State Secretary Bavdaž Kuret at the informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation
Brussels, 16 March 2017 – State Secretary Darja Bavdaž Kuret attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in the format of development cooperation ministers. The ministers exchanged views on the proposed new European Consensus on Development, and discussed relations between the EU and Africa, particularly in the light of the upcoming EU-Africa Summit. At a working lunch, the ministers shared their views on progress in the implementation of the EU’s migration policy. State Secretary Bavdaž Kuret called for an immediate response from the EU to the severe famine currently affecting the African continent.
In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the new European Consensus on Development, which is expected to be approved by the Council in May, will provide a shared vision of the EU's development cooperation and ways to implement it. In the debate, member states focused on the support for partner developing countries in the field of security and migration, and discussed the possibilities of monitoring progress in honouring the EU's commitment to gradually increase the GNI percentage for ODA by 2030.
State Secretary Bavdaž Kuret welcomed the proposal for the new Consensus drafted by the Maltese presidency. With regard to the connection between security and development, it is vital that activities related to security take development goals into account and at the same time respect the OECD DAC orientations for reporting on ODA. The principal objective of development cooperation is the elimination of poverty. Special emphasis should be put on establishing peaceful and inclusive societies, also in middle-income countries in our neighbourhood. The State Secretary expressed satisfaction that the draft consensus underlines the role of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as gender equality and women's empowerment as major drivers for achieving sustainable development goals. She stressed that in the drafting of the new consensus, closer attention should be paid to the effective use of existing mechanisms of financing and programming the EU's development cooperation.
During the discussion on strategic relations between the EU and Africa, State Secretary Bavdaž Kuret called for an immediate response from the EU to the severe famine currently affecting South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. She also informed the participants that Slovenia would allocate humanitarian assistance to those most affected. With regard to the preparations for the EU-Africa Summit, she commended the choice of the central topic, which is young people. The role of young people and women should be strengthened, particularly through education and job creation. Just as important topics are the establishment of a favourable business environment, promotion of the private sector, improved connectivity, digitalisation and smart urbanisation.