Signature of the European Consensus on Development
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Dear President Juncker,
Dear Prime Minister Muscat,
Dear High Representative Mogherini,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to be here today with you to sign the new European Consensus on Development.
Eleven years after the last signature we find ourselves with an updated and holistic document that reflects our collective vision to tackle today’s challenges.
For the first time a shared framework applies to all EU Institutions and Member States, providing a common approach.
I want to thank the Maltese Presidency for the work carried out to reach an agreement for the European Development Days.
This sends a strong message to our partners and to the world on our commitment to Development and to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
I also want to thank the two Co-Rapporteurs of the European Parliament, (Bogdan Wenta (EPP/PL) and Norbert Neuser (S&D/DE)) as well as the Chair of the Development Committee, Linda McAvan and the entire negotiating team for their excellent work.
Our two main goals remain to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development.
At the same time, this new Consensus continues to promote our common values of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, peace, democracy, good governance, gender equality, solidarity and justice.
However, our world is changing. This is why we need to review and adapt our approach to development.
We need to better link development with peace and security, with migration, with environment and climate.
We need to ensure effectiveness and greater impact.
While maintaining traditional development aid we also need to include and increase the participation of the private sector.
Via public-private partnerships.
Via new and innovative tools such as EU Trust Funds and Blending.
In view of the most recent terrorist attack that struck, once more, Europe, I want to stress the importance of the development-security nexus.
These attacks do not affect only Europe, they happen every day in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
If we are serious about development, we need to be serious about stability and security.
The same goes for Climate Change. If we want to be serious about development we need to be serious with the fight against climate change.
I can tell you that Europe will stick to its commitment under the Paris Agreement.
Climate Change and Security make me want to say a few words about Africa.
This continent will be a priority of my mandate of President of the European Parliament.
I am strongly in favour of a better dialogue and stronger engagement with our African partners.
Africa, despite the challenges it faces, is a continent of opportunity and growth and we need to offer concrete possibilities to the youth and entrepreneurs.
Our focus on Africa is sincere and next week, after having received the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the European Parliament will host, in Strasbourg, the President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara.
To conclude I want to remind you of how crucial this Consensus is to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is the message I will convey this afternoon to the SDG Advocates who will be in the European Parliament.