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World Must Move Beyond ‘Globalization of Exclusion’, UNCTAD President Says, as Economic and Social Council Opens Financing for Development Forum

Populism and xenophobia were challenging global solidarity at a moment when States should be working together to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, speakers stressed today as the Economic and Social Council opened its forum on financing for development follow-up.

The future of globalism was in question, warned Christopher Onyanga Aparr, President of the Trade and Development Board, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in the forum’s opening session, highlighting that global output had slowed to 2.2 per cent in 2016, down from 2.6 per cent in 2014 and 2015, while large emerging economies had registered weak or negative growth.

The world must move beyond a “globalization of exclusion”, which had left behind the poorest, including those in the developed world who embraced nativism and populism, he emphasized.

Due to difficulties following the 2008 financial crisis, 2017 would likely be the sixth year of trade growth below 6 per cent, a state seen only once in the 70-year history of the global trading system, noted Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  “This situation deserves our attention,” he emphasized, adding that it was difficult to imagine a robust economic recovery without growth in trade, although with the right mix of policies, trade could drive economic recovery.

Protectionist rhetoric was cause for alarm, stressed the representative of Ecuador, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, who called for an inclusive, non-discriminatory trading system under WTO auspices in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.  Developed countries must also play their role and honour their official development assistance commitments, she stressed.

Despite signs of global economic recovery, a distrust of globalization had led to a tightening of policies that compounded uncertainty, said Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), speaking on behalf of the five United Nations regional commissions.  The debate on the management and composition of tax systems needed to intensify, she stressed, pointing out that people’s willingness to pay taxes were influenced by perceptions as to how well those revenues were used.

Public resources must be used in a smarter way, including as a catalyst to mobilize more public and private funding, said the representative of the European Union.  He went on to describe a new European Union external investment plan that would earmark some €4 billion from the bloc’s budget to hopefully generate at least €44 billion in additional investments in higher-risk sectors in developing countries.  “We are determined to make our development cooperation more effective and to assist others in their efforts,” he declared.

Countries were thinking more systematically about how to mobilize domestic and international resources to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, and efforts were under way to align financial flows and policies with those objectives, said Tegegnework Gettu, Acting Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  Nevertheless, an implementation gap remained amid the slowest global growth rate since the 2008 financial crisis, he said, adding that it was critical to complement long-term investment — in resilience and sustainable infrastructure, for example — with measures to help the poor.

In a video message, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), underscored the importance of securing adequate financing for development and stressed that cooperation between institutions was critical for success.  In that context, she emphasized the important relationship between IMF and the United Nations, saying that the only way to achieve the Goals was through open communication and collaboration.

Domestic resource mobilization was a major area of focus for the World Bank Group, highlighted Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice-President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships, World Bank Group.  Analysis suggested that many lower-income countries had the potential to increase their tax ratios by at least 2 to 4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), without compromising fairness or growth, he added.

The first priority of bolstered investments in sustainable development could stimulate global growth, said Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who continued that growth alone would not eradicate poverty.  That would need more targeted measures, with social protection floors directly ameliorating the lives of the poor and vulnerable, he noted.

In the afternoon, two panel discussions took place on fostering policy coherence in the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, as well as on inequalities and inclusive growth.

General statements were also delivered by representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Panama, Kiribati, Nepal, Guatemala, Tonga, Belarus (on behalf of Like-Minded Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries) and the Netherlands.

The forum will continue at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 22 May.

Opening Remarks

FREDERICK MUSIIWA MAKAMURE SHAVA (Zimbabwe), President of the Economic and Social Council, opened the 2017 forum on financing for development, recalling the 2015 adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and with it, a comprehensive financing framework to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.  Realizing the Goals in a timely manner made the Addis Agenda more important than ever.  “The eyes of the world are upon us,” he said, stressing that there was no option but to live up to expectations.

Recalling that the forum brought together stakeholders to identify challenges to the financing for development outcomes and delivery of the means of implementation for the Goals, he said its recommendations included a range of policy measures to change the trajectory of the global economy.

He said the special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had served as a focal point since 2002 for major institutional stakeholders to interact with Member States, offering an invaluable opportunity to promote coherence, coordination and cooperation in common efforts to implement financing for development outcomes.  Noting that the schedule included ministerial round tables, he said the forum had a moral duty to “use this opportunity wisely” to advance the world toward achieving the Goals and ensure that promises made were promises kept.  As mandated in the Addis Agenda, the outcome of the forum would be fed into the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

AMINA MOHAMMED, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, speaking via video message, recalled that the Addis Agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change had provided a road map for a better future for all.  Key elements of that road map would come under scrutiny during the forum, she said, including the need for long-term, high-quality investment and urgent measures to improve the well-being of the poor and vulnerable.  The forum was an opportunity to reaffirm the collective commitment to action for sustainable development, which was the best mechanism to prevent further crises.

She encouraged participants to share their experiences with others and urged all countries to seek out and forge meaningful partnerships.  A true global partnership for sustainable development must be grounded in equality, solidarity and human rights.  Developed countries needed to deliver and countries of the global South had to pursue further South-South and triangular cooperation.

CHRISTINE LAGARDE, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), delivered a video message in which she underscored the importance of securing adequate financing for development and stressed that cooperation between institutions was critical for success.  She underlined the important relationship between IMF and the United Nations and said that the only way to achieve the Goals was through open communication and collaboration.  The Addis Agenda was vitally importance and in that context, the Fund was advancing it in several ways.

The IMF continued to strengthen the global financial architecture and assist countries seeking outside financing, while also boosting domestic revenue mobilization, which would be critical for developing countries, she said.  The Fund had also boosted capacity-building support and increased cooperation with the United Nations, while also evaluating the negative impact of illicit financial flows on development efforts, including by supporting reforms that addressed money‑laundering and terrorist financing through systemic risk assessments.  The IMF was engaging with small States to help them build their macroeconomic and financial resistance to natural disasters and climate change.  It continued to work with a variety of public and private shareholders to promote debt sustainability and develop innovative instruments to manage public debt.  She recalled that report of the Inter-agency Task Force for Financing for Development showed that while significant progress had been made, cooperation must be strengthened going forward.

MAHMOUD MOHIELDIN, Senior Vice-President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships, World Bank Group, delivered a statement on behalf of World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, describing the forum as a critical platform for monitoring progress on commitments to finance efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and end extreme poverty.  Undoubtedly the third International Conference on Financing for Development had helped start a joint conversation within the World Bank Group and other multilateral development banks on how international financial institutions could contribute to the enormous task of funding the Goals by mobilizing the financial resources required to achieve them.  Official development assistance (ODA), which last year totalled $142 billion, remained critical, particularly for the poorest nations, but it would never be enough to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest nations, the International Development Association, had a record replenishment of $75 billion, to be committed over the next three years to the neediest countries, he said.  Domestic resource mobilization was a major area of focus for the World Bank Group, particularly as analysis suggested that many lower-income countries had the potential to increase their tax ratios by at least 2 to 4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), without compromising fairness or growth.  The World Bank Group was continuing to invest in knowledge and programmes to build durable global public goods on issues such as climate action, crisis response and infrastructure finance.  Furthermore, the Group was working to pull in the private sector whenever possible, combining those efforts with the Group’s technical and local knowledge to make that capital work for those who needed it most.

YONOV FREDERICK AGAH, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, said the multilateral trading system supported efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda, including the Addis Agenda.  A driver of economic growth, world trade between 1990 and 2000 had expanded more than 7 per cent annually, double the rate of global growth, which had helped to increase incomes and raise living standards across the world.  Due to difficulties following the 2008 financial crisis, 2017 would likely be the sixth year of trade growth below 6 per cent, a state seen only once in the 70-year history of the global trading system.  “This situation deserves our attention,” he said.  It was difficult to imagine a robust economic recovery without growth in trade.  With the right mix of policies, trade could drive economic recovery.

Noting that the gap between developed and developing countries had narrowed, viewed by many as the most important economic event of our time, he said the integration of developing countries into the global trade system had been crucial to their economic take-off, with their share of global trade rising from less than one third in 1980 to almost half at present.  It was difficult to imagine how developing countries could grow at that rate without further trade expansion.  The global trade system brought predictability and security to international relations.  When countries had disagreements, rather than resort to unilateral measures, they asked WTO step in, using rules that both sides had agreed and helped to design.  The priority needs were to strengthen the system and resist the imposition of new trade barriers.  Such reforms would ensure WTO would continue to deliver positive outcomes.  Ahead of WTO’s next ministerial conference in December, a range of areas were being discussed, with a continued focus on issues related to the Doha Development Round.  “We must ensure we do more to spread the benefits of trade,” he said, which in turn, would create jobs and support growth.

Intergovernmental Representatives of Institutional Stakeholders

CHRISTOPHER ONYANGA APARR (Uganda), President of the Trade and Development Board, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said the future of globalization was in question.  Populism and xenophobia were challenging global solidarity at a moment when States should be working together to meet the Goals.  Global output had slowed to 2.2 per cent in 2016, down from 2.6 per cent in 2014 and 2015, while large emerging economies had registered weak or negative growth.  Global trade had grown only 1.3 per cent in 2016 in volume terms, marked by a general decline in the first half of the year.

