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Postupak : 2007/2103(INI)
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Odabrani dokument : A6-0220/2007

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Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - Strasbourg
MDGs at the Midway Point

European Parliament resolution of 20 June 2007 on the Millennium Development Goals – the midway point (2007/2103(INI))

The European Parliament,

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

–   having regard to the successive Human Development Reports drawn up by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2005 on the role of the European Union in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)(1),

–   having regard to the Rome Declaration on Harmonisation, adopted on 25 February 2003 following the High Level Forum on Harmonisation, and the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, adopted on 2 March 2005 following the High Level Forum on Implementation, Alignment and Results (the 'Paris Declaration'),

–   having regard to the Joint Statement by the Council and the representatives of Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: 'The European Consensus' (the 'European Consensus for Development') signed on 20 December 2005(2),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'EU Strategy for Africa: Towards a Euro-African pact to accelerate Africa's development' (COM(2005)0489),

–   having regard to its resolution of 17 November 2005 on a development strategy for Africa(3),

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (the 'Development Cooperation Instrument' (4)(DCI)),

–   having regard to the annual reports by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration, the latest of which dates from July 2006,

–   having regard to the report by the UN Millennium Project Task Force headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs entitled "Investing in Development: a practical plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals",

–   having regard to the Report of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) entitled 'The Least Developed Countries – Report 2002 – Escaping the Poverty Trap,

–   having regard to UNICEF's annual State of the World's Children reports and the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–   having regard to the Commission Staff Working Paper entitled "EC Report on Millennium Development Goals 2000–2004" (SEC(2004)1379),

–   having regard to the annual Global Monitoring Report on MDGs of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the latest of which was published in April 2007,

–   having regard to the Development Co-operation Report 2006 of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the latest version of which was published in March 2007,

–   having regard to the final declarations and conclusions of international conferences, in particular the International Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey, 2002), the 2005 World Summit (New York, 2005), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002), the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (Brussels, 2001), the Fourth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (Doha, 2001), the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) (Cairo, 1994), the UN General Assembly's 1999 special session to review progress towards meeting the ICPD goals ("Cairo + 5"), and the World Education Forum (Dakar, 2000),

–   having regard to the national reservations expressed by EU Member States in the final declarations and conclusions of the above-mentioned conferences,

–   having regard to the commitments made by the Barcelona European Council in March 2002 in advance of the Monterrey Conference,

–   having regard to the commitments on aid volume, aid to Sub-Saharan Africa, and aid quality made by the G8 at the 2005 Gleneagles Summit,

–   having regard to the Fourth Assessment Report of Working Group II to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change entitled 'Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability' ( the "Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change"),

–   having regard to the final report of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change,

–   having regard to the conclusions of UNDP, the UN Millennium Project and the World Bank in their 2006 report on Energy and the Millennium Development Goals,

–   having regard to Articles 177-181 of the Treaty establishing the European Community,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled EU Aid: 'Delivering more, better and faster' (COM(2006)0087),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'Increasing the impact of EU aid: a common framework for drafting country strategy papers and joint multiannual programming' (COM(2006)0088),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'Accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals – Financing for Development and Aid Effectiveness' (COM(2005)0133),

–   having regard to the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) meeting of 10 and 11 April 2006 on financing for development and European aid effectiveness,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'EU Code of Conduct on Division of Labour in Development Cooperation' (COM(2007)0072),

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 April 2006 on aid effectiveness and corruption in developing countries(5),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 February 2007 on budget aid for developing countries(6),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Development (A6-0220/2007),

A.   whereas the year 2007 marks the mid-point to meeting the MDGs in 2015 and therefore offers a unique opportunity to take stock of what remains to be done,

B.   whereas in Sub-Saharan Africa many countries are not on track to meet any of the MDGs, and also in many middle-income countries there are regions and ethnic groups made up of millions of people who are making unsatisfactory progress,

C.   whereas the European Council, with reference to the agenda for the G8 Summit in Gleneagles in July 2005, agreed in May 2005 that 0,7 % of Gross National Income (GNI) would be donated as Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2015 and that this increase in aid was a fundamental prerequisite for the achievement of the MDGs,

D.   whereas the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) allows for debt relief to be counted towards donor countries' ODA contributions even though it does not represent a transfer of any new resources from donor to recipient countries,

E.   whereas debt relief is one of the targets of MDG 8, which aims specifically to 'deal comprehensively with developing countries" debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term',

