Press Releases

26 May 2005

Secretary-General Applauds European Union Decision to Substantially Increase Development Aid

NEW YORK, 25 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General applauds the agreement reached yesterday by the European Union on a substantial increase of the EU’s official development assistance over the next decade, as part of a broader agreement that will significantly increase EU aid to Africa.

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the fact that all Member States which joined the EU before 2002 will reach the 0.7 per cent target for official development assistance (ODA) as a percentage of gross national income by 2015, with an intermediate target of 0.51 per cent by 2010.  He also welcomes the decision that Member States which joined the EU after 2002 will reach a 0.33 per cent target by 2015, with an intermediate target of 0.17 per cent by 2010.

The fact that 50 per cent of the EU’s agreed ODA increase will go to Africa will make a real difference for millions of people on the continent, and provide a significant boost to efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. 

The Secretary-General is also deeply encouraged by the EU’s strong commitment to reach agreements on debt relief, targets for improving aid effectiveness and the Doha trade negotiations.  He is pleased that the EU recognizes the need for more predictable financing of the United Nations’ development efforts.

The Secretary-General notes that the EU decisions are well in line with the recommendations in his report “In larger freedom”, and that they send a valuable message about the importance the EU attaches to the global partnership for development. The Secretary-General hopes the EU’s conclusions will add further momentum to preparations for the summit due to take place at the United Nations in September. 

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