Moreover, he said, the green shoots of recovery were vulnerable to structural challenges, among them, rising income inequalities, slowing productivity, fragile financial markets, growing debt burdens in developing countries, climate change and migration.  ODA to least developed countries and to economic development in general, had declined, while the digital divide continued to grow.  UNCTAD’s fourteenth session was the first where developing countries, rather than developed, had led the defence of globalization.

He said the world must move beyond a “globalization of exclusion”, which had left behind the poorest, including those in the developed world who embraced nativism and populism.  The Goals and Addis Agenda commitments must serve as a road map to the next phase of a more inclusive, just globalization, which would only succeed if it empowered those left behind.  Reviving the global partnership on development, a commitment of the Addis Agenda, was more urgent today than when that instrument was agreed.  Going forward, the forum must consider how developing countries could improve domestic resource mobilization amid falling trade revenues, how the global trade and investment regimes could be reformed, and how the voice of developing countries could be heard more clearly in global economic governance.

YVONNE TSIKATA, Vice-President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank Group, provided a brief overview of the ninety-fifth meeting of the Development Committee, part of the Spring Meetings with IMF.  At that 22 April meeting, governors said the global economy was gaining momentum, but stressed that risks remained tilted to the downside and improvements would require policies fostering inclusive and sustainable growth, addressing vulnerabilities and creating jobs and economic opportunities for all.  Calling on the World Bank Group and IMF to provide and support the advancement of such policies, deliver the 2030 Agenda and protect the most vulnerable, she said the discussion addressed a range of issues, including inequality and recent developments in the implementation of the World Bank’s “Forward Look” vision for 2030, which had identified areas for improvements, including to bolster agility and responsiveness in working across public-private sectors and to pay special attention to stabilizing the economy and supporting growth in situations of fragility, conflict and violence.

She said Development Committee members had supported the Bank’s scaled-up activities, including in the areas of crisis preparedness, prevention and response, and were encouraged by the Bank Group’s efforts to become more efficient through reforms of its operational and administrative policies.  Welcoming progress and discussions on strengthening Group’s financial capacity, they had been encouraged by the successful International Development Association replenishment negotiations, which had delivered a record $75 billion and had recognized the innovative measures introduced to help catalyse additional resources for Association member countries.  The governors had also been encouraged by progress on diversifying World Bank Group staff and management and they supported similar progress on gender diversity in the Group’s Executive Board of Directors.

PATRICIA ALONSO-GAMO, Deputy Secretary, International Monetary and Financial Committee, International Monetary Fund, noted that global growth was strengthening, but that outlook was subject to much uncertainty, as many countries were operating below their potential.  While trade and integration had brought enormous benefits, some segments of society had missed out on their rewards, leading to increased doubts about progress.  A disruption of trade could reverberate around the globe as geopolitical tensions continued to rise.  The international community must work together to enhance the resilience of economies and increase multilateralism, and in that regard, each country must play its part.  The IMF’s approach placed emphasis on structural, fiscal and monetary policies, which sought to create a more inclusive global economy by taking care of those left behind, including by prioritizing education and skills development and helping those who had lost their jobs.  “Future generations should not be left to fix our mistakes,” she stressed.

Multilateral cooperation was critical, she said, stressing the importance of working together to level the playing field for all, avoiding inward-looking measures and addressing taxation issues, she said.  The IMF would continue to provide policy advice, financial support, and capacity development, while also advocating for multilateral cooperation.  The Fund supported policies that expanded opportunities and multilateral solutions, while also seeking to support low-income countries and small and fragile States.  To foster sustainable growth and a more inclusive global economy and technical progress, it was studying how trade and capital flows affected countries.  The Fund also continued to deepen its analysis of structural reforms on growth, employment and income equality and would continue to support policies that stressed good governance, fostered cooperation, updated business environments and promoted competition.  The international community must collaborate to find multilateral solutions to challenges, accelerate gains and improve living standard where the needs were the greatest.

Keynote Presentations

WU HONGBO, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the 2017 report of the Inter-agency Task Force of Financing for Development was part of a broad effort to implement the Addis Agenda and represented the first comprehensive and substantive assessment of progress.  Emphasizing that the report would provide implementation guidance to all actors worldwide, he highlighted several findings, including that progress had been reported in all seven action areas:  domestic public resources; domestic and international private business and finance; international development cooperation; international trade as an engine for development; debt and debt sustainability; addressing systematic issues; and science, technology, innovation and capacity-building.  However, a difficult global environment had impeded individual and collective efforts and many implementation gaps remained.  National efforts had been affected by such economic factors as low commodity prices and trade growth and volatile capital flows alongside political and environmental factors.  Despite projected improvements for 2017 and 2018, the current growth trajectory would not deliver the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 and least developed countries would fall short by large margins.

Yet, he said, the global development agenda contained elements to reignite growth and a combination of national and international actions could change the trajectory.  The first priority of bolstered investments in sustainable development could stimulate global growth, but growth alone would not eradicate poverty.  That would need more targeted measures, with social protection floors directly ameliorating the lives of the poor and vulnerable.  The report offered options to address financing challenges related to such floors and underlined that policies and actions on investment and vulnerabilities must be gender-sensitive.  The development of integrated national financing frameworks was a promising sign, he said, underlining that national efforts must be accompanied by a supportive global environment and that many countries continued to rely on support, including ODA.  In that regard, international cooperation was as vital as ever, he said, encouraging actors to use the web portal, which provided data and analyses for each of the more than 100 clusters of commitments and actions across the Addis Agenda.

MUKHISA KITUYI, Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, speaking by video message, called for enhanced political momentum to achieve the Addis Agenda.  “We need to speak boldly about the obstacles hampering implementation,” he said, as well as about innovative financing instruments.  He also advocated scaling up partnerships with the private sector, stressing that UNCTAD had a proven record of working in that regard.  At the same time, he cautioned against turning away from calling out the risks of public-private partnerships, which must be studied in order to ensure they did not create debt burdens for future generations.  He called on participants to “walk the talk” on commitments made in Addis Ababa, Doha and Monterrey.

TEGEGNEWORK GETTU, Acting Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), noting that the Programme contributed to Inter-agency Task Force reports, said that in the first year of the 2030 Agenda, countries were thinking more systematically about how mobilize domestic and international resources to meet the Goals, and efforts were under way to align financial flows and policies with those objectives.  Yet, an implementation gap remained amid the slowest global growth rate since the 2008 financial crisis.  Noting that the Addis framework included support for global trade as a way to increase investment in the Goals, he said it was critical to complement long-term investment — in resilience and sustainable infrastructure, for example — with measures to help the poor.

Fulfilling the 2030 Agenda also required proactive policies for education, health and credit availability, he said.  There were variety of options to finance social protection floors at the local level, including through fossil fuel subsidies, and he welcomed the proposal for the Task Force to review funding mechanisms for social protection and to report back with recommendations to the 2018 financing for development forum.  He also welcomed efforts to broaden criteria for financing eligibility, noting with concern that ODA allocated to least developed countries had dropped, despite commitments to increase such aid.  While it was important to meet international commitments to refugees, resources spent in donor countries hosting refugees should not reduce funding for meeting the Goals in developing countries.  UNDP had helped 143 countries access $3.1 billion in financing, an investment that had liberated another $14 billion in co-financing.  In response to the growing demand for support in navigating the financing for development landscape, UNDP had carried out assessments to help Governments explore how to harness financial flows.

SHAMSHAD AKHTAR, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), speaking on behalf of the five United Nations regional commissions, said that despite signs of global economic recovery, a distrust of globalization had led to a tightening of policies that compounded uncertainty.  Fiscal policy needed to play a greater role in addressing inequality and expanding the fiscal safety net.  Sustainable and well-calibrated fiscal policy could lead to inclusive sustainable development and reduce inequality.  The regional commissions had announced consultations and analytical work related to the Addis Agenda, with 50 analytical papers having been prepared over the past four years.

The commissions’ efforts were focused on four key areas, including working to promote domestic resource mobilization, she said.  Research had demonstrated that tax incentives and weak compliance had eroded the tax base across all regions.  The debate on the management and composition of tax systems needed to intensify, she stressed, noting that people’s willingness to pay taxes were influenced by perceptions as to how well those revenues were used.  Fostering infrastructure investment was a priority, including climate-resilient infrastructure.  The fiscal requirements of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals could only be achieved by building more efficient and effective tax systems through multilateral approaches.  It was important to acknowledge that countries were moving at difference paces and sequencing their reforms differently, and that social expenditures needed to be enhanced.  Declining ODA was a cause for concern she stressed, highlighting that it continued to fall far short of commitments.  Improving the capacities of Governments to effectively structure private-public-partnership transactions was also vital.