F.   whereas 24 countries have now benefited from debt cancellation, including 18 in Africa, but more much debt cancellation is still needed,

G.   whereas annually EUR 6.9bn of ODA is required if the MDG on basic education is to be achieved and whereas the current global ODA for basic education is around EUR 1.6bn – of which the EU contributes EUR 0.8bn,

H.   whereas the estimated financing needed to meet the health MDGs is EUR 21bn per year, and current financing meets only 36 % of this need, and whereas even with an anticipated increase in EU ODA by 2010, the available funds will cover only 41 % of the required EUR 21 billion – leaving a financing gap of EUR 11.9 billion per year,

I.   whereas despite significant progress towards universal primary education in recent years, there are still some 77 million primary school age children currently not in school, and the target of correcting the gender imbalance in primary schools by 2005 has been missed,

J.  Whereas child labour denies children the right to education, which is an essential instrument for future generations to escape poverty,

K.   whereas the three health MDGs, those on infant mortality, on maternal mortality and on the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria are among the least likely to be achieved by 2015,

L.   whereas, according to the 2006 UN Report on the MDGs, despite progress in some countries the rate of HIV/AIDS infection is continuing to increase, with the number of people infected rising from 36.2 million in 2003 to 38.6 million in 2005 (half of whom are women), and whereas the number of deaths attributable to AIDS also rose in 2005, despite improved access to antiretroviral therapies,

M.   whereas at present over 90 % of health research funding is spent on diseases that affect just ten per cent of the world's population and whereas patent systems may have been working as an incentive for R&D in developed countries, this has not been the case for neglected diseases affecting the poor,

N.   whereas, according to some estimates, there is a shortage of some two million teachers and over four million health workers in developing countries and in most cases, there are no strategies in place for training and recruitment,

O.  Whereas the right to food is essential to enable all other human rights to be exercised and its fulfilment is a prerequisite for the achievement of the entire range of the MDGs; and according to the 2006 UN report on the MDGs, progress to reduce hunger has been too slow and numbers have even been increasing in the last few years and, as a result, 854 million people (17 % of the global population) go hungry every day and almost 16,000 children die every day from hunger-related causes,

P.   whereas progress towards tackling malnutrition is alarmingly slow and 27 % of children are malnourished and 53 % of deaths among children under five are associated with malnutrition,

Q.   whereas according to UNDP, at least 19 countries have completed MDG needs assessments, and another 55 are in the process of drawing them up, but to date not a single low income country in Africa is implementing such strategies,

R.   whereas the baseline survey for monitoring the Paris Declaration which was undertaken in 2006 found disappointing results relating to the implementation of pledges on harmonisation, alignment and ownership,

S.   whereas the EU, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark and Germany are increasing the proportion of aid spent through general budget support,

T.   whereas the quality of development aid is as important as its quantity, taking into account the absorption capacity of the countries concerned,

U.   whereas progress towards achieving the MDGs requires radical action to address the structural causes of poverty, including the need for a fair and equitable rules-based trade systems designed to promote trade and to correct the imbalances in global trade, especially where Africa is concerned,

V.   whereas Parliament in its resolution of 6 July 2006 on Fair Trade and Development(7) recognised the role of fair trade in improving the livelihoods of small farmers and producers in the developing world, providing as it does a sustainable production model with guaranteed returns for the producer,

W.   whereas increased support to the private sector, in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises, is a driving force for the development and creation of new markets, as well as for the creation of jobs,

X.   whereas the achievement of the MDGs is an EU priority and whereas the crucial role of local authorities in their implementation has been recognised by the UN,

Y.   whereas an estimated two billion people in the world lack access to modern energy carriers and whereas no country has been able to substantially reduce poverty without significantly increasing its use of energy;

Z.   whereas the above-mentioned Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and the Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change demonstrated unequivocally that climate change has the greatest impact on developing countries and that for many of the world's most vulnerable communities, climate change is already a reality,

AA.   whereas the preliminary estimates of the World Bank indicate that USD 10–40 billion will be required annually in order to "climate-proof" development in the poorest countries; and whereas contributions to adaptation funds within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change do not amount to more than USD 150–300 million per year,

AB.   whereas conflict-affected fragile States account for only 9 % of the population of the developing countries, but that 27 % of the extreme poor, nearly one third of all child deaths and 29 % of 12 year olds who did not complete primary school in 2005, are to be found in fragile States,

