FLORENCE, Italy, 15 July 2014 – Ministers for development cooperation from the European Union’s (EU) 28 member states met today with representatives from the private sector, academia, civil society, as well as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to discuss the role of the private sector in furthering development.
The event, entitled EU Development Ministerial meeting, was chaired by Italy. It is part of an initiative to formalize by the end of the year the European Union’s position on the post-2015 development agenda, which will replace the expiring Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Speaking at the event, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, said that the MDGs helped many countries understand the need for joint efforts in the fight against poverty, and the Sustainable Development Goals will go even further by being universal and addressing the pressing issue of climate change.
Andris Piebalgs, the EU Commissioner for Development, said that the private sector was key to leveraging official development assistance and delivering more jobs on the ground. He added that the EU remained committed to dedicating 0,7 per cent of its Gross National Income to development assistance, although the crisis has affected many European countries.
Christophe Yvetot, UNIDO Representative to the EU in Brussels, emphasized the central role of industrialization in lifting millions of people out of poverty and urged the private sector to transition to a green economy. "Resource and energy efficiency as well as cleaner production make business sense. The private sector should embark on this new industrial revolution, but governments have a key role to play in establishing supportive and stable policies," he said.
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UNIDO Representative to the EU