even though they are still hardly ever able to own the land they cultivate; stresses that the eradication of hunger consequently depends on aid to enable small-scale farmers to produce sufficient food for themselves and their families; points out that most small-scale farmers are women; calls for a gender-sensitive approach that is integrated into all elements of food security programming; underlines the need to prevent and treat malnutrition by means of evidence-based intervention, giving priority to pregnant women and young children;

28. Underlines the need to design and implement health programmes in order to strengthen health systems, taking into account the fact that the global economic crisis has undermined progress on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases;

29. Stresses the importance of the goal of improved maternal health with regard to reducing the maternal mortality rate and achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and family planning; stresses the importance of education and awareness-raising in the area of sexual and reproductive health as an integral part of the women’s health agenda;

30. States that special attention needs to be paid to educating both sexes about gender issues from the outset of their schooling, so that attitudes and social stereotypes gradually change and gender equality becomes a basic principle of society in all countries of the world;

31. Urges that the provision of EU humanitarian aid that contributes to the attainment of the MDGs and should effectively be excluded from the restrictions on humanitarian aid imposed by the USA or other donors, in particular by ensuring access to abortion for women and girls who are victims of rape in armed conflicts;

32. Recognises that decent work opportunities enable poor households to lift themselves out of poverty and are key vehicles for individuals and families to gain self-esteem, a sense of belonging to a community and a way to make a productive contribution; calls for full and productive employment and decent work to be a central goal of the post-2015 development agenda and calls for this goal to be supported through the implementation of well-designed national social protection floors for poverty reduction and resilience;

33. Maintains that health information and education are key elements in better public health;

34. Urges that special attention should also be paid to tackling non-communicable diseases, such as cancer;

35. Calls for the post-2015 MDG framework to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality by closing gender gaps at all levels of education, with specific targets including universal access to and completion of quality education (at primary, secondary, and higher level) and vocational training within a youth-friendly job creation policy environment, the elimination of female illiteracy, and access to comprehensive sexuality education inside and outside school;

III. Good governance

36. Stresses that the post-2015 sustainable development framework requires respect for the principle of democratic governance and human rights, effective, transparent and accountable institutions and partners at all levels and an empowered civil society that is systematically involved in the democratic process; insists that the framework must be driven by the key notions of participatory democracy and effective citizenship through the full and increased exercise of civic and political rights;

37. Calls on the EU to share its experience and expertise with developing countries, providing access to knowledge in relevant areas of sustainable development, especially capitalizing on the transition experience of the EU Member States;

38. Considers that the ongoing negotiations and debate must be structured so as to ensure that a clear commitment to democratic governance is reflected and pursued in the new development framework;

39. Underlines that climate change, the recent food price crisis and the global financial crisis can all be linked to the lack of adequate global governance; hence, stresses that global governance should be a key ingredient of the post-2015 development agenda;

40. Deplores the lack of coherence between institutions of global governance, in particular regarding the multilateral trade, finance and environmental architectures; considers that, while global governance deficits have led countries to seek regional solutions as a way to respond to region-specific development needs, such arrangements require coordination to avoid policy fragmentation and incoherence with multilateral regimes and international standards; more broadly, deems that action at the global level is required to supplement national efforts;

41. Notes that, although the format of the MDG framework enabled the setting of concrete and time-bound goals and targets that could be monitored by statistically robust indicators, there is a lack of ownership of these goals; in this context, warns against imposing a one-size-fits-all approach and believes that global goals and targets must be tailored and adapted to national and regional contexts and initial conditions;

42. Points out that authorities at all levels play a crucial role in a sustainable development agenda by taking part in policy debates, translating commitments into legislation, holding governments accountable for their social, environmental and judicial policies, and building on the ownership principle;

43. Urges the international community to pay special attention to creating an enabling and participatory environment within which civil society organisations (CSOs), the private sector, philanthropic foundations and other independent development partners, as well as national parliaments and local authorities at a local, national and regional level are able to assume their responsibilities for framing policies and monitoring their implementation and thus play a proper role in the post-2015 framework;

44. Urges, furthermore, that young people, especially girls and young women, should be enabled to play a key role in the post-2015 framework, recalling that youth participation in governance can have broad benefits, including fostering democratic decision-making structures and processes and improving the well-being of young people and their communities;

Human rights-based approach

45. Calls for human rights principles to underpin the post-2015 framework, which must address, in particular, issues of inequality, harmful traditional practices, discrimination, gender-based violence, participation and the empowerment of marginalised and disadvantaged people in society, with special attention being paid to the rights of young people, women, migrants, people living with HIV, people suffering caste-based discrimination, LGBT-persons and persons with disabilities;

46. Calls, in this connection, for a stand-alone goal to address the persistent inequalities facing women and girls, fostering the necessary political will, resources and ownership to create sustainable and effective action;

47. Stresses that the post-2015 UN development agenda must respond to a human-rights based approach, which encompasses social and economic rights, while also including civil and political rights related to peace and security, as well as the right to development;