AC.   whereas good governance and improved institutional capacity are vital to ensuring the delivery of basic social services and infrastructure and security to citizens,

AD.   whereas the achievement of the MDGs would not only mean a giant step in reducing global poverty and suffering, but would also serve to demonstrate the international community's ability to set and follow through practical targets for global partnership,

Scaling up aid

1.  Emphasises that the over-arching aim of development cooperation is and must be the fight against poverty; stresses, however, that this fight is not limited to material growth and that, therefore, democracy-building and the promotion of basic human rights, the rule of law and the principles of justice, equity, transparency and accountability must always be central themes of any such cooperation;

2.  Recalls the commitment made by G8 countries at Gleneagles in 2005 to double aid to Sub-Saharan Africa by 2010 and expresses disappointment that, according to the OECD, ODA excluding debt relief to Sub-Saharan Africa 'was static in 2006';

3.  Stresses that in order to meet their financial commitments to Africa, the G8 donors will each have to provide an additional EUR 15 billion to Africa by 2010, over and above their 2004 levels, but that they have so far been off track;

4.  Regrets that at the recent G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, leaders failed to do enough to guarantee their promises to Africa and is concerned that although the G8 reiterated their 2005 pledge to increase ODA to Africa by EUR 18,6 billion a year by 2010, the G8 did not commit to an accountable timetable for delivering these aid promises;

5.  Stresses that the G8 announcement of EUR 44,7 billion for HIV, health, TB and Malaria includes considerable amounts of money from existing spending levels and is not sufficient to set the G8 back on track for overall ODA commitments; therefore calls on the G8 to ensure that this commitment is now accompanied by other commitments in other health sectors and on education, trade, governance and peace and security to truly ensure that the G8 deliver on their promises to Africa;

6.  Welcomes the action taken by many EU countries in writing off the debt of developing countries; expresses concern, nevertheless, that such debt write-offs have artificially boosted EU aid figures by nearly 30 % in 2006, meaning that the Member States spent 0,31 % of GNI on actual aid last year, failing to meet the collective intermediary objective of 0,33 %;

7.  Calls on the EU and the G8 to disaggregate debt cancellation and relief from aid figures in line with the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the above-mentioned GAERC conclusions of April 2006;

8.  Regrets that at the mid-point in the implementation period for the MDGs, ODA from the EU-15 is decreasing as a share of GNI from 0,44 % ODA/GNI in 2005 to 0,43 % ODA/GNI in 2006;

9.  Welcomes the fact that aid provided by the Commission rose by 5,7 % to EUR 7.5 billion in 2006, reflecting improved disbursement capacity from the higher level of commitments made in recent years;

10.  Commends those Member States that have reached or exceeded the 0,7 % ODA/GNI target and those that are increasing their actual aid levels, but regrets that some EU-15 countries have failed to meet the interim 0.33% target by a wide margin in 2006;

11.  Notes that Portugal, which is due to host the EU-Africa Summit during its Presidency, achieved only 0.21% ODA/GNI in 2006;

12.  Notes that the worst inflators of aid are Austria (57 %), France (52 %), Italy (44 %), Germany (53 %) and the UK (28 %), and further notes that Germany, which currently holds the Presidencies of both the EU and G8, would not have reached the target of 0,33 % ODA/GNI without inflating its aid;

13.  Calls on all Member States that are off-track to honour the promises made in Barcelona, Gleneagles and Monterrey, and to urgently commit themselves to a scaling up of real aid in 2007, and calls on the Commission to support those Member States in carefully planning the financial and organisational aspects for forthcoming aid increases to ensure that the EU interim 2010 target of 0,56 % GNI is met;

14.  Argues that the budget review, starting in 2008, should take into account the EU's increasingly important role in the world and enable development expenditure to increase; in this context, the EU might decide to implement new ways of funding the MDGs, such as through the European Investment Bank (EIB) and calls on the EIB to ensure that the same political accountability is extended to Parliament on the funding of such projects as for other EIB operations;

15.  Calls on the Commission to plan for the clear likelihood that the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) will not be ratified by all 27 Member States before 2010 and should therefore urgently ensure that funds are available during the transitional period (2008–2010);

16.  Urges the Commission to continue to explore innovative sources of finance as alternative ways of securing funding for development programmes;

17.  Urges the Member States to undertake regular assessments of progress towards ODA targets and welcomes the Commission proposal that the Member States put national timetables in place to ensure that they are on track towards reaching agreed country-ODA targets by 2010/2015 and to improve the long-term predictability of their aid flows;

