The world stretches beyond Europe

The world stretches beyond Europe Challenges for the Swedish EU presidency 2009 | CONCORD Sweden | The world stretches beyond Europe | PHOTO Rolf D...
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The world stretches beyond Europe Challenges for the Swedish EU presidency 2009

| CONCORD Sweden | The world stretches beyond Europe |

PHOTO Rolf Depagie

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CONCORD Sweden Manifesto

2009

The world stretches way beyond European borders, and an EU that pursues a responsible and effective development aid policy can help to make the world a better place. The global financial crisis makes it even more crucial for all EU policy areas to contribute to eradicating poverty. Sweden has an excellent opportunity to raise development issues during its EU Presidency. The global financial crisis in combination with an ever-worsening climate crisis is hitting the poorest in many developing countries the hardest. Acting to ensure that all EU policy areas pull in the same direction in combating poverty must therefore be a high priority during Sweden’s EU Presidency. This includes upholding pledged increases in development aid, protecting human rights, promoting democracy and gender equality, modifying trade and agricultural policies, stopping unjust capital flows from southern to northern

hemispheres, and reaching a just and development-oriented climate agreement in Copenhagen. We, 38 Swedish organisations behind CONCORD Sweden, are convinced that Sweden is well qualified to raise these issues onto the EU agenda. The world’s countries are dependent on each other and the financial and ecological crises are global. Supporting developing countries in meeting these challenges means showing solidarity but also focuses on our joint survival.

CONCORD Sweden | The world stretches beyond Europe |

Policy coherence for development The EU policy for developing countries must be more coherent if it is to contribute to poverty eradication rather than obstructing it. All policy areas must be consistent in contributing to just and sustainable development if the UN Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved. Poverty will never be eradicated with development aid alone.

PHOTO Kooperation utan Gränser

The EU agricultural policy forces farmers in poor countries to compete with subsidised products from EU countries. A coherent development policy must lead to changes that bring an end to such damaging subsidies. The EU trade policy and the various trade agreements negotiated between the EU and developing countries impact the countries’ possibilities of pursuing a sustainable development policy. Meanwhile, the EU has adopted a strategy, Global Europe, which, among other things, stipulates that the trade policy shall facilitate for European companies to compete on the world market and secure access to raw materials. Sweden should strive towards the EU allowing development

policy goals to determine positions at negotiations so as to ensure that the trade agreements fulfil the requirements as laid down in the EU Policy Coherence for Development. The trade agreements should also be flexible by giving developing countries the right to protect local food production and the upkeep of small farmers, likewise regulate investments and foreign companies in order to promote human rights and the needs of the poor. It is also vital that the EU pursues stringent global measures against the flight of capital when individuals and companies place capital and assets in tax havens to avoid paying tax in their own countries. The sum of this capital flight is much larger than the global development aid allocated from the north to the south today. A few vital steps have been taken to improve the information relating to the capital flows between different countries, but much more can be done to give all countries access to the information and in the long term close the tax havens.

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| CONCORD Sweden | The world stretches beyond Europe |

Development aid that eradicates poverty

Sweden has a good reputation in development aid contexts and the EU Presidency offers an excellent opportunity to convince member states to uphold their pledges of a better quality increased aid

The EU Commission, together with the member states, is the world’s largest development aid provider. The wealthier member states have pledged 0.70 per cent of their gross national income in aid by 2015 at the latest, while the goal of the new member states is 0.33 per cent. Several countries are far from fulfilling the goals and some member states are even planning to cut their development aid in 2009. Sweden has a good reputation in development aid contexts and the EU Presidency offers an excellent opportunity to convince member states to uphold their pledges of a better quality increased aid; prerequisite for fulfilling the UN millen nium development goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. Sweden must clearly show that it adheres to the 1 per cent of gross national income going to aid, and not to weigh down the aid with payments to other areas than poverty eradication. For aid to be of greater benefit it has to be more demand-driven and emanate from the national democratic processes. Conditions set by donor countries must demand respect for democracy and human rights in recipient countries, but the stipulations governing how poor countries pursue their macroeconomic policies should be phased out. Neither can the country ownership be limited to national governments alone, but must be broad-based, democratic and transparent, thus allowing parliament civil society and the media to assess and take part in planning processes, implementation and follow up of the priorities as determined in the development plans.

To enable developing countries to plan, development aid needs to be more predictable. Better donor coordination between EU member states is required so as to save on the recipient country resources. It is important for donor countries and partner countries to join forces over international human rights conventions and sustainable development. Neither can effective aid be tied to buying goods and services from the donor country. Furthermore, aid must be climate-proof and support a sustainable use of resources and not finance investments in, for example, coal and oil, which give rise to greenhouse gases and global warming. The majority of poor people live in rural areas. It is therefore vital that more resources are invested in agricultural and rural development in poor developing countries, with emphasis on the significance of small-scale farming for food security and poverty eradication. We urge Sweden to take the initiative within the EU to raise the agricultural issues within development aid. Sweden must work to fortify the children’s rights and gender perspectives of EU aid. A vast majority of the world’s poor are children and women. To achieve the goal of reduced poverty, children and women must be given increased powers and influence in political, social and economic spheres. One prerequisite is for girls and women to have control over their own bodies and sexuality. Sweden must continue to pursue the issue of sexual and reproductive health and rights. In addition, as children and women will be hit extra hard by the global financial crisis, special initiatives are required to address the effects.

PHOTO IM/ERIK TÖRNER

CONCORD Sweden | The world stretches beyond Europe |

Drastic climate measures 2009 will be a decisive year for the climate issue, and Sweden will be EU Presidency country when the UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Copenhagen in December. In light of the accelerating climate crisis and emissions increases that far exceed the UN climate panel’s worst scenario, Sweden must lead the way in bringing about a just and development-oriented climate agreement that greatly reduces greenhouse gas emiss­ ions and secures resources for the development of poor countries.

EU member states must reduce their own emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 and greatly increase their support to adaptation measures and cutting emissions in developing countries. The latter entails putting forward concrete financial solutions for technology transfer, adaptation measures and forest protection. This financing must be over and above aid budgets. The rich countries’ pledge of poverty oriented aid and support to climate initiatives cannot be fulfilled using the same money because in effect this means asking poor people to pay for our climate impact.

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| CONCORD Sweden | The world stretches beyond Europe |

PHOTO Lorenz Christensen/Phoenix

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An EU that promotes human rights The link between poverty eradication, democratisation and the promotion of human rights is well known. Sweden has long stood for a rightsbased approach to development work and poverty eradication. The EU Presidency gives Sweden the opportunity to pursue explicit integration of human rights into all policy areas and to bring to light possible conflict of goals. As a part of this work we would welcome Sweden showing an expressed priority to render more effective EU support to democratisation processes. This work must however be built around a holistic human rights perspective that does not

separate economic, social and cultural rights from civil and political rights. This is a vital step towards an EU where the promotion of human rights permeates all its external liaisons in a coherent manner. Collaboration with local as well as global civil society is a key component in promoting democracy and human rights. A sustainable democratisation process requires an active, dynamic civil society in which children, women and men all play an active part, and which can foster democratic values and demand accountability from legislators and decision makers.

PHOTO IM/Janusz Lipinski

CONCORD Sweden | The world stretches beyond Europe |

During its EU Presidency, Sweden should: ● Work to ensure that EU policy areas jointly contribute to effective poverty eradication in order to fulfil the UN Millennium Development Goals. All policy areas must be coherent with development goals and contribute to eradicating poverty and creating sustainable development. ● Strive to ensure that EU member states live up to their pledge of 0.7 and 0.33 per cent of GNI, and the goal of 1 per cent of GNI to development aid. Expenses that go to other things than eradicating poverty must not burden the development aid budget. Conditions relating to poor countries’ macroeconomic policies should be phased out. ● Work actively to fortify the gender, children’s rights and environmental perspectives of the EU development policies. ● Pursue the issue of EU member states having to reduce their emissions domestically by at least 40 per cent by 2020 and to greatly increase their support to adaptation measures and cutting emissions in developing countries. Climate initiatives in the shape of support to climate adaptations and emissions reductions must be over and above already allocated development aid. ● Work to ensure that EU support to democratisation processes has a clear rights based approach, and that non-governmental organisations are acknowledged as central actors with valuable experience.

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concord-JUNI_2009 ● GRAphic design HILLWALKER.SE ● Translation Dennis Brice/writingservices

Members of CONCORD Sweden ACTIONAID AFRICA GROUPS OF SWEDEN CHRISTIAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS SWEDISH CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL YOUTH EXCHANGE DIAKONIA FIAN-SWEDEN SWEDISH NGO FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM SYD INDIVIDUELL MÄNNISKOHJÄLP, IM IOGT-NTO MOVEMENT INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE KFUK-KFUM SWEDEN SWEDISH COOPERATIVE CENTRE KRIMINELLAS REVANSCH I SAMHÄLLET, KRIS KVINNA TILL KVINNA NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SWEDISH YOUTH ORGANISATIONS (observer) LATINAMERICA GROUPS LIFE & PEACE INSTITUTE LO-TCO SECRETARIAT OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION DEVELOPMENT CO-OPERATION SWEDISH SOCIETY FOR NATURE CONSERVATION EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE SOBRIETY MOVEMENT OLOF PALME INTERNATIONAL CENTRE PLAN SWEDEN PMU – INTERLIFE PRAKTISK SOLIDARITET THE SWEDISH FEDERATION FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER RIGHTS, RFSL THE SWEDISH ASSOCIATION FOR SEXUALITY EDUCATION, RFSU SAVE THE CHILDREN SWEDEN SWEDISH RED CROSS (observer) SENSUS STUDY ASSOCIATION THE SWEDISH ORGANISATIONS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES INTERNATIONAL AID ASSOCIATION, SHIA SWALLOWS INDIA BANGLADESH SWEDISH COMMITTEE FOR AFGHANISTAN, SCA UNA - SWEDEN UNIFEM Sweden THE SWEDISH PEACE & ARBITRATION SOCIETY CHURCH OF SWEDEN SWEDISH MISSION COUNCIL VI – AGROFORESTY PROGRAMME

About CONCORD Sweden CONCORD Sweden is a joint arena of 38 Swedish NGOs with the task of monitoring and influencing the EU development policy. CONCORD Sweden is one of 22 national platforms in CONCORD Europe, which embraces 1 600 non-governmental organisations in Europe.

CONCORD Sweden ● Slakthusplan 3 ● 121 62 Johanneshov ● tel +46 (0)8 648 99 50 [email protected] ● www.concord.se The document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document is the sole responsibility of CONCORD Sweden and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.