48. Recommends the creation of an overarching equality goal;

49. Encourages the EU to support developing countries in building up their political will and in increasing efforts to improve the level of ratification and implementation of legal human rights instruments to prohibit discrimination or any legal, policy, or regulatory barriers and punitive provision based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, caste, culture, religion, belief, marital status, disability, HIV status, national origin, migration status, language skills, sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors or status; also encourages the EU to support developing countries in introducing appropriate social protection floors;

50. Urges the ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women by all countries in order to promote gender equality;

Peace, security and development

51. Stresses that armed conflict and post-conflict situations are some of the main obstacles to development and poverty reduction and threaten democracy; stresses equally that peace and security, development and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing; therefore encourages the Union to use all relevant instruments such as the International Declaration of Human Rights or those provided in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement in order to strengthen conflict prevention;

52. Calls, in this connection, for the prioritisation of capacity building in conflict-affected and fragile states; takes the view that effective international partnerships, knowledge-sharing and capacity development methods based on the transition experience of EU Member States, building on the model of the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States launched during the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, are necessary for the stabilisation and development of these states;

53. Calls on the EU to continue to be deeply engaged in fragile states, providing integrated responses linked to development policies, providing humanitarian relief and contributing to disaster risk reduction, conflict prevention and state building;

54. Considers that the post-2015 framework must reflect the peace building and state building (PBSB) goals agreed on in Busan;

55. Stresses that the prevention of violence and discrimination, especially sexual violence against girls and women, should be addressed in the post-2015 framework and that comprehensive protection systems accessible to all must be established or strengthened;

IV. Sustainability

56. Calls on the EU to contribute, in an inclusive and transparent manner, to strengthening coherence between SDGs in the social and environmental spheres and post-2015 development goals;

57. Emphasises that the final result should be ‘one development agenda’, avoiding duplication of efforts and resources; underlines that, given the fact that environmental and development questions tend to be dealt with separately at global level, the EU should seek new ways to overcome this split and build bridges between these closely interlinked areas, including from an institutional point of view;

58. Emphasises that sustainability is an overriding challenge, where failure is likely to threaten all dimensions of human development; in particular, recognises the inseparable links between food, sustainable and secure access to energy, water, sustainable land use, efficient use of natural resources, the protection of marine and other ecosystems and biodiversity, deforestation and climate change mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction, sustainable production and consumption, social inclusion and decent work in the anti-poverty framework;

59. Points out that universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation, as a horizontal basic social service to achieve all goals, and modern, reliable, affordable, climate-friendly and sustainable energy services for all is a key driver of poverty eradication and inclusive sustainable growth;

60. Underlines that energy security requires an implementation of strategies based on the diversification of sources, including solar energy, protection of ecosystems and natural resources, reduction of disaster risks, integrated water resource management, and improvement of markets, infrastructure and regulatory measures;

61. Also calls for concrete action in the promotion and development of healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture, which might have an important role in food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture;

62. Stresses how important it is that the differentiation principle enshrined in the new development agenda is implemented properly; urges the emerging countries to assume their responsibility in redistributing revenue between their citizens through the state budget in order to close the poverty gap;

V. Towards an EU position on the post-2015 development framework

Financing the post-2015 MDGs

63. Recalls the commitment made to allocate 0.7% of gross national income to official development assistance (ODA) by 2015; stresses that this level has to be maintained in a future framework and calls on all Member States to introduce this through binding legislation and to adopt multiannual budget timetables in order to reach the target;

64. Emphasises the importance of having an EU budget that is capable of meeting the challenges facing it, especially in times of crisis and particularly in terms of financing for development; in this regard and in order for the EU budget to no longer be hostage to the single question of the level of payment appropriations, calls for the creation of own resources, such as a financial transaction tax, a share of which should go to Heading IV of the EU budget;

65. Insists that funding to fight and adapt to the effects of climate change be genuinely additional to existing commitments; calls on the EU, therefore, to propose that financing sources other than ODA be made available for climate finance, allowing post-2015 discussions to clarify the roles of ODA and adaptation finance in sustainable poverty eradication;

66. Calls on the Commission to boost discussions with all stakeholders on financing mechanisms in order to fulfil financial needs in a post-2015 development landscape;

67. Recalls that, during the 2012 UN Development Cooperation Forum, the need for greater coordination rather than competition between different aid mechanisms and donors, was clearly highlighted; calls on the EU to promote an aid effectiveness agenda as the EU and its Member States have a joint responsibility to reduce aid fragmentation;

Innovative financing mechanisms

68. Calls on the Commission to continue to work together with other donors at global level on developing further innovative financial mechanisms for development as those, together with new partnerships, will play a crucial role in a new development landscape, complementing other sources and compromises on financing for sustainable development; reminds EU Member States that have agreed to establish the financial transaction tax to devote part of those funds to sustainable development and the fight against climate change;

69. Points out that the EU should promote an integrated and complementary approach to financing, including through public-private partnerships;

70. Calls on the EU to encourage social, ethical and environmentally-friendly public procurement at the international level as a tool for implementation of the post-2015 framework;