Statements

NEVEN MIMICA, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, European Union, saying the Addis Agenda was a means to an end, insisted on ensuring full coherence and coordination with the 2030 Agenda.  All actors must play their part, he said, understanding the importance of relevant international conventions, including the Paris Agreement.  The European Union expected to sign the European Consensus on Development in June, framing action to deliver on Addis commitments.  As the largest provider of ODA, bloc member States would continue their efforts.

To achieve greater impact, he said, public resources must be used in a smarter way, including as a catalyst to mobilize more public and private funding.  A new external investment plan aimed at doing that, using €4 billion from the European Union budget to hopefully generate at least €44 billion in additional investments in higher-risk sectors in developing countries.  That plan also included the new European Fund for Sustainable Development, provisions for technical support and a focus on improving the investment climate through policy dialogue and cooperation.  Through those and related efforts, he said, “we are determined to make our development cooperation more effective and to assist others in their efforts”.

IGOR CRNADAK, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said bold steps must be taken to bolster national steps, including fostering industrial development, and multilateral development banks must work more closely in areas such as fostering private-public partnerships.  “If we want to success in this complex undertaking, we will have success stories,” he said.  “We need to be flexible and willing to learn from those who moved faster on the Sustainable Development Goals path.”  That included sharing knowledge, experience and innovative approaches or use of the transfer of technology if the Sustainable Development Agenda would be achieved by 2030.

DULCIDIO DE LA GUARDIA, Minister for Economy and Finance of Panama, endorsing the statements to be made by the “Group of 77” developing countries and China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said his country had been the focus of a documents leak in 2016 on tax fraud that implicated many countries, including some in the Group of 20.  All countries must show a united front in tackling tax issues, including senior officials in international organizations.  Among a range of actions, he said fiscal policies should take into account the characteristics of each country of concern.  Discussions should focus on issues such as knowledge, productivity and competitiveness of all States, particularly least developed countries.

TEUEA TOATU, Minister for Finance and Economic Development of Kiribati, said his country’s development, along with that of other small island developing States, had been hampered by isolation from world markets, vulnerability to external shocks and climate change.  Existing efforts and assistance must be scaled up to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, addressing questions such as how to climate-proof related initiatives.  Financial constraints and limited financial resources were inhibiting ongoing national efforts.  “We cannot do it alone,” he said, emphasizing that outstanding commitments must be honoured.  In that regard, he asked private and donor communities to be more forthcoming in their support.

NABINDRA RAJ JOSHI, Minister for Industry of Nepal, said his country’s new Constitution incorporated universally accepted democratic and inclusive norms, which would help create an environment conducive for implementing all internationally agreed development agendas.  Nepal’s goal to graduate from least developed country status by 2022 required “huge” additional investments, and Nepal also aimed to emerge as a middle-income country by 2030.  Challenges included tackling institutional, financing and capacity constraints, he said, noting that the private sector had played a key role in development.  To mobilize domestic resources, Nepal had widened its tax base by formalizing the informal sectors, and had created special economic zones.  Beyond traditional development finance, development partners should also fulfil ODA commitments, facilitate trade and encourage investment and technology flows.

MIGUEL ANGEL ESTUARDO MOIR SANDOVAL, Secretary for Planning, Planning and Programming Secretariat of the Presidency of Guatemala, advocated working towards a multidimensional definition of ODA.  Urging a focus on prevention and pre-investment in addressing climate variability, he said foreign direct investment was needed, as were strategies with innovative models for pre-investment and legal institutional tools to foster investment in ways that promoted national priorities.  Guatemala’s national development plan aimed to reduce poverty and extreme poverty; ODA was essential to that end.  He advocated dialogue to set out development priorities and respond to commitments made under the Addis Agenda.  Guatemala was committed to foster human sustainable development, notably through international cooperation and various modes of assistance.

TEVITA LAVEMAAU, Minister for Finance and National Planning of Tonga, said his country stood with other Pacific small island developing States to implement the Goals.  Noting the need for adequate resources to support the regional coordination and national implementation of the Goals, he expressed support for Fiji’s Presidency of the twenty-third Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to advocate for innovation in climate change adaptation for island nations.  While acknowledging the work of IMF, the World Bank and others, he urged refining the definition of fragility to include the drivers of vulnerability in the Pacific, which included dependence on imported fossil fuels.  Potential options for ocean finance were also critical.

VALENTIN RYBAKOV, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belarus, on behalf of Like-Minded Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, emphasized the significant challenges faced by those countries in achieving sustainable development.  Middle-income countries should comprise all groups of developing nations, especially because as countries moved from low- to middle-income status, the assistance provided was reduced.  He underscored the need to exchange experiences, improve coordination and focus the support of the United Nations development system, international financial institutions and others.  He expressed concern that access to concessional finance was reduced as national incomes grew, and recalled the importance of technology transfer in the spirit of closing the economic and social gap.  Multilateral development banks must devise graduation policies that were sequenced and phased.  There was also a need for more nuanced, transparent country classifications, beyond the per capita income criteria, while international engagement should be tailored to middle-income country needs.

CHRISTIAAN REBERGEN, Vice-Minister for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, endorsing the European Union, said the promise of leaving no one behind was a serious commitment, serving as a litmus test at the United Nations.  The Addis Agenda focused on how to serve those most in need, he said, emphasizing that tax issues in that regard had been examined.  Resources were being used to catalyse more investments, he said, noting that the Netherlands had made efforts in that area.  The United Nations must play its role in setting norms and convening power, he said, emphasizing that there should be a moratorium on lofty outcome documents until results had been delivered on promises already made.

MARÍA CAROLA IÑIGUEZ ZAMBRANO (Ecuador), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, welcomed the forum’s draft conclusions and recommendations, adding that agreement had been reached on minimums, but not on forward-looking actions, including on climate change, trade and international development cooperation.  Financing for development was key to implementing the 2030 Agenda and predictable financial flows were indispensable on that quest.  Calling for a range of actions, she said greater international cooperation was needed to combat illicit financial flows and global economic governance must be improved to create a development-friendly environment.  Alarmed by protectionist rhetoric, she called for an inclusive, non-discriminatory trading system under WTO auspices in line with the Addis Agenda.

The Group remained committed to addressing climate change, she said, calling for further action and predictable and sustainable support, taking into account the needs of developing countries.  The international community must consider the severe difficulties faced by countries and peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, she said, reaffirming a rejection of the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions.  Developed countries must play their role and must honour their ODA commitments.

Opening Remarks

Mr. SHAVA noted that the Addis Agenda and the Paris Agreement had scaled up support for people in countries whose needs were the greatest.  Representatives of Governments had a responsibility to ensure that their institutions, despite their different mandates, governance and expertise, worked coherently towards the common vision enshrined in the 2030 Agenda.  Over the last two decades, the world had made progress in reducing global poverty and narrowing economic gaps between countries, although inequality around the world remained high.  Experience had shown that addressing inequality did not necessarily sacrifice efficiency.  Investment in inclusive and resilient infrastructure was an important way to address inequality in access to markets, finances and technology and other opportunities.  Policy frameworks should be geared towards long-term investment so as to mitigate the risk of increased investments in infrastructure focusing on a limited number of countries, and only on sectors with potential cash flows.

HERVÉ DE VILLEROCHÉ, Co-Dean, Board of Executive Directors, World Bank Group, noted that the forum represented a critical platform to help follow-up on commitments towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty.  ODA would need to be strategically utilized to catalyse public and private investments and mobilize additional capital.  The International Finance Corporation had introduced a new long-term strategy to scale up the impact of its financing to the private sector, at large.  The World Bank Group was committed to using its balance sheets to deliver on the Goals, but was also convinced that achieving the development objectives would only be possible with continued efforts to address policies.  The Bank put particular emphasis on the importance of a growth-friendly environment, the mobilization of additional domestic resources and the need for continued momentum towards the development of global public goods.

HAZEM BEBLAWI, Executive Director, International Monetary Fund, said the focus should be on whether IMF, WTO, UNCTAD and others had been able to align their activities with the Addis Agenda to support members achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and promote global imperative for inclusive growth.  The Fund’s executive Board would consider proposals to improve debt sustainability framework.  There was a close parallel between global economic recovery and sequence of actions by major institutions and stakeholders to support the Addis Agenda.  There were gaps to be tackled and risks of setbacks and unintended consequences.  Two years after the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, “we have already made good progress across a wide range of objectives”, he said, stressing the need for continued cooperation with other institutions and stakeholders, in line with the Addis mandate.

Mr. APARR said UNCTAD’s work to move global economic governance onto a more inclusive footing offered examples of how policy coherence could address the wide inequalities characterizing the global economy today.  All countries must work to grow exports and reform trade by moving beyond a narrow focus on multilateral trade rules and taking national steps to use trade as part of domestic and regional policies, with an eye to structural transformation.  Foreign direct investment (FDI) and investment promotion actions also could be taken.  Key to that was holding donors accountable for increasing ODA to at least 0.2 per cent of gross national income.  “FDI cannot be a substitute for ODA,” he said.  Private finance and development bank efforts to catalyse domestic finance were needed, as was a more nuanced analysis of blended finance and public-private partnerships.  Addressing illicit financial flows must also be prioritized by bringing discussion of tax evasion and fiscal paradises to the fore at the United Nations and advancing international discussions on debt.  Noting that UNCTAD was working to operationalize principles on responsible sovereign borrowing and lending, he said closing the inequality gap required addressing a key area of unfinished business to address systematic issues stressing the financial system, which held back international policy coordination.

