"I welcome the Committee's commitment to ensuring that we keep the MDGs on track. This includes making sure that Member States will meet their commitment on ODA (Official Development Assistance), and in particular supporting the notion of a financial transaction tax which will bring additional money - much needed in order to achieve the MDGs", declared rapporteur Michael Cashman (S&D, UK) after the Development Committee vote.
With only five years left until the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs, MEPs expect the June 2010 European Council "to agree on an ambitious and united EU position" ahead of the UN MDG meeting to be held in New York on 20-22 September 2010 and "to lead to new, results-oriented, additional, transparent and measurable commitments".
Ten years ago, world leaders agreed to act to eradicate world poverty by 2015, setting targets in 8 priority MDG fields, such as reducing poverty and hunger by 50%, full primary education and eliminating gender disparity and health-related issues. The EU's overall aim EU is to devote at least 0.7% of GNI to development assistance (ODA) by 2015.
Development Committee MEPs call on all EU Member States to deliver on this pledge by 2015 at the latest, bearing in mind that collectively, the EU is way behind schedule.
Innovative sources of development funding
As the MDGs currently face a funding gap, even without additional money to combat climate change and the effects of economic crises, the innovative funding mechanisms needed include:
* introducing a global tax on currencies and derivatives transactions to fund global public goods, including MDGs,
* cracking down on tax havens and tax evasion and illicit financial flows as well as systematically disclosing profits made and taxes paid by companies,
* reducing transfer costs of remittances sent by migrant workers to their home countries and
* alleviating the burden of debt on developing countries, including an interest-free debt moratorium on debt repayments until 2015 for developing countries.
More funding for health and education
Member States and the Commission should allocate at least 20% of all development spending to basic health and education and should prioritise maternal health and combating infant mortality as progress on these MDGs is still insufficient.
The worrying decline in funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries should be reversed. "Policies on voluntary family planning, safe abortion, treatment of sexual transmitted infections and provision of reproductive health supplies made up of life-saving drugs and contraceptives, including condoms should be supported", stress Development Committee MEPs.
Maternal mortality still claims over 500,000 women's lives each year, largely due to unsafe abortions. Progress on this MDG 5 has been negligible, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The June European Council is to set out the EU's position and political messages for the UN MDG Review High Level Plenary Meeting in New York on 20-22 September. Discussion in the Council is based on the twelve-point EU action plan proposed by the Commission on 21 April. Parliament will vote a resolution at its June plenary session in Strasbourg outlining its position for the New York summit.
In the chair: Eva Joly, (Greens/EFA, FR)
REF. : 20100510IPR74368
- Further information : Development Committee web site
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