71. Calls on the EU to properly evaluate the mechanism of blending loans and grants – particularly in terms of development and financial additionality, transparency and accountability, local ownership and debt risk - before continuing to develop blending loans and grants to boost financial resources for development and to promote microcredit; calls on the Commission to publish guidelines and precise criteria that are based on harmonised poverty reduction strategies and that have a clear sustainable development impact when these new arrangements are implemented;

Strengthening domestic revenue through effective taxation and the fight against corruption

72. Reiterates its call to make combating corruption, money laundering, tax havens, illicit flows of capital and harmful tax structures an overriding priority of the EU’s agenda in international finance and development institutions so as to enable developing countries to raise domestic revenues;

73. Stresses the urgent need for increased domestic resource mobilisation and therefore calls on the EU and the international community to increase their support to developing countries when it comes to establishing effective fiscal policy and a sustainable tax base , as well as strengthening the capacity, skills and qualifications of their administrations with a view to tackling illicit financial flows, tax avoidance, tax evasion and fraud and improving the collection of taxes;

74. Recalls that the quality of financial reporting is crucial to combat tax evasion effectively; hence, underlines the importance of full transparency in corporate reporting of profits and taxes paid, especially by - but not limited to - companies involved in the exploitation of natural resources; therefore asks the Commission to promote the inclusion of a requirement within the International Financial Reporting Standard of the International Accounting Standards Board that multinational corporations report their income and tax paid on a country-by-country basis; recalls that this request is consistent with the need to improve the corporate social responsibility of multinational enterprises;

Monitoring mechanisms and indicators

75. Stresses the urgent need to move to an appropriate mix of quantitative and qualitative measurements for development;

76. Points out that a new set of indicators other than GDP is necessary in order to achieve prosperity and development and overcome new social and environmental challenges, and should therefore include indicators such as the human development index, the poverty headcount ratio, the poverty gap index, and the Income Gini coefficient;

77. Points out that clear and measurable indicators, including outputs and outcomes, are crucial for monitoring and reporting on progress achieved in respect of areas such as poverty eradication and economic and social development, and should include gender equality, employment, social protection (e.g. access to health care and pensions, protection against the risks of unemployment, and protection against the special livelihood deprivation of women, children and the elderly), disability, migration and minority status;

78. Calls on the EU to develop relevant baselines, indicators and targets for measuring the impact of PCD;

Private sector

79. Stresses the need to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; against this background, calls on all countries to establish a genuine business regulatory framework, promotion of full and productive employment and decent work, respect for human rights, including ILO standards, transparency and social and environmental standards;

80. Considers that the principal aim of support to the private sector should be to lift people in developing countries out of poverty and help strengthen the private sector in developing countries, given that failure to do so would result in unbalanced development and growth;

81. Urges EU-based companies with production facilities in developing countries to comply with their obligations to respect human rights and freedoms, social and environmental standards, gender equality, core labour standards, international agreements and payment of taxes in a transparent manner;

82. Points out the importance of protecting private property in order to enhance an investment environment and the rule of law;

83. Stresses that, although the private sector plays a crucial role in the economy, it is the main responsibility of the state to provide basic quality services to its citizens, and therefore contribute to fighting poverty;

84. Stresses that those in the public and private sectors must find new ways to combine their interests, capacities and efforts in order to contribute to the attainment of the post-2015 agenda;

85. Underlines that economic growth and development should be sustainable, inclusive and contribute to strengthening production capacities, decent job creation and social inclusion for all in order to enable developing countries to transform their economies; calls for the establishment of nationally-defined social protection floors in developing countries and for an end to all forms of child labour;

86. Points out that Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade(7); takes the view that Fair Trade is an example of a successful partnership, involving many stakeholders around the world and at different stages along a supply chain, that ensures market access for disadvantaged producers, guarantees sustainable livelihoods, respects labour standards, phases out child labour and encourages environmentally sustainable farming and production practices;

Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and coordination among donors

87. Calls on the EU, whilst ensuring that PCD is firmly incorporated into the post-2015 framework, to continue to pay particular attention to the following priority areas: trade and finance, health and education, climate change, natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, health care, nutrition and food security, migration, energy, peace and security policies, and human rights;

88. Points out that trade can be a fundamental driver of poverty reduction, leading to greater equity and transparency and promoting sustainable human development and economic growth; urges the EU, in this respect, to ensure that its trade policy is coherent with the EU’s development goals;

89. Takes the view that, while the MDGs have certainly been a success in shining a brighter spotlight on development aid, a mere focus on aid is too narrow; considers that a new approach is needed that embraces global governance, with a strong focus on policy coherence for development and the provision of global public goods;

90. Believes that a post-2015 agenda for development needs to identify essential global public goods, set how they are financed and specify which global institutions can be held accountable for their provision;

91. Takes the view that PCD should move beyond a “do no harm” perspective, both in Europe and beyond, towards a more integrated approach where international trade, the environment and international financial architecture are understood as global public policies that help to enhance global development objectives; supports, in this context, the idea of establishing a Global Economic Council in the context of the United Nations System;