Interactive Discussion I

Moderated by Sara Eisen, CNBC, the first interactive panel, titled ”fostering policy coherence in the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda”, featured Frank Heemskerk, Executive Director, Cyprus, Israel and Netherlands, World Bank Group; Daouda Sembene, Chair, Executive Board Committee for Liaison with the World Bank, the United Nations and other International Organizations, International Monetary Fund; and Nabeel Munir (Pakistan), Vice-President, Economic and Social Council, as lead discussants.

Ms. EISEN said that the discussion would focus on the promotion of inclusive economic growth in the pursuit of sustainable development.

Mr. HEEMSKERK said that the United Nations should continue to foster coherence by benchmarking performances of member States and by exerting pressure on the private sector, including both larger and smaller companies, which may be interested in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.  It was important not to forget that the best form of leverage would only come from a well-functioning State; including those that followed the rule of law and made appropriate investments.  The international community must make sure that investments were well-spent and not diluted.  There was a lot of talk about public-private partnerships and blended finance, although there were many different definitions for both of those terms in use.

Mr. SEMBENE noted that IMF supported domestic policies, including by deepening policy diagnoses and advice, scaling up capacity-building and enhancing the financial safety net.  He highlighted that there were weaker growth prospects relative to the projections made in 2015.  The IMF had committed to scale up its policy diagnostics for the 2030 Agenda in key areas, including through infrastructure policy support and supporting fragile States and small, developing countries by addressing their challenges and vulnerabilities.  The Fund was also scaling up its support for capacity development in five key areas by boosting support for domestic resource mobilization and building State capacity for scaling up public investment.  Liquidity needs were growing among developing countries, which had prompted IMF to put in place a 50‑per‑cent increase in access for all concessional facilities and debt relief for countries experiencing public health disasters.

Mr. MUNIR highlighted that, at the national level, countries continued to face major challenges with formulating multisectoral, integrated and coherent policies and actions towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Many countries were still at the very early stages in establishing mechanisms for mainstreaming the Goals and the Addis Agenda in their national development strategies, he said, highlighting that changing institutions and mindsets were not easy processes.  For countries that were least capable of implementing such changes more international assistance to support their transition was warranted.  At the regional level, different coordination mechanisms, platforms and dialogues had helped bring together Governments around region-specific objectives.  More also had to be done at the global level to increase the coherence between national policies and global development policies.

In the ensuing discussion, the representative of Kenya, speaking on behalf of the Peacebuilding Commission, said the synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the peacebuilding architecture in creating sustainable peace were evident.  The Peacebuilding Commission stressed the need for adequate, predictable and sustained financing to assist countries in building and sustaining peace.  The Addis Agenda recognized the existence of a “peacebuilding financing gap”, which should be narrowed by strengthening partnerships with financial stakeholders, including the multilateral financial institutions.  The representative of the International Chamber of Commerce stressed that if countries wanted to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, they must ensure trade policies allowed businesses to create new jobs, while the representative of the World Trade Organization underscored that although reforms were important, greater emphasis must be placed on building trade capacity.

Also speaking were the representatives of Indonesia and the United Kingdom.

Interactive Discussion II

The forum then held an interactive discussion titled “inequalities and inclusive growth”, which featured presentations by Patience Bongiwe Kunene, Executive Director, Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa, World Bank Group; Nancy Gail Horsman, Executive Director, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Ireland, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, International Monetary Fund;  Masaaki Kaizuka, Executive Director, Japan, International Monetary Fund; and Jürgen Schulz (Germany), Vice-President, Economic and Social Council.

Ms. KUNENE noted that the World Bank’s expertise included agriculture, energy, education, climate change, conflict and violence, gender issues and resilience among many other areas.  A key question to be addressed was what sort of access was being provided to the services being produced by international organizations, Governments and the private sector.  Success was not only about having opportunities, but about having access to quality opportunities.  In that context, it was important to take into consideration things such as the strength of education systems and whether through those educational opportunities it was possible to address equality gaps.  Connectedness was very low in many African countries, including access to cell-phone and broadband services.  When looking at the access to trade and air travel, one could see why there was much more that needed to be done with regard to connectedness.  It was important to create credible evidence-based solutions that utilized data.  Some of the available data still had gaps.  The Bank had organized a meeting to brainstorm what a “strong World Bank” would look like in 2030, during which participants stressed the need to appeal to all of the financial institution’s clients in an interconnected fashion.

Ms. HORSMAN said growth had narrowed income gaps across countries.  Within most advanced and some emerging economies, inequality had increased over two decades, while slow growth since 2008 had exposed the difficulties of some groups to adjust to technical progress.  Wages of low- and middle-skill workers had stagnated, leading some to question the value of global trade and the multilateral framework underpinning it.  Technological change, more so than integration, appeared to be behind labour’s falling share, which led many to question how multilateral institutions could align their work with the goals of inclusive growth.  “Protectionism and inward-looking polices are not the answer,” she said.  The Fund was working to ensure its policies were supportive of inclusive growth by encouraging States to implement measures that boosted economic opportunities and reduced trade-offs.  She cited measures to promote financial inclusion to support long-term growth and smooth income fluctuations.  Coordinated actions by countries could boost growth, and avoid negative spillovers of policies among countries.

Mr. KAIZUKA said the Fund had several tools available to address inequality and inclusive growth, describing policy surveillance as a regular exercise for devising policy recommendations.  Such consultations with his country focused on how to solve labour market realities, including how to enhance women’s labour participation.  Country specificity should be highly appreciated in such work, he said, noting there were many policy options for inclusive growth.  The real application of policies for infrastructure, education and labour market reform, for example, should be prioritized.  Equally important was to ensure country ownership.  The Fund provided capacity-development programmes tailored to country situations, which were important to monitor.  In many IMF board meetings, members stressed that the Fund should not deviate much from its mandate to promote macroeconomic financial stability.  Yet, it was sometimes difficult to draw a line between the core and non-core mandates.  Fiscal policy must play pivotal role in reducing inequalities, as should social policies.

Mr. SCHULZ said the gap between the wealthy and the poor had widened, with Goal 10 calling on the international community to reduce inequality both within and among countries.  Rising inequality compromised social justice and human dignity.  As such, it had been at the core of the Economic and Social Council agenda and he called for the creation of inclusive institutions, combined with the right policies and regulations to ensure that everyone benefitted from economic gains.  More must be done to ensure inclusive and sustainable economic growth, as well as to address systemic issues by ensuring that developing countries were fully heard in economic and other institutions.  Data disaggregation was essential for reaching those most in need, with the dynamics between and within vulnerable groups — based on gender, race and ethnicity for example — understood.  He advocated redoubled efforts to implement Addis Agenda commitments on inequality.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates asked how to tackle the digital divide and reverse the trend of deepening inequality, with Costa Rica’s speaker asking about actions to ensure women’s economic empowerment.  Others described domestic and international drivers of inequality, with Ghana’s delegate pointing to a one‑size-fits-all approach to national development.  She asked how much of budget was going into social protection floors.  “Where you put your money is where your heart is,” she stressed.

Mr. KAIZUKA responded to Ghana’s delegate that social protection floors would be discussed later this week in Washington, D.C.  The Fund, working with low-income countries, set indicative targets for where the floor in the budget formulation should be set.  It was an evolutionary process.

Mr. SEMBENE added that IMF was working to ensure women’s participation by making the point that their participation was essential for countries to reach their growth potential.  The IMF also promoted gender budgeting.  It had released a tool kit last July and a book titled Women, Work and Economic Growth:  Levelling the Playing Field, in March.

The representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spoke about the importance of policy solutions for poverty alleviation, stressing that investing in children was not only morally right but made economic sense.  Recent evidence had shown that children’s exposure to toxic environments was “costing nations a lot”, with some forfeiting two times their GDP due to additional spending on health, resulting from a lack of investment in the early years.  “We don’t need to spend much more to get the results on the ground,” she said.  Resources required to scale up child-focused interventions for achieving the Goals were moderate.  Children under age 18 comprised more than half of the global poor.

The representative of Citi Group, noting that Governments alone could not finance the Goals, said the current size and pace of private sector support would not be enough to support success.  Large, deep and liquid markets were one solution, with a transactional level focus.  The Goals’ objectives presented risks far beyond those traditionally taken by the private sector.  “We’ve not solved Rubik’s cube of using blended finance structures,” he said, noting that the public sector did not need to take significantly more aggregate risk to facilitate those transactions.  Rather, it must be better at targeting risk that often coalesced in the private sector.  He described the “integrity challenge” as crippling, with corruption as the Achilles heel of reaching the Goals.

The representative of the Financial Transparency Coalition focused on tax reforms to reduce inequality and the need for progressive taxes, which had important implications for addressing gender bias in tax structures.  Efforts to increase tax bases should shift the burden away from women.  A transformative change in international tax was needed to combat tax evasion and avoidance.

The speaker from the World Trade Organization spoke about trade finance, which played a key role in helping developed, developing and least developed countries participate in global trade.  The sixth global review of Aid-for-Trade would be held from 11 to 13 July with a cross-cutting theme of how that programme supported achievement of the Goals, notably for poverty eradication and women’s empowerment.

Ms. KUNENE added that the World Bank had a gender-diverse board, with staff incentives for women to become senior managers.  For countries, she cited educational projects for adolescent girls and cross-cutting solutions focused on gender.

A speaker from Yes Bank said the tool that could bring the $218 trillion global capital markets and the $256 trillion in global individual wealth into the Goals was impact investment.  Alternative investment funds in India and the Social Impact Bond Act in the United States were other mechanisms that allowed people to pool funds and become part of the development story.  Social entrepreneurs were also looking to address access to health and education, she said, citing the “Start Up India, Stand Up India” programme in that context.

Other speakers from the International Monetary Fund also spoke, as did the representative of Liberia, the United States representative at the World Bank and a speaker from the Women’s working group on finance for development.

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Text adopted – Human rights in 2003 and EU policy – P5_TA(2004)0376 – Thursday, 22 April 2004 – Strasbourg – Final edition

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to all relevant international human rights instruments(1) ,

–   having regard to the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 1 July 2002 and to its resolutions of 19 November 1998, 18 January 2001, 28 February 2002 and 4 July 2002(2) related to the ICC,

–   having regard to the United Nations Charter, particularly Article 2,

–   having regard to the entry into force on 1 July 2003 of Protocol No 13 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances,

–   having regard to Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions,

–   having regard to Article 12 of the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

–   having regard to the UN declarations and resolutions on the rights of disabled persons and the UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997),

–   having regard to Articles 12(1) and 16(1)(e) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, as well as to General Recommendations 21 and 24 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women,

–   having regard to the Declaration and Action Programme of the Fourth World Conference on Women adopted in Beijing on 15 September 1995, and to the Outcome Document of the Fourth World Conference on Women +5 Conference adopted on 10 June 2000,

–   having regard to the Millennium Development Goals adopted at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations on 8 September 2000 and the Declaration adopted by the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development on 4 September 2002,

–   having regard to the 2002 report of the UN Population Fund on the state of world population,

–   having regard to the report of the Council of Europe on the impact of the Mexico City Policy(3) and the Commission's proposal for a Regulation on aid for policies and actions on reproductive and sexual health and rights in developing countries (COM(2002) 120),

–   having regard to its resolution of 1 November 2001 on HIV/AIDS(4) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 September 2001 on female genital mutilation(5) ,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union(6) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 3 September 2003 on the Commission communication "Towards a United Nations legally binding instrument to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities',(7)

–   having regard to Articles 3, 6, 11, 13 and 19 of the Treaty on European Union and Articles 177 and 300 of the Treaty establishing the European Community,

–   having regard to the entry into force on 1 April 2003 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(8) ,

–   having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Assembly, which was established on 22-23 March 2004, and to its related resolution of 20 November 2003(9) ,

–   having regard to the European Convention for Human Rights and Biomedicine (1999),

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 December 1996 on the rights of disabled people(10) , its resolution of 9 March 2004 on population and development(11) , and its previous resolutions on human rights in the world(12) ,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union, in particular its resolution of 15 January 2003(13) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2003 on peace and dignity in the Middle East (14) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 February 2004 on the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, 15 March to 23 April 2004(15) ,

–   having regard to the fifth EU Annual Report on Human Rights (13449/03),

–   having regard to Rule 163 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (A5-0270/2004),

A.   whereas progress has been made worldwide in particular through the European Union's commitment to establishing and strengthening democracy, human rights, the rule of law and good governance,

B.   whereas at the same time the situation has worsened in a large number of countries, where human rights continue to be violated as a result of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion and social class, and of bad governance, corruption, repression, abuse of power, weak institutions, lack of accountability and armed conflict,

C.   whereas on paper there is an impressive degree of endorsement of human rights values by the international community, with over 140 countries having ratified the two major covenants and almost all states having ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

D.   whereas a steadily growing number of countries has abolished the death penalty or has established or extended moratoria on executions, but in some countries there appears to be a reverse trend, in particular in China,

E.   whereas the role of the international community in assisting the truth and reconciliation process in post-conflict societies is recognised as a means of fostering reconciliation, peace, stability and development,

F.   whereas in countries which respect and uphold human rights, pressure groups and a free press help ensure that the democratic state functions well; whereas they must not be subject to censorship or restricted freedom of expression,

G.   stressing that in recent years control and repression of Internet use has increased dramatically in the People's Republic of China and dozens of people have been arrested for distributing messages calling for greater freedom and democracy, or for simply having distributed information via the Internet; whereas the number of arrests in such cases increased by 60% compared to the previous year,

H.   whereas the same phenomenon is occurring systematically in Vietnam, where several democracy activists have been arrested in recent months,

I.   convinced that all acts of terrorism deny the very concept of human rights,

J.   whereas the European Union supports and actively cooperates with the work of the Ad Hoc Committee of the 6th Committee of the UNGA in its work towards the preparation of a Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the preparation of a Draft International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism,

K.   whereas a state that has suffered acts of terrorism may collaborate with other states in a spirit of reciprocity, but with due respect for human rights and international law,

L.   whereas extradition should be refused if there are serious reasons to believe that the person to be extradited would be subject, in the country applying for extradition, to treatment that does not comply with international law,

M.   whereas in some cases a military procedure with no appeal or monitoring is imposed on alleged terrorists except those with the nationality of the country accusing them,

N.   whereas democratic countries must set an example when they want to pursue the perpetrators of such acts or bring them to justice, by granting them all the rights and safeguards that a country that respects human rights must provide for any accused person,

O.   whereas certain countries have created and/or put in place extra-territorial areas which are not subject to any concept of basic law or monitoring, contrary to all the international conventions and treaties,

P.   whereas the fight against terrorism constitutes a special situation that allows for restrictions on, and even outright suspension of, individual freedoms, particularly in countries with dictatorial regimes; stressing that all these countries have used the fight against terrorism as a pretext for stepping up repression against subjugated populations or any form of political dissidence,

Q.   subscribing to the principle that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition; fully supporting the WHO principles; concerned in particular about the situation as regards the right to access to health, as this right is closely linked to the economic, social and political situation of every individual country,

R.   recognising that access to reproductive health is a fundamental human right and that women and men should therefore be guaranteed the freedom to make their own informed and responsible choice in regard to their sexual and reproductive health and rights, while being conscious of the importance of their decisions for other individuals as well as for society,

S.   whereas studies have proved that there is a direct link between access to information and high standards in all aspects of health, including lower levels of HIV/AIDS and other transmitted infections, the risk of unwanted pregnancies and correlated abortions, the risk of still-births and maternal and infant deaths,

T.   condemning the practice of female genital mutilation still used in many countries which has already produced more than 130 million victims worldwide, and poses a threat to some 2 million young girls or women each year; welcoming, in this connection, the Maputo Protocol adopted by the African Union in July 2003,

U.   whereas reproductive health is a major concern for the social and economic well-being of a nation, and deficiencies in access to reproductive health have direct effects on the economic and social fabric of the country concerned,

V.   concerned at the deliberate withholding of information in a large number of countries, which are the most affected by low standards of reproductive health,

W.   shocked by the lack of willingness shown by developed countries to ensure the necessary funding to meet the basic standards outlined in the Action Programme of the UN Conference on Population and Development adopted in Cairo on 13 September 1994 and even more concerned by the sharp decrease in the funds available since the entry into force of the Mexico City Policy, diminishing US funding to any NGO which is not following a strict abstinence promotion policy,

X.   whereas access to information on, and the promotion through social marketing of condoms can for the moment be considered as the most effective preventive measure against all forms of sexually transmitted diseases,

Y.   whereas the denial of access to treatment for HIV/AIDS through a lack of available funds, in particular access to anti-retroviral drug combinations, which are proving successful at stabilising but not curing HIV/AIDS, is causing a major security threat both regionally and worldwide, including in Eastern Europe and Central Asia where there is a sharp and deplorable increase in sexually transmitted diseases and in sexual violence;

Z.   concerned by the sharp decrease in the funds available since the entry into force of the Mexico City Policy,

AA.   whereas 2003 was the European Year of the Disabled,

AB.   whereas the UN estimates that more than half a billion people in the world are disabled through mental, physical or sensory impairment,

AC.   noting that in many countries unacceptable barriers are still too often raised against the inclusion of disabled people, thus preventing them from fully enjoying a social, professional, family, emotional and sexual life,

AD.   stressing that the specific needs of disabled people apply unreservedly to disabled people who are accused or suspected of crimes and/or are or could be imprisoned or held on remand,

AE.   whereas the international community must take into account the problem represented each year by the hundreds of thousands of people who, as a result of wars and conflicts, are disabled or physically or mentally handicapped;