18.  Urges the EU and the G8 to recognise the growing importance of new donors, and in particular China, and to engage these new donors in a dialogue on approaches and standards for external assistance, including on the importance of applying internationally agreed norms and standards in aid implementation;

19.  Calls on the G8 de-link all aid from their national economic interests, noting that as a group, the G8 currently tie 29 % of their aid to developing countries, as opposed to the total donor average of 24 %;

Debt relief

20.  Stresses that possibly as many as 60 countries need all of their debts to be cancelled if they are to have any chance of achieving the MDGs and that there are yet more countries that require further debt relief, including a number of countries with "odious debts", such as those contracted by South Africa's former apartheid regime;

21.  Welcomes the World Bank finding that countries receiving debt relief under Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative have, between 1999 and 2005, more than doubled their expenditure on poverty reduction plans;

22.  Calls on countries to meet their obligations to use funds released by debt relief and cancellation transparently and accountably, and further argues that debt relief should be withheld only if there is a broad consensus in their parliaments and among civil society organisations that standards of transparency and accountability are not being met;

23.  Stresses that long-term debt sustainability will depend on responsible lending policies, the provision of appropriate financing, the maintenance of sound economic policies, strengthened debt management and sound public and parliamentary accountability of loan contraction, as well as export performance and particularly export diversification;

24.  Calls on Member States to ensure that any economic restructuring conditions attached to debt relief be limited to achieving a return to debt sustainability, and that such conditions do not constitute counter-productive constraints on the public funding of measures to combat poverty;

25.  Calls on all donors and creditors to make all information relating to loans and debt write offs easily available and accessible in partner countries and to insist on the same transparency for commercial creditors;

26.  Calls on Member States to act on the 'supply side' of corruption by investigating, prosecuting and blacklisting bribe givers and to protect poor countries from 'vulture funds';

27.  Calls on the World Bank to make more concessional financing available to countries striving to achieve the MDGs;

Financing human and social development

28.  Urges the EU to increase its ODA commitments to education to fill the EUR 5.3 billion financing gap, and given that the major challenge facing the Education For All – Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is lack of external finance, the Commission is to be commended for initiating efforts to increase donor pledges but regrets that while commitments made at the Donor Conference held in Brussels on 2 May 2007 should enable 1 million more children to go to school, they still leave another 76 million children without education;

29.  Calls on the EU to increase its proportion of global ODA for health from the current 6,6 %, in order to help bridge the financing gap of EUR 11.9bn per year of the total estimated EUR 21bn per year needed to fulfil global health spending needs, and calls for continuing and increased, predictable support for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria;

30.  Calls on the African Union (AU) to continue its support for the Abuja Declaration of 2001 which confirms that countries should allocate at least 15% of their national budgets for health care but regrets that only two African States have met this promise;

31.  Stresses that developing-country governments have made real progress in the last decade in increasing investment in health and education but that in some cases promises have not been fulfilled, and calls on these governments to set a timetable for reaching the target of investing at least 20 % of government budgets in education and the target of investing 15 % of government budgets in health;

32.  Calls on the Court of Auditors to conduct an audit in 2008 of the commitment in the DCI that by 2009, 20 % of all EU ODA would be allocated to basic health and to basic and secondary education;

Priorities in human and social development

33.  Emphasises that it is a priority to ensure that 'hard-to-reach' children – those from conflict-affected fragile States, those with disabilities, from remote regions, chronically poor families or those excluded on the grounds of ethnicity – can exercise their right to basic education;

34.  Calls on the EU to give urgent attention to education in conflict-affected fragile States, which currently receive less than one fifth of global education aid despite being home to more than half the world's children missing out on education, and in particular calls on the Humanitarian Aid Department of the Commission (ECHO) to follow through clear guidelines for ECHO support to education in emergency responses;

35.  Calls on the EU to assist countries in building national capacity to track learning outcomes in order to ensure that expanded access to education also delivers quality education;

36.  Deplores the fact that virtually no country in Africa is on track to achieve the MDGs for maternal and child health;

37.  Notes that progress on child mortality lags behind other MDGs despite the availability of simple, low cost interventions that could prevent millions of deaths each year, and stresses that oral rehydration therapy, insecticide-treated bednets, breast-feeding, and common antibiotics for respiratory diseases could prevent an estimated 63% of child deaths;

