Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B7-0228/2011Joint motion for a resolution

JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries


pursuant to Rule 110(4) of the Rules of Procedure
replacing the motions by the following groups:
ECR (B7‑0228/2011)
PPE (B7‑0229/2011)
Verts/ALE (B7‑0230/2011)
GUE/NGL (B7‑0231/2011)
S&D (B7‑0232/2011)
ALDE (B7‑0233/2011)

Eleni Theocharous, Filip Kaczmarek, Gay Mitchell, Michèle Striffler, Maurice Ponga, Alf Svensson on behalf of the PPE Group
Thijs Berman, Michael Cashman, Corina Creţu, Patrice Tirolien on behalf of the S&D Group
Charles Goerens, Marielle De Sarnez on behalf of the ALDE Group
Judith Sargentini, Catherine Grèze on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Jan Zahradil on behalf of the ECR Group
Gabriele Zimmer on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedure : 2011/2599(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  

European Parliament resolution on the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries

The European Parliament,

–   whereas in 1971 the UN recognised the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as the poorest and weakest segment of the international community,

–   having regard to the criteria established by the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) to identify LDCs,

–   having regard to the Paris Declaration for the Least Developed Countries adopted in September 1990,

–   having regard to the UN Secretary-General’s report on ‘Implementation of the Programme of Action for the LDCs for the decade 2001-2010’ (A/65/80),

–   having regard to the results of the UN High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) held in September 2010,

–   having regard to the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA) for the LDCs adopted at the Third UN Conference on the LDCs (LDC-III) held in Brussels in May 2001,

–   having regard to the decision taken in 2008 by the UN General Assembly to convene the Fourth UN Conference on the LDCs (LDC-IV),

–   whereas LDC-IV will assess the results of the BPoA as it comes to an end and propose new actions (2011-2020) designed to encourage the sharing of best practices and lessons learnt and identify policy decisions and challenges that the LDCs will face in the next decade and the action required,

–   having regard to the 1986 UN Declaration on the Right to Development,

–   having regard to the MDG of reducing poverty by half by 2015,

–   having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas 48 countries are currently classified as LDCs, 33 in Africa, 14 in Asia and one in Latin America; whereas 16 of these countries are landlocked and 12 are small islands,

B.  whereas 75% of the 800 milion habitants of the LDCs live on less than USD 2 per day, whereas since the establishment of this category by the UN in 1971 the number of LDCs has risen from 25 to 48, and whereas only Botswana in 1994, Cape Verde in 2007 and the Maldives in January 2011 have graduated from LDC status,

C. whereas the average Human Development Index rating for the LDCs rose only from 0.34 to 0.39 between 2000 and 2010; whereas on average the LDCs are on track to achieve only two out of seven MDGs,

D. whereas since LDC-III and the adoption of the BPoA some positive steps have been taken, for example the ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) initiative and the increases in Official Development Assistance (ODA), which doubled between 2000 and 2008, and direct foreign investment, which rose from USD 6 to USD 33 billions, enabling 19 countries to achieve a growth rate of 3%,

E.  whereas the LDC-IV recommendation can only be achieved if crucial issues affecting LDCs, such as policy coherence between trade and development, agriculture, fisheries, investment and climate change, are properly addressed and important topics, such as governance and the fight against corruption, in particular the concept of the 'governance contract’ (incorporating in particular a social threshold) between partner and donor countries, and human capacity-building, are put on the agenda,

F.  whereas LDC-IV will reaffirm the global commitment to the partnership to address the needs of the LDCs; whereas the ongoing preparations for LDC-IV include national consultations, regional meetings and conferences involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders, such as parliamentarians, civil society and the private sector,

G. whereas support for sustainable development implies support for health, education and training, the promotion of democracy and the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are essential components of the EU's development policy,

H. whereas, in addition to the existing structural challenges, the situation in the LDCs has been exacerbated by the recent global financial, food, climate change and energy crises,

I.   whereas, although agriculture forms the basis of many LDC economies and provides up to 90% of jobs, food security is threatened,

J.   whereas there can be no significant development without a significant role for States on the basis of an improved capacity to engage in economic development, wealth creation, private-public partnerships and properly planned foreign investment,

