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Understanding Sustainable Development Goals

14-11-2017

Two years ago, the international community embarked on an unprecedented common path mapped out in the comprehensive set of Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), to which it had committed. Taking into account the high level of ambition of this new agenda, it was crucial to implement it as quickly and coherently as possible on all levels.

Two years ago, the international community embarked on an unprecedented common path mapped out in the comprehensive set of Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), to which it had committed. Taking into account the high level of ambition of this new agenda, it was crucial to implement it as quickly and coherently as possible on all levels.

Funding gap: A challenge for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)

20-05-2016

Despite the highest ever humanitarian spending globally, the exponential growth of the number of people trapped in long-term crisis has deepened the funding gap. This unprecedented discrepancy between humanitarian needs and the available funding translates into tragic losses in human potential. The European Parliament has stressed the urgency to reduce the gap and the need for 'globally coordinated, timely, predictable and flexible funding'. Hence during the two-year long preparation for the World ...

Despite the highest ever humanitarian spending globally, the exponential growth of the number of people trapped in long-term crisis has deepened the funding gap. This unprecedented discrepancy between humanitarian needs and the available funding translates into tragic losses in human potential. The European Parliament has stressed the urgency to reduce the gap and the need for 'globally coordinated, timely, predictable and flexible funding'. Hence during the two-year long preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), humanitarian financing has focused much attention. The UN High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, co-chaired by European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, has made several proposals. Among paths to enhance aid supply: the broadening of the funding base that would come from better involvement of emerging government donors and of the private sector; innovative ways of financing such as Islamic social finance or a voluntary levy, and more efficient use of money (local involvement, cash transfers, result-oriented funding). But it is clearer than ever that, to close the gap, decisive action is also required to reduce humanitarian needs. A substantial increase in conflict-resolution capacity in the international community, bridging the humanitarian-development divide in order to better tackle the protracted crises and its root causes, as well as a strong commitment to invest in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation are among the main ideas on the table at the WHS. The summit is literally too vital, for millions of people trapped in humanitarian crisis, to fail.

Humanitarian policy of the Gulf States

17-05-2016

At a times of rising global terrorist threats and humanitarian crises affecting the region, the prosperous oil-producing monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – have come under sustained criticism for their policy towards asylum-seekers, their support to Syrian rebels, including jihadists, and their alleged laxity towards private financing of terrorism. Although the huge increase in their humanitarian spending ...

At a times of rising global terrorist threats and humanitarian crises affecting the region, the prosperous oil-producing monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – have come under sustained criticism for their policy towards asylum-seekers, their support to Syrian rebels, including jihadists, and their alleged laxity towards private financing of terrorism. Although the huge increase in their humanitarian spending has been interpreted by a number of commentators as a means to counter those criticisms, it seems also to be part of a longer-term foreign policy strategy.

Workshop on "The World Humanitarian Summit: Time for Action, Not for Complacency"

22-03-2016

There is broad consensus that change is needed to make the humanitarian system fit for the current challenges, including the global refugee crisis, continuing violations of International Humanitarian Law and the humanitarian funding gap. During the workshop, initiated by the Committee on Development, representatives of the EU, the UN, diplomatic missions and NGOs highlighted the importance to achieve concrete results at the World Humanitarian Summit, taking place on 23/24 May in Istanbul, as well ...

There is broad consensus that change is needed to make the humanitarian system fit for the current challenges, including the global refugee crisis, continuing violations of International Humanitarian Law and the humanitarian funding gap. During the workshop, initiated by the Committee on Development, representatives of the EU, the UN, diplomatic missions and NGOs highlighted the importance to achieve concrete results at the World Humanitarian Summit, taking place on 23/24 May in Istanbul, as well as to ensure a stringent follow up.

Autore esterno

Rahul CHANDRAN (United Nations University Centre for Policy Research)

The European Council and EU Official Development Assistance: European Council in Action

11-12-2015

The collective pledge made by the European Union and its Member States in 2005 to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) equivalent to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 has not been upheld. Although the European Council has reiterated this commitment on an annual basis since 2010, collective European Union ODA (European Union institutions and Member States) only reached an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.42 per cent by the end of 2014.

The collective pledge made by the European Union and its Member States in 2005 to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) equivalent to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 has not been upheld. Although the European Council has reiterated this commitment on an annual basis since 2010, collective European Union ODA (European Union institutions and Member States) only reached an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.42 per cent by the end of 2014.

US humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis

01-12-2015

In recent months, the European Union has faced an unprecedented exodus of asylum-seekers and other migrants, arriving from Syria in particular. The current humanitarian emergency is the result of a conflict-embroiled country and ongoing horrific human rights violations, resulting in one of the worst humanitarian crisis of modern times. More than 7.6 million Syrians have been internally displaced since the beginning of the conflict in 2011; approximatively 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian ...

