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further to Questions for Oral Answer O‑0071/2005 and O‑0072/2005
pursuant to Rule 108(5) of the Rules of Procedure
by Maria Martens and John Bowis
on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
on the Global Call to Action Against Poverty: Making Poverty History

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0398/2005

Procedūra : 2005/2571(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the Global Call to Action Against Poverty: Making Poverty History

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the New York Declaration on Action against Hunger and Poverty of 20 September 2004, signed by 111 national governments, including all the EU Member States,

– having regard to the Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000, which sets out the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as criteria established jointly by the international community for the elimination of poverty,

– having regard to the commitments made by the EU at the Barcelona Summit in March 2002 in advance of the Monterrey Conference,

– having regard to Commission Communications COM(2005)132, COM(2005)133 and COM(2005)134 of 12 April 2005 on accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals,

– having regard to the Conclusions on Development of the G8 Finance Ministers in London on 10-11 June 2005,

– having regard to the European Council conclusions of 16-17 June 2005,

– having regard to its resolutions of 12 April 2005 on the role of the European Union in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and of 23 June 2005 on access to Community external assistance,

– having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas extreme poverty affects over one billion people, and the difference in per capita income between the world’s poorest and richest countries has more than doubled over the past 25 years,

B. whereas, in order to achieve the MDGs, it is estimated that it will be necessary to at least double the annual international aid contribution (currently USD 50 billion), and whereas two thirds of developing countries spend more on servicing debt than on basic social services,

C. whereas the UN High-Level Event in September will bring together Heads of State and Government to carry out a major review of the progress towards achieving the MDGs; recognising the crucial importance of the EU contribution to obtaining tangible results from the Summit,

D. whereas, although EU ODA flows have grown, a large part of this growth is due to debt relief operations, which runs contrary to the Monterrey consensus according to which the HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) initiative should be fully financed through additional resources,

1. Welcomes the renewed EU commitment to attain the internationally agreed ODA target of an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.7% by 2015, as well as the new collective EU target of an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.56% by 2010; in parallel, stresses the need to improve the quality and effectiveness of ODA, and in this context underlines the crucial role that the developing countries themselves will have to play in terms of good governance and the fight against corruption, in order to promote their own development;

2. Welcomes in particular the recognition of the development of Africa as a priority for the EU and the fact that efforts will be stepped up to assist African countries to reach the MDGs; fully endorses the four components identified by the European Council for an EU-Africa strategic partnership: peace and security, governance, regional integration and trade, and development;

3. Recalls that development and achievement of the MDGs are first and foremost the responsibility of the developing countries themselves;

4. Underlines that development aid is only one factor that can contribute towards achieving the MDGs, and that it needs to be accompanied by other key factors such as sound, accountable and transparent institutions, compliance with human rights and international commitments, gender equality, appropriate trade and investment rules, knowledge transfers and security;

5. Welcomes the G8 proposals for HIPC debt cancellation of outstanding obligations of HIPCs to the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Fund; underlines, however, that this debt cancellation excludes a number of debt-ridden low-income countries, that debt relief is no panacea in the fight against poverty, as many poor countries have low debt levels, and that debt relief carries the moral hazard of not necessarily addressing the needs of the poorest or the most needing countries;

6. Calls on the G8 countries to take further steps in the fight against poverty at their Summit in Gleneagles on 6-8 July;

7. Calls on developing countries, and on the EU in particular, not to spare any efforts to obtain a development-friendly outcome of the Doha Development Agenda, delivering increased market access for both industrial and agricultural goods as well as services for developing countries, establishing a timetable for eliminating trade-distorting agricultural export support and providing effective special and differential treatment for developing countries;

8. Underlines the key importance of policy coherence in increasing the efficiency and quality of aid; calls on the EU to lead global efforts and to increase its own and Member States’ coherence of policy areas such as trade, environment, agriculture and migration with development commitments;

9. Calls for a renewed EU Development Strategy to address issues of fragmentation, gaps and duplication of aid efforts among its Member States, between Member States and the EU institutions and among global aid donors;

10. Calls for EU coordination and complementarity strategies to also include the private sector as well as civil society actors;

11. Welcomes the Commission proposal for a regular report on the State of the Union on aid effectiveness in collaboration between the Commission and Member States;

12. Calls for the rapid adoption and implementation of the legislative proposal for the untying of EC aid;

13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the accession countries, the United Nations and the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD.