#EDD2017 European Development Days

The 11th edition of European Development Days opens 7-8 June, is focused on investing in development.

Europe’s leading forum on international cooperation and development is the biggest ever with some 7,000 participants to attend. The event’s debates, panels, and special events will provide insights into the most pressing development challenges facing the world, and various approaches to dealing with these challenges.

A key moment of the European Development Days will be the signature of the European Consensus on Development, a strategic document, outlining the future of European development policy. For the first time, the Consensus will apply in its entirety to all EU Institutions and all Member States, who are committed to work more closely together.

During the European Development Days, discussions will bring together Heads of State or Government, business leaders and stakeholders to debate and share new insights into sustainability, inclusivity, peace and prosperity, focusing on the roles of youth, women and the private sector in development cooperation

Among the high level speakers of the event are Her Majesty Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. From the European Commission, the debate will be joined by President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini, Vice President Andrus Ansip, as well as Commissioners Neven Mimica, Margrethe Vestager, Vytenis Andriukaitis, and Tibor Navracsics.

A full cultural programme featuring international artists, musicians and filmmakers will complement the event, while the Global Village, with 76 stands, will bring together international stakeholders to share projects.

EU-African Union to implement Climate change agreement

The European Union and the African Union reaffirm their strong commitment to full implementation of the Paris agreement, and call on all partners to keep up the momentum created in 2015.

Ahead of the COP23 in November they pledge to work together to finalise the Paris Agreement work programme. Climate change and renewable energy will figure on the agenda of the upcoming Africa-EU Summit in Abidjan on 29/30 November. This will be an opportunity to confirm the strong solidarity with those most vulnerable to climate change and the determination to work together to build strong and sustainable economies and societies resilient to climate change. The European Union and the African Union reaffirm their commitment to continuing to address the adverse effects of climate change on human and animal health, natural ecosystems and other social and economic impacts that threaten our developmental gains as a global community.

 

Egypt new law to burden NGOs

Brussels. “The new NGO law in Egypt is bound to put additional burden on NGOs’ activities and restrict the space of debate and discussion in the country” – says the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Actions Service (EEAS) on the new NGO law in Egypt.

“It risks making civil society’s contribution to political, economic and social development more difficult”.

“Some provisions, such as the ones related to the registration process, the activities NGOs are allowed to perform and the procedure for receiving domestic and foreign funding, are also likely to directly affect European cooperation assistance to Egypt. Indeed, a large part of our cooperation relies on non-governmental organisations as important implementing partners.”

“A flourishing civil society, able to work in good conditions, is important for democratic and economic development and to help build political stability. We therefore expect the Egyptian government to fully implement and uphold all the guarantees stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution and in international law and standards regarding freedom of expression and association, and the Egyptian authorities to apply the new law in a way that does not intimidate, restrict or criminalize peaceful human rights civil society organizations and their members.”

“Egypt is an important partner for the EU, and we stay committed to strengthening our bilateral cooperation and pursuing a constructive dialogue in all fields of our cooperation.” (Photo: President Al-Sisi)

EU measures against Congo officials

The Council has adopted restrictive measures against 9 individuals who hold positions of responsibility in the State administration and in the chain of command of the security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with immediate effect. They join the 7 people on whom the EU imposed sanctions as of 12 December 2016 in response to the obstruction of the electoral process and related human rights violations.

The European Union remains seriously concerned by the deterioration of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), – says the text of the EU declaration on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The crisis in Kasai Province has reached an exceptional level in security and humanitarian terms and as regards human rights. While strongly condemning all acts of violence irrespective of their origin, the EU is concerned about reports of disproportionate use of force by State bodies, especially the security forces, in managing the crisis.  It urges the DRC authorities to act in compliance with human rights and fundamental freedoms and to initiate, without delay, credible and transparent investigations, flanked by high-level international expertise to enhance their credibility and independence,  to identify those responsible for acts of violence and massacres. It stresses the need for MONUSCO to be able to exercise its mandate in full and for humanitarian access to the areas affected by the crisis to be guaranteed.”

“The EU also remains concerned by the continuing restrictions on the democratic space and fundamental rights, including restrictions on the media and the prohibition of demonstrations.”

Italy to promote Africa at G7 Taormina

 

“Africa is very important for us. Indeed, it is perhaps the focus of our G7 presidency,” said Raffaele Trombetta, the senior Italian diplomat who has led behind-the-scenes negotiations on the G7 agenda with colleagues from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France and Canada.

The Italian presidency of the G7 raised is concerned about the migrant crisis, caused by multiple conflicts in Africa, becoming increasingly alarming in view of the latest terroristic attack by a UK citizen from Libyan descent in Manchester.

At the moment, according to Bild newspaper, seven million Africans at Libyan coast are searching for a possibility to cross Mediterranean to reach Europe.

“We don’t just want to talk about crises, like migration and famine, but also to promote innovation in Africa and see what we can do to help,” – Trombetta continued. The Italian presidency invited leaders of Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Niger, Tunisia to participate in the session on  Innovation and Development in Africa, 27 of May, 2017, along with the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB).

The involvement of the emerging economies, of developing countries and of international organizations reflects a gradual evolution in the issues addressed by the G7. Initial interest in issues relating solely to financial stability and to macro-economic coordination were soon joined by an interest in other crucial themes ranging from development in Africa and climate change to food safety and the resolution of international crises.

It was Italy, in Genoa in 2001, that inaugurated the traditional by now “African segment” of the Summit, with dialogue sessions between the G7 leaders and the African countries invited by the Presidency.