92. Points out that PCD can only achieve real and effective results by means of a collective effort and the active involvement of developed and developing countries, emerging economies and international organisations;

93. Stresses that the future development framework should contain a reference to aid and the concept of ‘development effectiveness’; in particular, takes the view that turning “aid effectiveness” into a “development effectiveness” agenda implies a combination of development aid, assistance for the provision of global public goods and adaptation of existing global governance structures in order to increase their capacity to respond to global challenges;

94. Urges the EU to act as a driving force, ensuring complementarity and division of labour within the development process in an inclusive and transparent manner, including through an increased use of joint programming;

Comprehensive guidance towards a post-2015 development framework

95. Welcomes the ambitious and engaging Commission communication of 27 February 2013 entitled “A decent life for all”;

96. Stresses that the following principles should be taken into consideration in defining a coherent EU position with a view to the negotiation of a new development framework:

a.  the architecture of the post-2015 development agenda should reflect new global, regional, national and local realities and challenges;

b.  the definition of the future agenda must be guided by the full participation and ownership of the developing and middle-income countries, while the new responsibilities and burdens generated need to be equally but justly shared between all countries;

c.  the future agenda should be ambitious, universal, global in nature, multidimensional and flexible, with targets tailored to each country which are simple, concise, action-oriented, easy to communicate, and adapted to local, national and regional contexts with a limited number of concrete targets and measurable goals;

d.  it is essential to respect the principles of mutual responsibility, accountability, transparency, democracy, human rights, ownership, good governance, the rule of law, peace and security, equity and justice, and gender equality and ensure that they are mainstreamed in the future agenda;

e.  the success of future goals is determined by the ability of all developing countries to fulfil their responsibility for the well-being of their citizens, lift the most vulnerable people out of poverty, fight inequality and at the same time uphold human rights principles;

f.   particular attention should be devoted to accelerating gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women at all levels of society;

g.  points out that the new framework should bring together the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development;

h.  it is indispensable to mobilise all possible financial resources and innovative financing mechanisms for development, paying particular attention to: i) the fight against corruption, tax havens, tax evasion and avoidance and illicit capital flows; ii) the responsibilities of emerging economies in the development agenda, also encouraging south-south and triangular cooperation; iii) the improvement of monitoring mechanisms; iv) ODA; and v) PCD;

i.   ensure that the new framework will also include partners beyond the national government level to deliver an enabling environment to support real democratic ownership and a civil society;

j.   PCD will be absolutely crucial for the success of a future framework, taking into account the shifting nature of poverty and the impact of domestic policies in the global context;

k.  clear accountability mechanisms are needed in order to make sure countries fulfil their commitments and tackle effectively the poverty and sustainability challenges that the post-2015 framework will address;

97. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(1)

OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p.1.

(2)

Council Conclusions 9558/07, 15.5.2007.

(3)

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/millenium-development-goals/index_en.htm

(4)

http://www.ecdpm-talkingpoints.org/african-consultations-post2015-development-agenda.

(5)

Doc. 9317/12.

(6)

OECD et al, 2011, ‘Conflict, fragility and armed violence are major factors preventing the achievement of the MDGs’.

(7)

As defined in the Charter of Fair Trade Principles by the World Fair Trade Organisation.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

MDGs - Achievements and New Challenges

In September 2000, the UN adopted a Millennium Declaration, followed by the setting of concrete, time-bound targets to be reached by 2015.

Considerable progress has been made in the achievement of the MDGs: the target of reducing extreme poverty by half has been reached, as has the target of halving the proportion of people who lack dependable access to improved sources of drinking water, and the conditions of over 200 million people living in slums have been ameliorated. We have seen accelerating progress in reducing child and maternal mortality. Progress has also been made towards the goal of improving access to primary education. All in all, the MDGs have been a success at political level, providing a basis for mobilizing political activity and public opinion around development issues.

Nevertheless, two years away from the deadline, there is still a lot to be done. People around the world continue to suffer from poverty, hunger, inequality, and insecurity. It is estimated that 1.3 billion people still live in extreme poverty and many challenges to the achievement of the MDGs remain.

Why do we need this document?

This year the UN will carry out a review of progress of the current MDGs and will start to look towards a development framework for post-2015.

The rapporteur considers that the EU needs to be thoroughly engaged in this debate, with a coordinated position, namely on the follow up to the Rio+20 Conference and on the preparatory process of the September Special Event on MDGs.

While the Commission is about to adopt a Communication that will bring together the follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference, the MDG review and the post-2015 development framework, this report aims to contribute to this process. It intends to highlight some substantive elements and principles that should be taken into account in the design of a future overarching framework.

I.   Lessons learned and a renovated approach in a demanding global landscape

We need to take into account the lessons learned from the current MDGs and, at the same time, consider that the global landscape has dramatically changed over the last decade: poverty is taking on new dimensions, differences between developing countries have increased, several countries have become donors, while others, facing high levels of inequality, continue to be highly vulnerable to crisis shocks (climate change, food crises, demographic changes, refugees, etc.). These challenges are interrelated and need to be addressed together by all countries.

