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SECRETARY-GENERAL LOOKS TO EUROPE TO HELP LEAD WAY ON AID FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

By UN
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6 December - The European Union can help lead the way forward in development cooperation and achieve aid targets, especially for least developed countries (LDCs), despite stringent budget cuts, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

“Yet, overall, we must acknowledge that there is much more work to do,” he added in a message to the 2010 European Development Days in Brussels which was delivered by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan.

“We know where we want to go. We know what needs to be done. Your gathering can harness new ideas and spur novel approaches on how to do it,” he said of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to slash a host of social ills, including extreme hunger and poverty, maternal and infant mortality, and lack of access to education and health services, all by 2015.

Noting that great strides have been made to improve the quality of aid since the 2002 Monterrey Conference in Mexico on financing for development, he stressed that development cooperation is broader than aid alone.

“Policies in such areas as trade, agriculture or migration must reinforce development objectives,” he declared. “The European Union has embraced policy coherence for development. It is important to translate this into national policy making.

“Development cooperation is also broader than governments alone. It engages a vibrant, diverse and ever growing community. It needs to build on the successes and innovations of non- government actors. All need to work in unison. Likewise, many lessons can be learned from South-South cooperation.”

While LDCs continue to confront significant levels of poverty and hunger, they also have abundant natural resources, young populations and huge capacities to create clean energy, he noted. “Next year's upcoming LDC conference in Istanbul should launch a renewed partnership with LDCs, and I look to the European Union to help show the way,” he said.

Last week, Mr. Ban called for cooperation on issues ranging from security to development between the UN and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world's largest regional security organization, which embraces 56 States stretching from the United States across Europe and Central Asia to the borders of China.