In recent months, the European Union has faced an unprecedented exodus of asylum-seekers and other migrants, arriving from Syria in particular. The current humanitarian emergency is the result of a conflict-embroiled country and ongoing horrific human rights violations, resulting in one of the worst humanitarian crisis of modern times. More than 7.6 million Syrians have been internally displaced since the beginning of the conflict in 2011; approximatively 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance and more than 4 million are refugees in neighbouring countries and Europe. Given its geographic proximity, the EU is severely affected by the Syrian humanitarian crisis; however the EU is not alone in supporting the Syrian population in need of international protection. Syria’s neighbouring countries and the United States remain committed to assisting the Syrian population, inside and outside Syria. In the US, to address the most urgent humanitarian aspects, the Obama administration has proposed to admit an increasing number of Syrian refugees in 2016 and beyond. This announcement has generated political debate. Some argue that the quotas announced still fall short of the global demand for resettlement of people escaping systemic violence in Syria, and call for a higher intake of Syrian refugees; while others claim that the refugee flow from Syria should be treated as a serious national security risk. In fact, any plan to bring in additional Syrians should be accompanied by a concrete and fool-proof plan to ensure that terrorists will not be able to enter the US. Currently the political dilemma in the United States appears to be how to identify ways to help the affected population, while ensuring the security and safety of the US. And in the wake of the 13 November Paris attacks, that debate has become much sharper, with many arguing against admitting any Syrian refugees to the country.

EU Trust Funds for external action: First uses of a new tool

27-11-2015

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds ...

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds. The first two EU Trust Funds were created in 2014: the Bêkou EU Trust Fund (€108 million), focusing on the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic and the Madad Fund (€542 million), dealing with the response to the Syrian crisis. As part of intensifying efforts to tackle the refugee crisis, the European Commission and Spain have also set up an Emergency Trust Fund for stability, to address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. The new fund has an initial budget of €1.8 billion and targets 23 countries in the Sahel and the Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa and North Africa. The bulk of funding has so far come from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF). By comparison, Member State contributions to the Trust Funds have to date been relatively low. The European Commission and the European Parliament are therefore urging Member States to match the EU budget and EDF contributions to the Trust Funds. The Commission's aim is to increase the amounts in the Madad Fund and the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to €1 billion and €3.6 billion, respectively.

The European Council and the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015 (COP 21): European Council in Action

21-10-2015

In its March 2015 Conclusions, the European Council supported joint EU action ahead of the UN Paris Climate Change Conference. In particular, EU Leaders supported both commitments by individual states towards intended climate actions, known as "intended nationally determined contributions" (INDC), and coordinated EU-level action within the context of climate diplomacy. The objective of the Paris Climate Change Conference, to be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015, is to reach a comprehensive ...

In its March 2015 Conclusions, the European Council supported joint EU action ahead of the UN Paris Climate Change Conference. In particular, EU Leaders supported both commitments by individual states towards intended climate actions, known as "intended nationally determined contributions" (INDC), and coordinated EU-level action within the context of climate diplomacy. The objective of the Paris Climate Change Conference, to be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015, is to reach a comprehensive universal agreement with a view to keeping global warming below a threshold of 2 ˚C. It also aims to stimulate the transition towards low-carbon economies, whilst taking into account evolving global economic and geopolitical realities.  The Paris Agreement would be implemented from 2020 onwards within the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: 17 Goals Agreed, Now for the Hard Part

23-09-2015

After more than two years of consultations and negotiations, 193 UN member states agreed on 2 August 2015 to a new sustainable development agenda that is as ambitious as it is fraught with potential pitfalls. Titled ‘Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development‘, the agenda will be formally adopted at the UN summit on 25-27 September in New York. With 17 sustainable development goals (SGDs), it aims for an economic and societal transformation, integrating all three pillars ...

After more than two years of consultations and negotiations, 193 UN member states agreed on 2 August 2015 to a new sustainable development agenda that is as ambitious as it is fraught with potential pitfalls. Titled ‘Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development‘, the agenda will be formally adopted at the UN summit on 25-27 September in New York. With 17 sustainable development goals (SGDs), it aims for an economic and societal transformation, integrating all three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. The sectorial scope of the new agenda is enormous, including areas such as migration, industrialisation and energy. The SDGs are universal in nature, creating responsibilities for all countries, spanning domestic development outcomes, assistance to other countries and global public goods. The EU has played a major role in the process and has fought hard for the inclusion of EU values such as human rights and good governance, and for effective implementation and review processes. The ambitious agenda creates implementation challenges at all levels, including indicators and data collection, communication and outreach, the financing challenge and the balance between universality and national ownership.

The European Year for Development: Humanitarian Aid

17-07-2015

Within EU external relations, humanitarian aid has a distinctive nature: it is based solely on humanitarian principles, responding to needs, rather than political objectives. In the last decade, the global humanitarian situation has deteriorated; more than 100 million people need assistance this year. Despite growing humanitarian funds, the system is overstretched and many needs cannot be met. The World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in in 2016, will be an occasion to reflect on new challenges and ...

Within EU external relations, humanitarian aid has a distinctive nature: it is based solely on humanitarian principles, responding to needs, rather than political objectives. In the last decade, the global humanitarian situation has deteriorated; more than 100 million people need assistance this year. Despite growing humanitarian funds, the system is overstretched and many needs cannot be met. The World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in in 2016, will be an occasion to reflect on new challenges and discuss new funding solutions. The EU and its Member States together constitute the world's leading humanitarian donor. EU aid reaches more than 120 million people, ensures 'forgotten crises' are not completely left behind, and mainstreams disaster prevention and resilience building. The European Parliament is strong supporter of principled humanitarian aid, and has supported setting aside adequate sums. Parliament's report on the WHS will feed into the European debate on how to achieve more effective humanitarian action.

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