A rapidly changing global environment requires a comprehensive and effective approach in the EU development policy.

II. Priority areas for action: poverty eradication and sustainable development

There is a crucial link between poverty eradication and environmental sustainability. It is not possible to eliminate the first without addressing, among others, climate change, degradation of freshwater sources and biodiversity loss, all of which have a negative impact on the poorest populations. Thus, the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development should be the priority areas of the new framework, in order to ensure a decent life for all. Moreover, as poverty eradication is multidirectional, its definition should be broadened and not be reduced to the single matter of monetary threshold.

Health and education

As underlined in the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference, the EU should look at health and education as integral components of sustainable development and also as key drivers of poverty eradication and economic growth. Accessibility to a better standard of secondary education should lead to an increase in employment opportunities. To further eradicate hunger while improving food security we must first reach the goal of providing key standards in education, nutrition and clean water. Special attention should also be paid to tackling non-communicable diseases such as cancer.

III. Good Governance

The Rio+20 Conference made it clear that ‘to achieve our sustainable development goals we need institutions at all levels, that are effective, transparent, accountable and democratic’. Therefore, a clear commitment to democratic governance should be reflected in the new framework.

Addressing this objective means that parliaments should play a role in building ownership of sustainable development policies, holding policy debates and translating international development commitments and sustainable development policies into national legislation.

An empowered CSO is a crucial component of any democratic system. CSOs have a crucial role in: the definition and implementation of policies; the promotion of equitable and sustainable development; conflict resolution; and transparency and accountability. In negotiations for a post-2015 framework, the EU should give strong support to the achievement of an enabling environment for CSOs.

Human rights based approach

Human rights principles should be at the core of the post-2015 framework owing to their universality. They should be recognised at national and international levels and need to be respected not only by the public, but also by the private sector.

Peace, security and development

Armed conflict and post-conflict situations are some of the major obstacles to development. One and a half billion people live in fragile or conflict-affected states which have not met a single MDG(1). Those countries thus require specific attention. Progress in achieving MDGs was halted in countries characterised by high insecurity and vulnerability. The rapporteur considers that the capacity of post-conflict countries to achieve any goals must be prioritised in a future development framework, bearing in mind the Peace Building and State Building goals agreed on in Busan.

IV. Environmental sustainability

The Rapporteur is of the opinion that there is a need to integrate three dimensions of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - since this would better address people’s well-being.

There seems to be a widespread consensus that climate change affects the achievement of current and future development goals.

To correctly address this major threat, the rapporteur considers that negotiations on climate change under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change can provide useful insights, namely on the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities(2).

The rapporteur considers that UN member states should accurately address the question of resources allocation on climate change mitigation and adaptation, in order to ensure continual progress on poverty eradication. The EU needs to support a convergence between the results and recommendations emerging from the UN High Level Panel and the UN Working Group (OWG) on SDG.

The EU should support the use of concise SDG and the definition of concrete targets, such as for energy, water, sustainable land use, resources efficiency, marine protection and biodiversity. As we know, water is at the core of development sustainability and is directly linked to a significant part of key global challenges.

Sustainable energy services contribute to poverty eradication, improve health, save lives and give a key input to production. Energy security requires an implementation of strategies based on the diversification of sources and routes, protection of ecosystems and natural resources, reduction of disaster risks, integrated water resources management, improvement of markets and infrastructures.

V. Towards an EU position on the Post-2015 Development Framework

Finance

Taking into consideration the fact that a new framework will primarily be built on political compromises, inclusive policy discussions on the means to finance sustainable development objectives after 2015 are indispensable between the Commission and all relevant stakeholders.

The rapporteur recalls that during the 2012 UN Development Cooperation Forum, the need for greater coordination between different aid mechanisms and donors was clearly highlighted. ODA, foreign direct investment (FDI), trade, debt, climate change, technology transfer, business environment and aid agency procurement policies should all be aligned to promote better development.

Innovative financing mechanisms

The Rapporteur believes that mobilising all financial sources, including from the private sector, is crucial for the attainment of post-2015 development goals. In this respect, further developing blending loans and grants can boost financial resources for development.

Another aspect, which needs special attention in this context, is aid dependency. It is of utmost importance that developing countries introduce adjusted fiscal policies with effective taxation mechanisms in order to sustain development in a long-term perspective.

Strengthening domestic revenue through effective taxation and the fight against corruption

Currently, the revenue collection levels in developing countries are significantly low when compared to the global average. In large part this is due to inefficient national tax systems and administration. In addition, the issue of illicit financial flows of roughly eight times the size of ODA are escaping from these countries each year through tax evasion and fraud. Estimates show that about USD 160 billion would be mobilised in domestic revenues annually if these illicit financial flows were taxed.

It is particularly relevant that the EU continues to support developing countries in their revenue collection and in the strengthening of national tax systems.

Addressing the question of corruption and its impact on development policy requires the EU and its member states to develop legislation that would require oil, gas and mining companies to publish payments they make to governments.

