EU development ministers advocated for the importance of the social aspect of the green and digital transitions to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and the reform of the global financial architecture.
The informal ministerial meeting on development held in Cadiz under the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU was chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and was attended by the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela.
The Spanish presidency stimulated the debate on the so-called ‘triple transition’ (social, green and digital), with an emphasis on social transition, which is the basis for all sustainable, inclusive and fair transitions.
“The key objective of this meeting was to relaunch the work in view of the events to take place at the United Nations at the end of the month: the next SDG Summit, a major meeting to drive the Sustainable Development Goals,” Borrell stressed.
Spain understands that if the social aspect is not prioritised then we will not be talking about development, we will be talking about something else
Pilar CancelaSecretary of State for International Cooperation
Cancela then explained that “the social aspect is essential within the triple transition; without this support, the transition will cease to be just, which is precisely one of the identities of the EU: the concept of solidarity and social cohesion”.
“Spain understands that if the social aspect is not prioritised then we will not be talking about development, we will be talking about something else,” he added.
In the framework of the ministerial meeting, a videoconference took place with the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, who stressed the importance of EU member countries taking a strong stance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Secretary of State said that “the 2030 Agenda has an expiry date, and it is true that all the coinciding crises are making it difficult to make progress with certain goals at the expected speed. That is why the EU’s position must be strong, solid and unambiguous.
We have a key role in providing resources to deal with instability, with the debt crisis and with global exchange rate fluctuations that are increasingly used as a form of political power
Josep BorrellHigh Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
“We live in a world full of crises, debts, wars, political instability and a major geopolitical power struggle,” said Borrell.
“In this context, many countries have been falling behind in development, and there is a great risk of their not being able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” warned the High Representative.
Reform of the global financial architecture
During the second part of the meeting, the European leaders discussed the reform of multilateral financial institutions which, according to the High Representative, “play an essential role in providing resources to ensure stability in response to deep crises and exchange rate fluctuations”.
According to the Secretary of State, multilateral financial organisations must be prepared to face these new challenges, “particularly because we are acknowledging that resources are not infinite, and states do not have sufficient resources for large multilateral projects and to deal with these new situations”.
A reform of the international financial system – particularly the multilateral development banks (MDBs) – is under way with the impetus of the G20 and the United Nations and will be addressed at the Annual Meeting of the World Bank Group in Marrakech in October.
“We have a key role in providing resources to deal with instability, with the debt crisis and with global exchange rate fluctuations that are increasingly used as a form of political power,” Borrell concluded.
Source : U23