K. whereas each LDC needs to identify priorities and solutions appropriate to its national context, based on the democratic participation of the people in decision-making,

L.  whereas the success of the Istanbul conference depends on concrete results (e.g. governance contract, social threshold, debt alleviation, development aid, innovative financing) and the quality of the participants’ input,

1.  Considers that LDC-IV should be result-oriented, on the basis of clear indicators and the objective of reducing the number of LDCs by half by 2020, combined with efficient and transparent monitoring and follow-up mechanisms;

2.  Believes that LDC-IV should focus on Policy Coherence for Development as an important factor for policy shift, at national and international level; calls, therefore, for policy-making in all areas – such as trade, fisheries, the environment, agriculture, climate change, energy, investment and finance – to support the development needs of LDCs in order to fight poverty and guarantee decent incomes and livelihoods;

3.  Urges the EU to honour its commitments in terms of market access and debt alleviation; reaffirms the importance of reaching the ODA target of 0.15 to 0.20% of GNI for the LDCs, mobilising, for this purpose, domestic resources and, as a complementary measure, innovative financing mechanisms;

4.  Recalls the objective of graduation from the LDC category, and draws attention to the framework set by the MDG Summit in September 2010 with a view to speeding up poverty eradication, creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth, establishing good governance and fostering capacity-building;

5.  Stresses the need for new measures to integrate the LDCs into the global economy and improve their access to EU markets; calls on the Commission to increase its trade-related assistance to help the poorest countries deal with the competition resulting from market liberalisation;

6.  Recalls that peace and security are vital to the effectiveness of development policies and that the EU should coordinate its approach more closely in order to address stability issues in the LDCs and support efforts to acquire the capacities to build peaceful, democratic and inclusive states;

7.  Recalls the need to give priority to food security, agriculture, infrastructure, capacity-building, inclusive economic growth, access to technologies and human and social development in the LDCs;

8.  Calls for the establishment of fair and equitable trade rules and the implementation of integrated policies across a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues in order to foster sustainable development;

9.  Recalls the need to take effective measures on price volatility and transparency and on better regulated financial markets in order to protect the LDCs and reduce their vulnerability;

10. Recalls the need to contribute to developing national tax systems and good governance in tax matters, and calls on the UN to establish adequate mechanisms in this regard;

11. Urges the UN and the EU seriously to address at LDC-IV the adverse impact of farmland acquisition, such as the expropriation of small farmers and the unsustainable use of land and water;

12. Recalls that the long-term goal of development cooperation must be to create the conditions for sustainable economic development; therefore stresses the need to identify needs and strategies, to diversify and prepare for liberalisation by enhancing production, supply and trading capacity and increasing the LDCs’ ability to attract investment;

13. Is aware that EBA has not fully achieved its original objectives and, therefore, that the quality and the volume of trade from LDCs to the EU market has remained below expectations, in particular because of a lack of adequate trade-related and port infrastructure; advocates the development of such infrastructure, which remains the key to increasing trade capacities;

14. Underlines the need to enhance aid effectiveness for development, in line with the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda;

15. Considers that the adoption of the new US ‘Conflict Minerals’ Law is a huge step forward in combating the illegal mining of and trading in minerals in Africa, which fuels civil war and conflicts; takes the view that the UN should put forward a similar proposal to ensure the traceability of imported minerals on the world market;

16. Calls for a climate-change risk assessment of the relevant aspects of development policy planning and decision-making, including trade, agriculture and food security, and calls for the outcome of this assessment to be used to formulate clear guidelines for development cooperation policy;

17. Expresses its concern at the mounting likelihood of environmental disasters causing massive migrations and making emergency aid to help this new category of displaced persons essential;

18. Stresses the importance of regional cooperation and integration, and calls for the strengthening of regional frameworks which primarily enable smaller countries to obtain resources, know-how and expertise;

19. Stresses that the lack of progress as regards the management of public finances still disqualifies most of these countries from receiving budget support, an essential factor in each country’s capacity-building process;

20. Stresses the importance for the LDCs of the development of trilateral cooperation, in particular with emerging countries, with a view to pushing forward in the direction of comprehensive cooperation to achieve mutual benefits and common development;

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.