Monitoring mechanisms and indicators

Clear and transparent indicators are crucial, either to monitor progress, promote accountability, raise awareness or highlight country best practises. The EU, UN agencies and international organisations need to move to an appropriate mix of quantitative and qualitative measurement criteria and indicators. A multidimensional mechanism should be able to assess and take into consideration relevant topics, such as sustainable development, poverty, inequality, gender equality and aid effectiveness.

Private sector

The rapporteur is of the opinion that the private sector should be engaged as a development partner. A healthy and competitive private sector is crucial to the attainment of poverty reduction, as it creates productive and decent job opportunities and leverages additional funding for sustainable and inclusive growth.

However, an enabling environment for the private sector to develop is crucial, including establishing a clear and effective business regulatory framework with a code of conduct that ensures respect for human rights, health and environment protection.

Policy coherence for Development (PCD) and coordination among donors

Lack of coordination between donors and coherence between policies, generates unnecessary costs resulting in negative effects and is harmful to otherwise significant policies. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that the EU takes account of the objectives of development cooperation in all policies that it implements, which are likely to affect developing countries, according to the legal basis contained in the Lisbon Treaty and the European Consensus on Development.

VI. Conclusions

A coordinated and coherent EU position on the post-2015 development framework is absolutely vital, taking into consideration the preparatory process of the next UN General Assembly Special Event, otherwise there might be a serious risk of faltering momentum.

As the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said ‘achieving the MDGs by 2015 is challenging but possible’. The current economic crises besetting much of the developed world must not be allowed to decelerate the progress that has been made. We should build on the successes which have been achieved so far. The EU needs to reach a coherent position, building on the MDGs framework’ and future outcomes on SDGs. The rapporteur supports an accountable, comprehensive post-2015 framework, which will be based on principles of human rights, equality, non-discrimination, sustainability, good governance and policy coherence for development, with the objective of creating a just and sustainable world in which every human being can achieve their rights and live free from poverty.

(1)

      OECD et al (2011), Conflict, fragility and armed violence are major factors preventing the achievement of the MDGs.

(2)

    UNFCC, Article 3.


OPINION of the Committee on Womens Rights and Gender Equality (27.3.2013)

for the Committee on Development

on the Millennium Development Goals – defining the post-2015 framework

(2012/2289(INI))

Rapporteur: Anne Delvaux

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Development, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000,

–   having regard to the report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) entitled ‘Beyond the Midpoint: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals’, published in January 2010,

–   having regard to the UNDP Human Development Report 2010 entitled ‘The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development’,

–   having regard to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 18 December 1979,

–   having regard to the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995, the Declaration and Platform for Action adopted in Beijing and the subsequent outcome documents adopted at the UN Beijing +5, Beijing +10 and Beijing +15 Special Sessions on further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted on 9 June 2000, 11 March 2005 and 2 March 2010 respectively, in which member states undertook to take action to promote gender equality between women and men in 12 areas,

–   having regard to the UN ‘Gender Chart 2012’, which measures improvements regarding the gender equality aspects of the eight MDGs,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 21 April 2010 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘A twelve-point EU action plan in support of the Millennium Development Goals’ (COM(2010)0159),

–   having regard to the Commission staff working document of 8 March 2010 entitled ‘EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development 2010-2015’ (SEC(2010)0265) and to the Council conclusions of 14 June 2010 endorsing that European action plan,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2010 on ‘progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: mid-term review in preparation of the UN high-level meeting in September 2010’(1),

–   having regard to the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994, at which the global community recognised and affirmed that sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are fundamental to sustainable development,

A. whereas the majority of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those relating to the reduction of poverty, children’s education and the reduction of maternal mortality, are difficult to attain unless the strategies for achieving them also focus on the family;

B.  whereas two of the Millennium Development Goals relate specifically to women: promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women (MDG 3) and improving maternal health (MDG 5); whereas a further three contribute directly to improving the living conditions of women and girls: achieving universal primary education (MDG 2), reducing child mortality (MDG 4) and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (MDG 6);

C. whereas, two years from the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs, at the global level women continue to be poorer than men; whereas although more girls are attending primary school, considerable gender gaps still exist at secondary school level; whereas although 20 % of members of parliament in the world are women, at the current rate of progress it will take over 40 years to achieve fair representation;

D. whereas various studies show that if women are educated and can earn and control their own income, a number of favourable results follow: maternal and infant mortality declines, women’s and children’s health and nutrition improve, agricultural productivity rises, climate change can be mitigated, population growth slows, economies expand and poverty cycles are broken;

1.  Urges the UN to accelerate progress in advancing the development agenda and to enhance the importance accorded to women’s rights and gender equality by making them the subject of several specific, globally agreed goals in the post-2015 MDG framework and emphasising their status as cross-cutting issues within development cooperation programmes as a whole;