38.  Believes that health care infrastructure deserves stable and long term financial support from national budgets and international assistance in order to deliver the health-related MDGs, such as reducing infant mortality by increasing immunisation coverage, reducing maternal mortality by increasing access to skilled professionals, supporting research and development of and access to new diagnostics and therapies, providing safe drinking water and sanitation, and scaling up significantly towards the goal of universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support of HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and other diseases by 2010, including for marginalised populations and those most vulnerable to infectious diseases;

39.  Calls on the international donor community to assist developing countries in developing and implementing comprehensive health action programmes, tackling issues such as the need to secure sustainable financing for health infrastructure and salaries, increase investment in training and avoid an excessive "brain drain" through the migration of high-skilled health workers;

40.  Welcomes the Johannesburg Declaration of the 3rd Ordinary Session of the AU Conference of Ministers of Health of 9-13 April 2007 on the Strengthening of Health Systems for Equity and Development as an important initiative towards achieving the health MDGs; calls on the EU to support the AU member states in implementing the programmes based on that Declaration;

41.  Urges the EU to continue to be at the vanguard of efforts to support sexual and reproductive health rights by maintaining levels of funding for the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, and regrets that while Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of maternal mortality, it also has the lowest rate of contraceptive use in the world (19 %) and 30 % of all maternal deaths on the continent are caused by unsafe abortions;

42.  Points out that the UN plans to adopt a new target on MDG 5 on Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and therefore notes the Maputo Plan of Action for the Operationalisation of the Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 2007–2010 adopted by the Special Session of AU Conference of Ministers of Health of 18-22 September 2006;

43.  Stresses the urgent need to tackle gender-based violence in all forms because violence impact on girls' access to education and health and is also one of the main drivers of the HIV pandemic and therefore a key barrier to achieving greater gender equality in developing countries;

44.  Calls on the Commission to step up its commitment to combating HIV/AIDS in developing countries and to ensure that those most affected have ever better access, at affordable prices, to prevention resources and policies, antiretroviral treatments and healthcare services (infrastructure, personnel and medicines) capable of meeting the growing demand;

45.  Notes that all the MDGs are critically dependent on stemming the HIV/AIDS epidemic and asks the Commission to accord the highest priority to addressing this global pandemic by supporting an intensified and comprehensive response; points out that the response should ensure universal access to existing prevention and treatment as well as adequate investment in the development of and universal access to a wide range of prevention technologies, including microbicides and vaccines; and calls on the EU to promote greater industry participation, a more coordinated scientific effort, and policies and programmes that accelerate the testing of novel vaccines and microbicides;

46.  Calls on the EU to increase funding to ensure that progress in basic science and biomedicine results in new and affordable drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for neglected diseases, to support the development phases of R&D and to secure the use of new products by neglected populations whilst respecting the TRIPS provisions;

47.  Calls on the EU to support the full implementation of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health of the WTO Ministerial Conference of 9-14 November 2001, and to ensure that medicines are affordable for those for those developing countries that do take measures in compliance with the Doha Declaration, and further calls on the EU to provide technical assistance to developing countries for the implementation of pro-public-health measures in patent law;

48.  Stresses the need for a comprehensive review of those systems in place that are failing to solve the access to medicines problem, to include submitting recommendations to the WTO for amendment to its rules governing the export of medicines under compulsory licence, known as the August 30th decision;

49.  Points out that according to some estimates, two million teachers and over four million health workers need to be recruited to make health and education for all a reality and that EUR 10bn must be invested every year in training and salaries for quality teachers and health workers;

50.  Calls on poor-country governments to set salaries of existing health workers and teachers at dignified levels in collaboration with their trade unions;

51.  Calls on poor-country governments to ensure parliamentary and citizen representation and oversight in monitoring public services and to facilitate the participation of civil society and local authorities in local and national planning and budget processes, including agreements and contracts signed with donors;

52.  Stresses that in some countries rates of malnutrition are increasing and that for the whole of Africa, an estimated 3.7 million more children will be malnourished in 2015 than today and calls on the EU to review and evaluate whether its indirect investment deal effectively with malnutrition;

53.  Calls on the international donor community to redouble their efforts and to coordinate specific policies for tackling chronic hunger and guaranteeing food security, by adopting an overall approach which addresses the multiple root causes of the problem; urges governments to honour their obligations to respect, protect and meet the right to food, in particular by fostering access to food for all;

54.  Calls on EU donors to immediately start using internationally agreed indicators on nutrition to report progress on food security, safety nets and social protection, governance, water, sanitation and health;