1.  Expresses its satisfaction that the fifth parliamentary term has seen a number of major innovations in relation to EU policy on human rights, including the creation or further development of important instruments, that correspond largely to its own initiatives;

2.  Notes that it has contributed considerably to strengthening the human rights dimension and in putting human rights issues on the European agenda;

3.  Considers that terrorism is one of the most serious common challenges facing the international community; condemns all acts of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, irrespective of their motivation, forms and manifestations; underlines that the fight against terrorism has to remain a matter of the highest priority for the EU;

4.  Manifests its commitment to continuing to act in support of respect for human rights and promotion of democracy worldwide, and to pursuing in particular its initiatives in favour of the abolition of the death penalty and torture, the fight against impunity, the elimination of racism, xenophobia and discrimination, the protection of women's rights and children's rights (including child soldiers and child labour); the protection and accompaniment of human rights defenders; the protection of social and workers' rights, the protection of refugees (including internally displaced people), the defence of the interests of indigenous populations and of minorities, such as moutain-dwellers in Vietnam, the victims of systematic repression, freedom of the press and other means of expression, non-discrimination of homosexuality, freedom of religion and conviction and all other rights;

5.  Reiterates its view that strengthened efforts are needed to find a coordinated approach in order to mainstream human rights in its external relations activities, to link the activities of its future subcommittee on human rights, its main committees responsible and its interparliamentary delegations and to ensure a consistent follow-up to Parliament's resolutions by the Commission, the Council and the third countries concerned; reiterates its call for Parliament's financial and human resources dedicated to human rights activities to be considerably increased;

6.  Underlines the need to pursue its efforts in order to make major progress in dialogue with the Council on EU human rights policy and calls on the Council to agree upon a structure which allows systematic and timely reaction to EP resolutions; recalls, in this context, its proposals made on the basis of the Council's conclusions of December 2002;

7.  Strongly supports the Council's intention to achieve a more effective and visible EU human rights and democratisation policy through increased coherence and consistency between Community action and the CFSP, mainstreaming, greater openness and regular identification and the review of priority action;

8.  Insists that concerns on human rights situations be discussed more openly and regularly at Association/Cooperation Councils and at EU summits with third countries and that the respective conclusions should fully reflect this discussion point;

9.  Welcomes the recent release of political prisoners in Syria, but insists that all political prisoners should be set free, at the latest before the signing of the EU-Syria Association Agreement, as this would significantly facilitate Parliament's assent;

10.  Welcomes the fact that the Council's annual operational programme for 2003 was the first to be jointly drawn up by the Greek and Italian Presidencies; considers, however, that the major political priorities and actions in external relations outlined in the work programmes of the Commission and the Council would need a more explicit human rights perspective;

11.  Welcomes the fact that, at the invitation of the EU Presidency, Members of the European Parliament participated in the 3rd round of the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue on 8/9 October 2003 and considers that Members of the European Parliament should be involved in the same way in future human rights dialogues with third countries; invites the Presidency to transmit its in-depth evaluation of the China dialogue as soon as possible and to prepare a similar evaluation of the Iran dialogue;

12.  Deplores the fact that the 3rd Round Table of the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue had a very abstract academic character and considers that at coming Round Tables the debate must have a stronger political dimension and contain real dialogues;

13.  Welcomes the establishment in 2003 of a Subgroup on Governance and Human Rights under the Cooperation Agreement with Bangladesh and calls on the Council and the Commission to create similar Subgroups where appropriate for the other Cooperation Agreements;

14.  Welcomes the efforts undertaken to engage in a similar exercise with other third countries and looks forward to the start of the work with Vietnam and Morocco;

15.  Is strongly convinced that human rights dialogues should not be a justification for the marginalisation of human rights vis-à-vis security, economic or political priorities; recalls its demand on the Council to formulate concrete objectives and benchmarks for human rights dialogues and to ensure that the results are regularly evaluated;

16.  Reiterates its demand for more openness and transparency on the part of the EU institutions and on the part of the Council in particular; maintains its criticism that the calls made in its resolutions for the Council to report back on the outcome of specific human rights issues, in particular as these come up in international organisations, are systematically disregarded; insists that Parliament should be given a full explanation whenever its human rights recommendations are not followed by Council or Commission;

17.  Takes note of the fact that the structure of the EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2003 has been improved, but regrets that the report still does not focus particular attention on individual cases and their follow-up, including those raised in Parliament's resolutions, nor contain any response to proposals adopted in its own Annual Report on Human Rights in the World;

18.  Calls on the Council, in this connection, to step up dialogue with civil society and, in future, to involve the relevant NGOs more closely in its initiatives and in the drawing up of its Report on Human Rights and the shaping of the annual Human Rights Forum;

19.  Welcomes the creation of the Commission's website on human rights which includes analyses, reports and research done on key issues and which allows even better information to NGOs and civil society as a whole;

20.  Recognises the progress made in paying outstanding commitments and in speeding up the pace of payments' execution in the EIDHR budget implementation within the general 60 days' time scale and the implementation plan for each budget heading as well as the Council's guidelines ensuring complementarity and consistency of EU external policy measures between the Community and Member States;

21.  Decides to create a proper format for its Annual Reports on Human Rights in the World, which adequately evaluates the human rights policy of the Council, Commission and European Parliament in the period under consideration, and provides a systematic follow-up to proposals and statements included in the preceding Annual Report on Human Rights of the European Parliament; considers that the rapporteur can further choose special themes of particular relevance for the report;

22.  Considers that the European Parliament Annual Report should be produced at a fixed time every year, and include an analysis and evaluation of the Annual Report of the Council of the same year;

23.  Decides to retain closer contacts with former winners of the Sakharov Prize to enable the prize to play a role in safeguarding and helping to ensure respect for human rights in the countries concerned; stresses, in particular, the need to continue and increase support for former Sakharov Prize winners who are still suffering from repression in their country, in particular Leyla Zana, Aung San Suu Kyi and Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas; with regard to the last of these, recalls the support given to the 'Sakharov Initiative' conducted within the European Parliament and calls on the Cuban authorities to refrain from placing any further obstacles in the way of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas travelling to the European Union to meet with its institutions;

24.  Underlines the fact that serious human rights crises persist in a large number of countries, often in a context of violent conflict, with the international community failing to have any decisive influence; notes that the EU's existing potential has not been used in such a way as to effectively confront some of the world's worst violators; regrets that in such situations human rights have never constituted a bottom line in the EU's external policies; is convinced that respect for human rights will not result from solemn declarations which are not supported by effective actions for their implementation;

25.  Is convinced that the new European security strategy provides an important conceptual framework in relation to armed conflict and conflict resolution and insists that a proper human rights dimension has to be developed, based on a concept of prevention;

26.  Welcomes the London Declaration on Colombia (10 July 2003) and reaffirms the requirement that all parties in the Colombia conflict are required to comply without qualification with all recommendations of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia;

27.  Calls on the Council to ensure that responsibility on human rights issues is made a part of crisis management and of long-term engagement in post-conflict resolution;

28.  Fully supports the Guidelines adopted by the Council on 8 December 2003 on Children and Armed Conflict and looks forward to the Commission's review of Community assistance in this area as a first contribution to the implementation of the Guidelines;

29.  Regrets, in particular, that Parliament's demands for a serious and non-selective application of human rights clauses appear to have had no visible effect on the human rights policies of the Council, the EU Member States and the Commission;

30.  Stresses, in addition, that on several occasions EU human rights policies have been undermined by the non-respect of EU arms embargoes, efforts to lift arms embargoes prematurely and by Member States not maintaining systematically a strict application of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; emphasises that firm political action against the proliferation of all types of weapons, both conventional and WMD, both heavy arms and light weapons, is essential to the success of any EU campaign on human rights;

31.  Regrets that the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements lack clearly defined procedures for implementation of the human rights clause;

32.  Insists on the necessity for a mid-term review of Article 2 of all Association Agreements in order to evaluate whether respect for human rights, particularly women's rights and democratic principles, is fully implemented, and calls for specific mechanisms to enable human rights clauses to be applied more effectively and efficiently;

33.  Calls on the Commission to report back to Parliament on the state of preparation of an implementation mechanism for the human rights clause in order to maintain explicit pressure for significant improvements of the human rights situation in the countries concerned and to encourage sections of society that are in favour of promoting democracy and respect for human rights;

34.  Reiterates its call on the Council, the Commission and Member States to enforce effectively all EU political instruments, including the sanctions policies, in furtherance of human rights and to ensure that actions are not taken which deliberately undermine such policies;

35.  Reiterates its call for periodic review of sanctions policies in order to assess and enhance their effectiveness;

36.  Considers that meetings with parliamentarians and civil society from third countries having signed the human rights clause contribute to Parliament's monitoring of the concrete implementation of the clause, but is of the opinion that this effectiveness could be enhanced;

