Mr. Thomas Gass Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs

European Development Cooperation and the post-2015 Development Agenda
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It is a pleasure to send a message to this important seminar on European Development Cooperation and the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The historic 2030 Agenda is a ground-breaking plan of action … a shared vision of humanity for transforming our society and our planet. Strengthened by the commitment to leave no one behind, it puts forward ambitious development goals for all countries, and provides new opportunities for international development cooperation.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets address – in an integrated way – the most fundamental social, economic and environmental challenges of our time. The engagement of the entire global community is required to implement these ambitious goals, and secure a sustainable future for us all.

Throughout the recent United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, Member States repeatedly emphasized the central importance of development cooperation and a strong global partnership for sustainable development.

They underscored the significance of adequate, consistent and predicable resources, the full implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the role of Official Development Assistance as catalytic for mobilizing other resources.

They noted critical factors in moving the goal post, including robust data and evidence, and the role of development cooperation in facilitating trade and investment, and promoting transfer of technology and capacity building.

Let us not underestimate Europe’s vital role in taking this Agenda forward. Europe has long brought not only a compassionate vision to the most vulnerable and dispossessed, but you have also set up important frameworks for societies to move forward.

On issues of the environment and climate change, Europe leads the efforts for a sustainable world.

On gender equality, your concrete action to integrate it into development cooperation programmes as a core pillar of development policy – is the global standard.

As the world’s largest donor of development aid, Europe has been a longstanding advocate of pursuing a coherent approach towards development cooperation.

Your leadership and commitment – particularly in supporting the efforts of other countries, especially those most vulnerable – is essential.

Because of your collective resolve, European development cooperation will assume important dimensions for achieving the SDGs and, in particular, Goal 17 on revitalizing the Global Partnership for Development.

As leaders in development cooperation, you are uniquely positioned to be able to hold governments to account, and motivate, support and further shape development cooperation as a critical ‘means of implementation’ in the 2030 Agenda.


As noted by the Secretary-General, there can be no let-up in this work. We cannot stop with an agreement on paper, important as that achievement is. Our responsibility is to use every day, every hour, every minute to make a difference.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require the commitment of all governments and decision-makers towards the people and children of this world, that the universal 2030 Agenda is not just a new deal among nations, but a solemn promise to its people.

I thank you.

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