2.  Considers it regrettable that the current MDG framework has not been able to address effectively the underlying structural causes of gender inequality and the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination experienced by women and girls around the world; recognises that women should be central players in the development of the post-2015 framework, but also central actors in its implementation, monitoring and evaluation; calls on the Commission and the Member States to emphasise the need to identify equality between women and men as a stand-alone goal and a precondition to achieving other development goals;

3.  Emphasises that family-focused policies in support of employed parents have proven both valuable and efficient in many areas of social development, and that the very achievement of the Millennium Development Goals depends on how well families are empowered to contribute to it;

4.  Urges the UN to consider the family-oriented provisions set out in the outcome documents of major UN conferences and summits held in recent decades or to be held in coming years, as the outcomes of those conferences provide a framework for achieving internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and guide international efforts in that direction;

5.  Urges the UN, when assessing the MDGs after 2015, invariably to base its reasoning on the Gender Inequality Index (GII) as described in the UNDP Human Development Report 2010, bearing in mind that the GII is the index providing the most representative and complete picture of the gender equality situation in a given country, and to adopt an approach encompassing both the quantitative and the qualitative points of view; points out that the UN must evaluate more closely the reasons for which progress in improving maternal health has been relatively slow compared with the other MDGs, and that targets and indicators for the future goals must genuinely reflect the barriers women and girls face (e.g. access to education beyond enrolment) and be disaggregated by gender, in order to ensure that certain sections of the population are not left behind;

6.  Calls for the post-2015 MDG framework to set ambitious targets for women’s rights and gender equality in terms of women’s empowerment and well-being, women’s full and equal participation in decision-making in public life, whether in the political, economic, social or environmental sphere, combating violence against women, access to quality education (at primary, secondary and higher levels) and training, promotion of universal health coverage through health systems which are public and free at the point of use, access to micro-credit facilities in order to combat poverty and social exclusion, access to effective, quality health care, universal access to and improvements in sexual and reproductive health and rights, the quality and stability of employment, equal pay, career development, the representation of women in politics and economic activity, and ownership and inheritance rights;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the UN to ensure that the post-2015 development framework recognises and implements the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, as a fundamental human right and includes targets for access to quality, affordable, accessible and acceptable health services, care and information throughout people’s lives; takes the view that this should include: access to contraceptives, especially for unmarried and young women; prevention, support and treatment in relation to unsafe abortions, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and gender-based violence; pre-natal and postpartum care and services; and confidential and accessible services for young people;

8.  Calls for the post-2015 MDG framework to combat all forms of violence and harmful practices perpetrated against girls and women: harassment, rape and sexual abuse, prostitution, slavery, exploitation, murder, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, domestic violence, etc.; stresses that upholding women’s rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights, and safeguarding respect for their human dignity is essential to preventing and combating gender-based violence, providing victims with protection and appropriate counselling and ensuring that perpetrators are punished; calls on the Commission to make the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of such violence one of the priorities for its development assistance policy; calls for consideration to be given, in defining future MDGs, to the specific objective of combating all types of violence against women, by including a specific target for the eradication of violence against women and girls;

9.  Emphasises the need to continue to condemn and punish genital mutilation, honour crimes, forced marriages, forced early marriages and any form of violence, in particular domestic violence, carried out inter alia in the name of religion;

10. Urges the UN, in the post-2015 framework, to focus on synergy between the consideration of sexual and reproductive rights and the achievement of other MDGs such as girls’ education and women’s empowerment, thereby promoting access to family planning services, especially in rural areas;

11. Calls for the post-2015 MDG framework to ensure a participatory approach and a robust accountability framework rooted in human rights and the principles of equality and equity, by establishing measures and mechanisms to track political, programmatic and financial accountability for commitments made in respect of human rights;

12. Calls for accelerated global action to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality and reaffirms the central importance of universal access to reproductive health care;

13. Calls for continued support for research into more effective and sustainable prevention and treatment programmes, including research and development in relation to effective forms of medical intervention, including vaccines, drugs and diagnostics;

14. Calls for the post-2015 framework provisions fully to involve women’s associations in content definition and formulation and the implementation of the new MDGs, based on their expectations and experiences;

15. Notes that women play a crucial role in nutrition and food security, being responsible for 80 % of farming in Africa, even though they are still hardly ever able to own the land they cultivate; stresses that the eradication of hunger consequently depends on aid to enable small farmers to produce sufficient food for themselves and their families; points out that most small farmers are women; calls for a gender-sensitive approach integrated into all elements of food security programming; underlines the need to prevent and treat malnutrition by means of evidence-based intervention, giving priority to pregnant women and young children;

16. Urges the UN to take a human-rights-based approach when assessing the MDGs after 2015 and to ensure that legal and enforcement measures are put in place to protect women’s rights, without any form of discrimination, coercion or violence on any grounds, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, marital status, disability, HIV status, national origin, migration status, language skills, sexual orientation, gender identity and other factors and status, through adequate legislation; takes the view that any legal, policy or regulatory barriers or punitive provisions must be removed, such as prohibitions on pregnant adolescents attending school;

17. Emphasises the necessity of providing a quality basic education for marginalised populations, particularly those from rural or conflict-affected areas, and for children with disabilities and child labourers;