37.  Welcomes the Commission's communication on 'Reinvigorating EU actions on human rights and democratisation with Mediterranean partners - Strategic Guidelines (COM(2003) 294)', which is aimed at finding a structured approach in order to regularly assess compliance by States with their human rights obligations; supports, in particular, in line with its own proposals, a systematic discussion of human rights issues in the Association Council's meetings and welcomes the fact that the idea of establishing working groups on human rights with partner countries is gaining ground; appreciates, in particular, the 10 concrete recommendations to upgrade knowledge and expertise, improve the dialogue between the EU and its Mediterranean partners as well as to enhance cooperation on human rights issues, including through the development of MEDA National Action Plans on human rights and democracy with those partners willing to engage in such an exercise;

38.  Calls on the Commission to define a coherent EU strategy on human rights, which includes all relevant elements such as the human rights clause, dialogue, financial assistance and the reinforcement of international standards, and which is elaborated in the same way as the existing strategies for the Mediterranean partners, as well as other countries and regions;

39.  Welcomes the entry into force of the new ACP-EU partnership agreement (Cotonou) on 1 April 2003; considers that the human rights clause in the agreement has a clear implementation mechanism providing for procedures to make its application binding, suspension as a last resort and the establishment of dialogue between government and civil society, which merits being negotiated for further agreements with third countries;

40.  Stresses nevertheless that strengthening or resuming EU economic, financial and technical assistance to the developing countries, particularly the ACP countries, can only be envisaged if the authorities of the countries concerned give a parallel undertaking to remedy any continuing human rights abuses in a verifiable and lasting manner and demonstrate their commitment to good governance, democracy and the rule of law through joining in concrete action against persistent human rights violators such as the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe;

41.  In the framework of implementation of the "Wider Europe" policy, supports the Commission in its commitment to ensure that human rights and democratisation issues are fully taken into account in the political chapter of "Wider Europe Action Plans", to be negotiated with the Union's eastern and southern neighbours;

42.  Calls on all states, in the spirit of the UN Millennium Declaration, to put their commitment to uphold respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms into practice and to dedicate themselves to the full and effective implementation of international human rights treaties to which they are parties; this means that whenever domestic laws (e.g. Sharia laws) are contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties, these laws must be amended and brought into line with the commitments that have been given;

43.  Welcomes the UN Human Rights Sub-Commission guidelines on multinational enterprise (18 August 2003), as an important stepping stone towards a binding global code of conduct;

44.  Reiterates its call on all states that have not done so to establish a moratorium on executions, as a first step towards the universal abolition of the death penalty, which no state should reject; calls upon the EU to start a dialogue on invoking the human rights clause against those countries which continue to execute non-adult and disabled individuals;

45.  Regrets the deaths of UN staff in Iraq, symbolic of human rights defenders worldwide; insist that firm policies should be developed to support all those who campaign for the respect of human rights; welcomes therefore the initiative of the Irish Presidency to produce guidelines on the protection of human rights defenders;

46.  Expresses grave concern at the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has led to a seemingly endless spiral of hatred and violence and to increased suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians;

47.  Shares the deep concern expressed by the Council at the continuation of illegal settlements and expropriation of land for the construction of the so-called 'security fence', which leads to the violation of a number of basic human rights such as freedom of movement, and the right to family life, to work, to health, to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to education; the prohibition on discrimination contained in many international conventions is clearly violated in the closed zone in which Palestinians, but not Israelis, are required to have permits;

48.  Takes note of the fact that the situation in each of the Central Asian countries is different; reiterates its concern with regard to human rights violations and cases of political repression, particularly in Turkmenistan where the human rights situation has deteriorated dramatically recently and in Uzbekistan where there are continuing serious concerns;

49.  Welcomes the determined EU campaign against all forms of torture and degrading behaviour; regrets that by December 2003 only six EU Member States had signed (and ratified) the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture as adopted by the UN in 2002; insists that the human rights clause must be invoked against all economic and political partners of the EU which allow their judiciary and police services to continue torture practices against their citizens; reiterates its concern that the Commission undertakes the financing of torture prevention projects at the cost of projects for the rehabilitation of torture victims; urges that a ban be introduced on the production, sale and exportation of torture equipment;

50.  Reiterates its demand on the EU, and the Commission in particular, to fully support the cause of indigenous populations, in particular to provide all aid possible to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations;

51.  Recalls its priorities for the 60th Session of the UNCHR as spelled out in its abovementioned resolution of 10 February 2004;

52.  Reaffirms the importance of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights as the world's highest body for human rights protection to ensure public scrutiny of situations of gross and persistent abuse;

53.  Insists that, for the EU's global human rights policies to be effective, there cannot be 'double standards' in which human rights violations within the enlarged EU are not addressed properly and exemplarily;

54.  Welcomes the EU's support for the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) but reiterates that the EU and its current and future Member States should stand more firm and united against pressure from states which do not wish to adhere to the Court and who want to reduce the ICC's scope and efficiency;

55.  Underlines that no immunity, as recognised under Article 41, paragraph 2, of the Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961 on Diplomatic Relations, should ever afford the possibility of impunity for any individual accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, and is concerned about the fact that some regions of the world are still severely under-represented within the group of countries that have signed and ratified the Rome ICC Statute;

56.  Urges the Council and the Commission to use the EU's political leverage under Cooperation Agreements in order to promote the signature and the ratification of the Rome ICC Statute by as many countries as possible;

57.  Expresses its regret that an ad hoc International Criminal Court has not yet been established by the UN Security Council, as this would be the most expedient way of dealing with the case of the detainees held in Guantánamo;

58.  Asks the US authorities to put an end immediately to the current legal limbo in which the detainees held in Guantánamo Bay have, since their arrival, been placed and to guarantee immediate access to justice in order to determine the status of each individual detainee on a case-by-case basis, either by charging them under the rules laid down in the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (particularly Articles 9 and 14 thereof) or by releasing them instantly, and to ensure that those charged with war crimes receive a fair trial in accordance with international humanitarian law and in full compliance with international human rights instruments;

59.  Welcomes the projects undertaken by the Commission to promote freedom of expression under the EIDHR, and calls on the Commission to extend such projects specifically to the promotion of freedom of conscience and religion;

60.  Reiterates its call on the Council and the Commission to make the early identification of the abuse of religions for political purposes a priority of EU human rights policy, and calls for reinforced EU efforts to seek to prevent violent religious extremism which threatens human rights;

61.  Calls again on the Council, Commission and Member States to make religious freedom a priority for action in the European Union's relations with third countries where appropriate, and requests that penalties be laid down for violation of this freedom;

62.  Recalls the decision of the Valencia Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference to set up a EuroMed Foundation, providing a structure for intercultural and interreligious dialogue with and between the countries and societies on the Mediterranean's southern shore, and urges all governments involved to provide sufficient funding in order to make the establishment of the Foundation possible by the announced date of 1 July 2004;

63.  Calls on the Commission to enhance the dialogue with non-governmental organisations, including with religious and non-religious organisations, in order to promote peaceful coexistence between different religious and cultural communities; considers that such dialogue should, to start with, take place in the framework of the implementation of the abovementioned Commission Communication;

64.  Reiterates that access to modern communications technologies and language courses can facilitate inter-cultural exchanges, tolerance and understanding for other cultures and religions within and outside the European Union, and welcomes in this respect the many initiatives undertaken by the Commission such as the Euromed Youth programme, the Asialink and the eSchola Programmes, and looks forward to receiving annual evaluations of these programmes;

65.  Insists that there should be no diminution of support by the Commission and Council for mine action and stresses the importance of assistance to countries and NGOs engaged in activities to clear anti-personnel landmines and other unexploded ordnance, as well as assistance to mine victims; urges the Commission to publish regular progress reports to clarify how far the Member States of the enlarged EU adhere to their obligations under the Ottawa Treaty (a global ban on anti-personnel landmines) and to what extent these states follow Parliament's expressed wish that cluster submunitions no longer be used;

66.  Underlines that the fight against terrorism has to take place in the framework of international law; calls on the Council and the Member States to work actively in the preparation of the Draft International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which should include an internationally recognised status for victims of terrorist acts, as a means of further developing a comprehensive legal framework of conventions dealing with terrorism and to inform Parliament regularly about important developments in this area;

67.  Acknowledges that the legal or regulatory policy concerning reproductive health falls within the Member States' sphere of competence, but considers that on an international level the EU is obliged to do its utmost to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to ensure that obligations are fulfilled in the framework of the UN Charter, UN Conventions and many other agreements covering the issue;

68.  Calls on the Commission to pay particular attention to assisting not only developing countries, but also countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia, which are not covered by the Cotonou Agreement, and to provide financial and technical support as well as training for personnel;

69.  Welcomes the action taken by ECHO in the field of humanitarian aid, which often has a component of reproductive health, and urges it to pay even greater attention to the dramatic situation caused by the lack of access to all aspects of reproductive health in emergency situations and in refugee camps;

70.  Insists that the Council and the Member States have to address even more firmly the magnitude of HIV/AIDS, which represents a major threat to global security, with 3 million people dying yearly despite the possibility of treatment; underlines that the fight against HIV/AIDS must include effective public health programmes involving education, prevention, treatment, care and support;