Aid quality and poverty-focused development cooperation

55.  Insists that Commission and Member States use the above-mentioned EU Code of Conduct on Division of Labour Development Cooperation to ensure that spending and programmes on health and education are better coordinated and to ensure a sharper focus on neglected aid-orphan countries, including countries in crisis and fragile States;

56.  Urges all Member States to fully implement the agreed above-mentioned Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and stresses that more effort needs to be made by the EU in relation to mutual accountability, ownership by partner countries and reform of technical assistance because DAC Member States scored badly in these three areas in the recent OECD baseline survey on implementing the Paris Declaration;

57.  Calls on the EU to support partners in building their in-country capacity to lead a coherent development management process, as this remains central to ensuring countries' rightful ownership and leadership of their own development process;

58.  Believes that micro-financing is one of the most essential instruments in the fight against poverty as it empowers the poor themselves to actively participate in this fight;

59.  Stresses that one of the principal routes out of poverty and to empower women and men is to guarantee productive high-quality work with a decent income;

60.  Believes that gender- specific priorities and children's rights need to be re-focused in EU development policy both as basic rights and as part of the governance criteria applied under the Cotonou Agreement(8) and elsewhere;

61.  Welcomes the EC/UN Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace that has recently been launched, with the aim of ensuring that gender is not sidelined in the implementation and review of the Paris Declaration;

62.  Believes that Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) are potentially important tools for achieving the MDGs, but that they should be drafted, implemented, monitored and evaluated in consultation with parliaments in ACP countries and Member States, Parliament, civil society and local authorities and should focus on meeting MDG objectives;

63.  Expresses concern about the lack of flexibility in EC programming which defines limited priorities at the start of a programming cycle and then does not allow for new issues to be supported, even if requested directly by partner governments;

64.  Stresses that the long-term goal of development cooperation must be to create the conditions for sustainable economic, social and environmental development; underlines, in this context, the need to promote public-private initiative partnerships, including support measures to small and medium-sized enterprises, to raise productivity and employment;

65.  Stresses the high potential of foreign direct investment in terms of development, sustained economic growth, the transfer of know-how, entrepreneurship and technology and job creation; underlines, in this context, the importance of a transparent, predictable and favourable investment climate, minimising red tape for business, respecting property rights, promoting competition and striving for sound macro-economic policies;

66.  Calls on donors and recipients to support improved data for MDG implementation and monitoring;

67.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that when funds are spent on infrastructure, poverty reduction remains the key focus of all projects;

68.  Acknowledges that current EU funds and facilities such as the Infrastructure Facility, the Water Facility and the Energy Facility address important issues;

69.  Calls on the EU to strengthen its partnerships with developing countries in a way that encourages mutual accountability and reciprocal obligations by establishing predictable benchmarks and deadlines for ODA increases, in order to facilitate recipient countries' planning for increases in public investment;

70.  Stresses that all means must be used to achieve the MDGs, which require the broadest possible partnerships of stakeholders, especially with developing-country national parliaments and civil society and local authorities and private partners;

71.  Trusts that agreement will be reached during the drafting of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy on the fundamental importance of reaching the MDGs by 2015;

General budget support

72.  Insists that the EU and partner governments ensure that budget support always takes the form of sector-specific budget aid that earmarks money for a specific sector in which the funding should be spent, use poverty-related targets that directly measure the outcome of policies instead of mere budgetary input and output, put in place mechanisms and monitoring tools to ensure that an adequate proportion of general budget support aid is supporting basic needs, particularly in health and education, stresses that this must be accompanied by support for capacity-building, and emphasises that a percentage of 0,5 % of the granted budget support should be reserved exclusively for civil society watchdogs;

73.  Calls on the EU to support coherent MDG management of general budget support across different parts of the executive and legislature and to provide support for scrutiny by parliaments, civil society and local authorities of budget support to ensure a strong and clear link between budget support aid and the achievement of the MDGs;

74.  Calls for national parliament and civil society participation in effective budgetary monitoring in the form of public expenditure tracking surveys (PETS) which make a detailed comparison between "income" and "outcome" on the basis of the DAC criteria;

75.  Calls on the EU to increase the proportion of its aid spent through direct budget support to those countries that have given proof of good governance, respect for human rights and the principles of democracy;

