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EU Development Ministers meet in Dublin

Irish Aid, European Union, Press Releases, Europe, 2013

EU Development Ministers will meet in Dublin over the next two days to discuss aid to Mali and efforts to help communities at risk of disaster to better prepare for shocks such as floods or drought. The Informal Meeting of Development Ministers takes place in Dublin Castle as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. It will be chaired by Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello.

Three EU Commissioners, former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson and the UN Secretary General’s special adviser, Amina Mohammed, will contribute to the discussions on Monday and Tuesday.

On the agenda is aid to Mali, with the Ministers and Commissioners discussing options for a future EU development programme to Mali, in addition to the emergency aid which the EU is providing. Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, who has recently returned from the region, will report on the humanitarian crisis.

Joe Costello, Minister for Trade and Development:

“There has been good progress in stabilising the security situation in Mali, but it is critical that the provision of humanitarian aid and the political process keep pace. We will discuss how best the EU can support Malian authorities and civilians on the road to recovery. Ireland is very focused on ensuring that humanitarian workers can reach communities in need and that all parties guarantee the protection of civilians and comply with international humanitarian law and human rights.”

On Tuesday, EU Development Ministers and Commissioners Georgieva and Piebalgs will discuss EU efforts to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities in the Horn of Africa to natural disasters and crises.

Minister Costello: “This work is increasingly important as the number and intensity of disasters increases. Major emergencies have occurred every year over the past decade, from the Darfur conflict which started in 2003 to the Horn of Africa food crisis in 2011. As the number of crises increases, the need to plan for them as part of our overall development assistance becomes more critical. This will form an important part of the discussions in Dublin.”

Former President, Mary Robinson, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik, Amina Mohammed, the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Special Adviser and USAID Deputy Administrator, Donald Steinberg, will contribute to an important discussion on the future of international development after the 2015 deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This discussion will take place over a working dinner on the evening of Monday February 11th.

Minister Costello: “Globally, we are looking to the period after 2015, the deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were adopted by the international community in the year 2000 to tackle poverty and underdevelopment. We have made great progress on targets to halve the number of people in poverty and increase the number of children at school, but we are lagging in critical areas, including on our target to reduce the number of women who die giving birth".

The meeting will conclude with a presentation by EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and targets for EU spending on overseas assistance.