13 April 2005

Secretary-General Heartened by European Commission’s Proposal for Ambitious Targets for Official Development Assistance

NEW YORK, 12 April (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the European Union’s strong support for his efforts to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.  He is particularly heartened by the European Commission’s proposal to establish ambitious targets for providing official development assistance (ODA) -- targets that are consistent with the Secretary-General’s recommendations to the September Summit.  These would not only trigger an estimated additional 20 billion euros by 2010; they would also bring European Union countries closer to the target of ODA amounting to 0.7 per cent of their gross national income by 2015.

The Secretary-General is also encouraged by the European Union’s increasing emphasis on trade and other non-aid policies as a means of reaching the Millennium Development Goals, and by the decision of the European Union to focus on the needs of Africa.  He is confident that the September Summit will lead to a number of concrete actions, by developed and developing countries alike, to help them reach the Millennium Development Goals.

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