76.  Stresses that budget support in its common form is essentially another short-term agreement between donors and governments, with few agreements exceeding three years, and calls on donors to increase the term of the commitments they make, possibly along the lines proposed by the Commission for "MDG Contracts" involving six year commitments and clear understanding and clarity as to when and how such support would be suspended;

77.  Calls on countries to focus on the implications of general budget support for women's equality and gender relations, because overall increases in financing do not necessarily overcome the unequal access and status of marginalised groups including women and people with disabilities;


78.  Recalls that the Cotonou Agreement has a framework for dialogue between EU and ACP States on governance issues and calls on the EU to strengthen this framework instead of adding new initiatives, strategies and policies;

79.  Regrets that the Commission's communication on Governance in the European Consensus on Development (COM(2006)0421), which proposes an incentive tranche for budget support, reduces the MDGs to only one of twenty-three indicators among other indicators such as trade liberalisation, counter-terrorism and migration which are irrelevant to the achievement of the MDGs, and believes that the governance instrument should be focused on the commitment of the partner country to implementing the MDGs;

80.  Urges the Commisssion to grasp the opportunity presented by the 2008 review of the governance approach to listen to the views of European and African parliaments and civil society organisations, as well as Member States and African governments, and adapt its governance approach accordingly;

81.  Reminds the governments of developing countries that progress in meeting the MDGs is frequently hindered by endemic corruption, poor governance and questionable health care strategies, and stresses that poverty will never be eliminated unless the systemic failures that cause it are likewise acknowledged, tackled and eliminated;

82.  Calls on the developing countries to improve their own prosperity potential by instituting programmes of economic liberalisation, especially in the area of property rights, which would release at a stroke substantial capital for immediate investment – which would in itself facilitate the earlier meeting of the MDGs;

83.  Calls on all bilateral and multilateral donors and export credit agencies to develop a set of conditions based on the liability of governments to their citizens and a system of partnership where non-humanitarian aid is conditional on compliance with a series of specific criteria and, in particular, public transparency about revenue streams;

Peace and security

84.  Recalls that peace and security are vital to achieving the MDGs, and therefore urges the EU to ensure that its development policies have a positive impact on peace-building;

85.  Recalls the commitment to mainstreaming conflict-sensitivity in all EU policies and instruments, as advocated in the 2001 Goteborg Programme for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts, and calls on the EU to implement the latest adopted tools to prevent conflict, such as the EU Small Arms and Light Weapons Strategy, the EU Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform and the Joint EU Concept on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Re-integration (DDR);

86.  Welcomes the fact that an arms trade treaty now has the support of 80 % of the world's governments, and urges the EU to play its part in ensuring that an international, legally binding treaty can be agreed;


87.  Calls on the EU to adopt a coherent policy between its trade, fisheries, development cooperation and common agricultural policies to avoid direct or indirect negative impacts on the economy of developing countries;

88.  Stresses that opening up trade can be one of the most effective drivers of economic growth, but that it needs to be complemented by redistributive and social domestic policies in order for poverty to be reduced;

89.  Stresses the promise of the Doha Development Round and the need for fair and equitable international rules-based trade systems designed to correct the trading imbalances in global trade, especially where Africa is concerned, calls on the EU to make the utmost effort to end the stalemate in the WTO negotiations;

90.  Notes that according to the Chair of the deadlocked Doha Round, in order to facilitate a development friendly agreement, the EU must envisage cutting its trade-distorting agricultural export subsidies by an estimated 70 % and that agreement on subsidy and tariff cuts must be reached in order for the negotiations to be concluded by the end of 2007;

91.  Believes that fair trade is an important tool in building sustainable trade with fair returns for producers in the developing world; calls on the Commission to respond to Parliament's above-mentioned resolution on fair trade and development with a recommendation to support fair trade as outlined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of that resolution;

92.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that its commercial agreements contribute to, instead of hampering, the achievement of the MDGs; in particular, it should ensure that EPAs constitute instruments for ACP development and poverty eradication;

93.  Believes that pharmaceutical-related TRIPS affecting public health and access to medicines which go beyond the TRIPS Agreement should be excluded from EPAs and other future bilateral or regional agreements with low-income countries;

94.  Believes that all ACP countries must have a clear right to choose whether to extend the negotiations beyond trade in goods, and calls on the Commission to ensure that intellectual property rights and the Singapore issues (competition policy, public procurement and investment) are taken off the negotiating table if ACP countries do not wish to negotiate them;

