Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

You are here : Home > News > Press Releases > February 2005 > Jean-Louis Schiltz: "There is a genuine political will to reduce poverty"
Print this page Send this page

Press Release
Jean-Louis Schiltz: "There is a genuine political will to reduce poverty"

Date of release : 15-02-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : Informal Meeting of Development Ministers

During the final press conference of the informal meeting of the EU Ministers for Development, Jean-Louis Schiltz, Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, reiterated the EU’s pledge to become even more involved in the fight against AIDS. "The face of AIDS is increasingly young, female and poor," stated Jean-Louis Schiltz. He also supported wholeheartedly the Presidency’s decision to place AIDS on the agenda of all meetings with third countries. "We have also decided to back the initiative of the Ministers and the Health Commissioner to include the AIDS issue on the agenda of the European Council of June 2005."

The informal meeting of the Ministers for Development also discussed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In the presence of Marc Malloch Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the ministers held an orientation debate on the MDGs in order to prepare the position the EU will adopt at the New York Summit in September 2005. This position will be approved at the "General Affairs and External Relations" Council on 25 April 2005.

With regard to the MDGs, Minister Schiltz stated: "In our capacity as Ministers for Development, we reaffirm unequivocally the EU’s common will to play a leading role in the preparation process for the New York Summit. We shall remain firmly committed to implementing the MDGs from now until 2015, and not 2049 or 2064. We can achieve the MDGs by 2015, if our means are substantially strengthened. We have also stated emphatically that, above all, Sub-Saharan Africa will have most difficulty in achieving the MDGs. Together with the Commission, we intend to launch an Africa initiative. We must strengthen the 'capacity building' in developing countries in order to foster sustainable development. Sustainable development must be part of all national policies and strategies."

The Minister welcomed the report of Professor Jeffrey Sachs. His report will serve as a basis for this debate, particularly on 'quick win' actions, i.e. those actions which are most likely to produce rapid benefits, and the concept of 'fast-track countries', i.e. well governed countries that will be encouraged to advance more quickly. With regard to the 'quick win' actions, the Minister stated that "it is a positive step provided these actions are part of a global, long-term strategy, and they are supported by national policies, and provided these actions are welcomed by the targeted countries." Regarding the 'fast-track' concept, Jean-Louis Schiltz stated that there were "a number of Member States who think it is a good idea to reward good governance in this way. Other Member States are more reticent, highlighting problems of equity and definition of criteria."

The Ministers also touched on Official Development Aid (ODA). On this issue, Jean-Louis Schiltz announced that: "the European Council of November 2004 stated that it is important for the European Union to define new objectives up to 2009/2010. I cannot quote figures today, as the position will be approved definitively in April. There is nevertheless a genuine political will to reduce poverty and to make resources available for that purpose. We are working towards a collective commitment for 2009/2010. This will also involve a minimum commitment for Member States, which will take into account the particular situations of the new Member States. The objectives we are currently talking about were established at Monterrey, and we are currently in a Monterrey II-type process." Jean-Louis Schiltz said that: "the development decision-makers are ready to assume their responsibilities, and they have the ambition to be ambitious."

Jean-Louis Schiltz concluded by confirming that "we have also spoken about additional financing mechanisms such as the International Finance Facility and tax on aviation fuel. We believe that this is a potential additional ODA source. It can not be an alternative sources that will make up an ODA deficit. We detect a positive feeling towards these additional mechanisms among Ministers for Development."

This page was last modified on : 18-02-2005

Top Top