18. Urges that further efforts be made to integrate the gender dimension into all foreign assistance policies and programmes, including those aimed at eliminating discrimination and violence against women; calls for funding for gender equality strategies in each development assistance agency, including funding for local women’s organisations that focus on empowering women and girls;

19. Calls for further research on the links between child and adult pornography and the impact it has on girls, women, boys and men, as well as the relationship between pornography and sexual violence, and for concrete measures to combat them;

20. Urges the ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women by all countries in order to promote gender equality;

21. Underlines the need to design and implement health programmes in order to strengthen health systems, taking into account the fact that the global economic crisis has undermined progress on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases;

22. Stresses the importance of the goal of improved maternal health with regard to reducing the maternal mortality rate and achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and family planning; stresses the importance of education and awareness-raising in the area of sexual and reproductive health as an integral part of the women’s health agenda;

23. Calls on the Commission and the Member States, bearing in mind that gender equality and non-discrimination are cross-cutting aims, to increase the amount of development aid allocated to programmes focusing on them, so as enable the gender dimension to be mainstreamed at every stage of development aid programming (identification, formulation, implementation and evaluation);

24. Stresses the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women in the formulation and achievement of all the MDGs; stresses that specific programmes for the empowerment of women, their social and economic independence, and non-discrimination are necessary in order to secure gender equality and fulfil the MDGs;

25. Strongly reiterates its view, as expressed in other resolutions, that, according to the Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development, the aim of family planning programmes must be to enable couples and individuals to make free, responsible and informed decisions about childbearing, and to make available to them a full range of safe, effective and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice without any form of coercion; calls for the Member States, the Union and the UN to adopt this approach in the post-2015 MDG framework;

26. Calls on the competent authorities to introduce a ‘family mainstreaming’ approach to the implementation of the post-2015 MDG strategy, in accordance with the policies defined under the system adopted by the UN(2);

27. Draws attention to the fact that progress on MDG 2 regarding education has been moderate; observes in particular that more girls are receiving primary education; stresses that more must be done to ensure that girls complete their primary schooling and gain access to secondary and higher education;

28. States that special attention needs to be paid to educating both sexes about gender issues from the outset of their schooling, so that attitudes and social stereotypes gradually change and gender equality becomes a basic principle of society in all countries of the world;

29. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to include in their bilateral agreements with non-member countries binding clauses prohibiting all types of discrimination based on sex, marital status and age, along with various religious or traditional practices, including gender mutilation, gendercide, honour crimes, abduction, illegal confinement of women and forced marriages;

30. Calls for the post-2015 MDG framework to have adequate financial resources dedicated to development, environmental and pro-poor spending in order to achieve the goals; maintains that donors need to meet long-standing financial commitments, including the commitment to donate 0.7 % of gross national income as official development assistance, in the post-2015 framework and should invest in increasing revenue from innovative sources of finance and put an end to tax evasion and tax avoidance;

31. Reaffirms the importance of taking account of the situation of women, not simply as a vulnerable section of the population, but also as active facilitators of development policies; stresses, likewise, that women have proven competence in resolving problems and conflicts, and therefore urges the Commission and all countries to increase the role played by women in action groups and working parties;

32. Urges the Commission and the Member States to speak with one voice in the upcoming negotiations and to take on board Parliament’s recommendations in the EU position on the post-2015 MDG framework;

33. Urges the Member States to support the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which comes on the eve of the target year for the MDGs, as it provides an opportunity to focus once again on the role of families as part of an integrated, comprehensive approach to development;

34. Stresses that the lack of progress on those MDGs that relate to the position of women is caused not only by financial or technical obstacles, but particularly by a lack of political will;

35. Urges the provision of EU humanitarian aid that contributes to the attainment of the MDGs and which should be made effectively independent from the restrictions on humanitarian aid imposed by the USA or other donors, in particular by ensuring access to abortion for women and girls who are victims of rape in armed conflicts.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.3.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Marije Cornelissen, Edite Estrela, Iratxe García Pérez, Mikael Gustafsson, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Astrid Lulling, Norica Nicolai, Angelika Niebler, Siiri Oviir, Antonyia Parvanova, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Marc Tarabella, Britta Thomsen, Anna Záborská, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Minodora Cliveti, Silvia Costa, Anne Delvaux, Mariya Gabriel, Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Katarína Neveďalová, Angelika Werthmann

(1)

OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 48.

(2)

UN Human Rights Council, Resolution 12/21 and other related resolutions.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.4.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Michael Cashman, Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Nirj Deva, Leonidas Donskis, Charles Goerens, Eva Joly, Filip Kaczmarek, Gay Mitchell, Norbert Neuser, Bill Newton Dunn, Andreas Pitsillides, Jean Roatta, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Keith Taylor, Patrice Tirolien, Ivo Vajgl, Anna Záborská, Iva Zanicchi

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Enrique Guerrero Salom, Cristian Dan Preda, Judith Sargentini, Jan Zahradil

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Victor Boştinaru

Last updated: 30 May 2013Legal notice