95.  Calls on the Commission to avoid disruption of trade for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and therefore urges the Commission to ensure that, if the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) cannot be completed before the end of 2007, arrangements will be made to avoid uncertainty for our ACP partners; stresses that this requires a guarantee that, regardless of the state of the EPA negotiations at that time, ACP terms and conditions of access to the EU market will remain equivalent to the current ones, as agreed in the Cotonou Agreement; calls on the Commission to clarify how such arrangements could be made in order to avoid uncertainty for exporters and importers;

96.  Takes note of recent studies by UNCTAD and others which show that extensive trade liberalisation in LDCs has had little effect on sustained and substantial poverty reduction objectives and has contributed to a decline in the terms of trade of developing countries, in particular of African countries; and calls on the EU to start a sustained, sincere campaign to genuinely increase the export capacity of LDCs by promoting technical assistance to further physio-sanitary standards, property law, business skills and value-addition programmes;

97.  Calls on the Commission to adjust its cooperation and trade policies as far as possible in order to help the governments of developing countries to maintain and develop public services, particularly those guaranteeing access for the population as whole to drinking water, health services, education and transport;

98.  Urges that full account be taken of the fact that ACP countries are often heavily dependent on primary commodities, which are particularly vulnerable to price fluctuations and tariff escalation, and stresses the importance of diversification, and of the development of processing industries and SMEs in those countries;

99.  Stresses the importance of capacity-building for trade and the need for additional resources from the EU to enhance ACP countries' ability to identify needs and strategies, to negotiate and to support regional integration, to diversify and prepare for liberalisation by enhancing production, supply and trading capacity and to offset adjustment costs as well as to increase their ability to attract investment;

100.  Calls on the Commission to increase its trade-related assistance to support capacity-building, which is essential if the poorest countries are to be able to tackle the increased competition resulting from market liberalisation;

Climate change

101.  Urges the EU to continue to play a leading role in promoting cleaner, more efficient approaches to sustainable and low-carbon development;

102.  Points out that poor communities in developing countries have contributed the least to climate change but are likely to suffer the effects most severely; calls on the EU to make significant funding available to enable developing countries to adapt to sea level rises and the increased strength and frequency of extreme weather events like droughts, heavy storms, flooding, etc., as well as to ensuing health, food production and water stresses, which would put development at risk and may lead to large-scale migration and security threats;

103.  Calls on the EU to make significant funding available to enable poor countries to adapt to climate change and stresses that it cannot simply be channelled from existing aid budgets; and further believes that a significant proportion of the revenue raised by auctioning allocations under the European Emissions Trading Scheme and taxing carbon should be used to fund clean development in developing countries;

104.  Stresses that adaptation must not be dealt with only as a humanitarian issue or as a priority only within the context of the climate convention; emphasises that risk reduction and "climate proofing" measures must be integrated into the overarching development agenda, including in PRSPs and CSPs;

105.  Recognises that IPR licensing fees in the area of clean technology may constitute a barrier to the transfer of such technology to developing countries; stresses that in order to combat energy poverty and ensure a sustainable path of development, IPR partnerships must be developed between industrialised and developing countries, in order to ensure respect for property rights while at the same time facilitating technology flows;

106.  Stresses that although energy is not specifically addressed in the Millennium Declaration, the provision of modern energy services to the poor is a crucial prerequisite to achieving the MDGs; points out that the preconditions for renewable energy technologies are excellent in many developing countries, providing an effective way of meeting soaring oil costs and meeting energy needs while avoiding a further harmful impact on climate; regrets that insufficient financial resources have been allocated by the EU for addressing the energy poverty challenge; emphasises for this purpose the need for increased aid flows, as well as enhanced support for private investment in renewable energy technologies;

Post-MDG agenda

107.  Stresses that if the MDGs are to be achieved, the proportion of people in poverty will be halved within a decade, a huge achievement but one that will nevertheless leave hundreds of millions of poorest and most vulnerable people trapped in chronic poverty;

108.  Calls on the EU to set a date for agreement on a poverty elimination strategy post 2015;

o   o

109.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the candidate countries, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United Nations and the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD.

(1) OJ C 33 E, 9.2.2006, p. 311.
(2) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 280 E, 18.11.2006, p. 475.
(4) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41.
(5) OJ C 293 E, 2.12.2006, p. 316.
(6) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2007)0043.
(7) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0320.
(8) Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, of the one part, and the Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3). Agreement as last amended by Decision No 1/2006 of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers (OJ L 247, 9.9.2006, p. 22).

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