71.  Calls on the Commission to step up its funding of educational programmes devoted to reproductive health, focusing on the fight against sexual violence and female genital cutting or mutilation, and educating people on responsible sexual behaviour and the use of modern family planning methods, as well as available HIV/AIDS preventive methods;

72.  Calls on the Council to act upon its stated intention to step up funding for the Global Fund, specifically for programmes in the field of reproductive health as well as funding of NGOs under all assistance programmes (TACIS, PHARE, MEDA, CARDS, etc.) via not only health projects, but also projects dedicated to drug problems and general educational and awareness-raising projects;

73.  Asks the Commission, in particular, to step up its reproductive health programmes in the TACIS area as the situation is increasingly worrying and the countries concerned do not have the means to meet educational and supply needs, which results in a sharp increase of HIV/AIDS transmission (1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe/Central Asia), an extremely high rate of abortions (3.6 abortions per lifetime per woman), poor-quality contraceptive methods and a high infant mortality rate (up to 74 per 1000 compared to 5 per 1000 in France);

74.  Calls on the Member States to meet their obligations under the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as one of the most effective means in the fight against AIDS and other contagious, poverty-related diseases;

75.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to take all appropriate measures as soon as possible, including the necessary legislative measures, to fulfil their commitment to act upon the decision of the General Council of the World Trade Organisation on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health;

76.  Welcomes the report on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health presented to the 60th Session of the Commission on Human Rights, and the report on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and other aspects related to the issue;

77.  Calls on the Commission to make up for the loss of funds due to the Mexico City Policy, and to the US policy advocating exclusively abstinence promotion programmes, in particular to step in for the funds withheld from UNFPA and the funds cancelled for NGO programmes;

78.  Urges all Member States and applicant countries to respect the human right to privacy and the right to travel freely, and to fully respect the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in this area; is outraged at recent attempts by applicant countries to disregard this ruling;

79.  Calls on the Commission and Council to make ratification of the Maputo Protocol one of their priorities in relations with third countries affected by the phenomenon of female genital mutilation;

80.  Regrets that people arrested in Egypt on grounds of their sexual orientation are all too often denied certain aspects of their fundamental human rights, including the right to a fair trial;

81.  Following persistent arrests and harassment of homosexual men in Egypt and the entrapment of homosexuals by security services over the internet, expresses deep concern about the denial of fundamental rights, including the right to free association, the right to privacy and the right to a fair trial;

82.  Welcomes the statement of the Council in the EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2003 on the situation of disabled people and the steps taken in the international arena towards advancement of persons with disabilities; however, considers that although some progress has been made, persons with disabilities are still unable to fully enjoy human rights on an equal basis;

83.  Notes with regret that in some states there are numerous obstacles, unacceptable restrictions and/or limits to access to training and/or education for disabled children, adolescents or students, in so-called normal as well as special schools, disregarding the human right to education and training;

84.  Considers that accessibility and use of public space and the built environment, both public and private, is a fundamental right and an essential guarantee of disabled people's freedom of movement, equal opportunities, and freedom from discrimination and thus of respect for human rights;

85.  Stresses that disabled people exercising their right to mobility must not suffer any form of direct or indirect discrimination, whether deliberate or not, or financial discrimination, and regrets that public transport (buses, coaches, taxis, underground trains, trams, and transport by rail, air, river and sea) are still hard for disabled people (and their guide dogs) to access and use;

86.  Deplores the human rights abuse experienced by many disabled people in the world, notably disabled persons living in institutions subject to degrading treatment, violence and abuse, as well as exploitation of disabled persons by organised begging and cases of forced sterilisation, and calls on the Commission to draw up a specific report on the subject of human rights abuse of disabled people;

87.  Condemns the continued use of caged beds for some mentally ill patients in a small number of Accession countries and calls on the Commission to encourage and support a swift end to this inhuman and degrading method of restraint;

88.  Welcomes the programmes set up to provide proper medical assistance for at least some of the Chechen children terribly affected by the war in their country and calls on all Member States and the EU itself to help strengthen humanitarian programmes of this kind so as to cater for the enormous needs of the Chechen population in this respect;

89.  Asks the Commission to include in the horizontal EIDHR programme measures to increase awareness of the human rights of disabled people among various social and political actors and decision-makers in the partner countries, as is happening in the area of cultural dialogue, and to include in the various countries" strategic programmes objectives concerning the accessibility for disabled people of health care, education and public buildings in that country;

90.  Supports the assistance provided by ECHO and disability NGOs in emergencies; stresses that psychiatric problems caused by conflicts must be diagnosed and treated, particularly in children;

91.  Asks the Commission to record the various ways of caring for and treating disabled people in the countries with which it has Cooperation Agreements and to identify and reinforce good practice, while remaining aware of the particular circumstances of each country;

92.  Insists that the unacceptable differences between rich and poor countries in the options available for treating post-infection and post-trauma disabilities must be reduced as a priority through appropriate programmes;

93.  Calls on the Member States and the Council to continue their support for an International Convention to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities, to actively support its resolution of 3 September 2003 and to ensure that the UN Convention includes effective monitoring and implementation mechanisms at both national and international level, also guaranteeing the active participation of representative disability organisations throughout the process;

94.  Reiterates its call on the Commission and the Council to strongly support initiatives to promote and enhance the fight against caste discrimination in all relevant United Nations fora; calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the issue of caste discrimination and policies to combat this wide-spread form of racism is properly addressed in all country strategy papers, mid-term reviews of these and communications on countries affected by it;

95.  Deplores that no action has been taken by the Commission and the Council to enhance the political and human rights dialogue with caste afflicted countries on the issue of the continued dehumanising practice of caste discrimination, and that the effectiveness of EU human rights policy in terms of addressing caste discrimination still remains to be assessed;

96.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the accession countries, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the governments of the countries mentioned in this resolution and the offices of the main human rights NGOs based in the EU.

(1) NB: for all relevant basic texts, please consult the table annexed to report A5-0270/2004 of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy.
(2) OJ C 379, 7.12.1998, p. 265; OJ C 262, 18.9.2001, p. 262; OJ C 293 E, 28.11.2002, p. 88; OJ C 271 E, 12.11.2003, p. 576.
(3) CoE document 9901, 11.9.2003.
(4) OJ C 78, 2.4.2002, p. 66.
(5) OJ C 77 E, 28.3.2002, p. 126
(6) OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.
(7) P5_TA(2003)0370.
(8) OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.
(9) P5_TA(2003)0518.
(10) OJ C 20, 20.1.1997, p. 389.
(11) P5_TA-PROV(2004)0154.
(12) P5_TA(2003)0375 adopted 4.9.2003; OJ C 131 E, 5.06.2003, p. 138; OJ C 65 E, 14.3.2002, p. 336; OJ C 377, 29.12.2000, p. 336; OJ C 98, 9.4.1999, p. 270; OJ C 20, 20.1.1997, p. 161; OJ C 126, 22.5.1995, p. 15; OJ C 115, 26.4.1993, p. 214; OJ C 267, 14.10.1991, p. 165; OJ C 47, 27.2.1989, p. 61; OJ C 99, 13.4.1987, p. 157; OJ C 343, 31.12.1985, p. 29; OJ C 172, 2.7.1984, p. 36; OJ C 161, 10.6.1983, p. 58.
(13) OJ C 38 E, 12.2.2004, p. 247.
(14) P5_TA(2003)0462.
(15) P5_TA(2004) 0079.
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Worldwide, resistance and alternatives to free trade

29/11/2016

European Parliament, Brussels, 7 December 2016, 14:30, room ASP1G2 | Followed by three workshops for the follow-up, on 8 December at 09:30 and a short plenary from 11:30 to 13:00.

Worldwide, resistance and alternatives to free trade

Worldwide, resistance and alternatives to free trade

European Parliament, Brussels, 7 December 2016, 14:30, room ASP1G2

(Interpretation: FR, DE, IT, NL, EN, DA, EL, ES, PT, FI, SV, CS)

Introductory words: Gabi Zimmer, President GUE/NGL

Panel 1:  Why we oppose free trade deals, lessons from different parts  of the world:

Moderated by MEP Stelios Kouloglou, Greece

- Jane Nalunga, Southern & Eastern Africa Trade Information & Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Uganda

- Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO - America’s Unions, USA

- Luciana Ghiotto, Attac:TNI, Argentina

- Toni Salvador, Philippine campaign, The Philippines

Panel 2:   Building alternatives to FTAs:

Moderated by MEP Eleonora Forenza, Italy

- Emiliano Brancaccio, Sanio University, Italy

- Manuel Perez-Rocha, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington

- Representative of the Consumers Union of Japan

- Sergi Corbalan, Fair Trade Advocacy Office

Panel 3:  The way forward to consolidate alternatives

Moderated by MEP Helmut Scholz, Germany

-  Ana Cazzini, Campact anti-TTIP campaign, Germany

- Jorge Marchini, Fundación para la integración Latinoam. /CADTM AYNA, Argentina

-  Delmah Ndhlovu, Zimbabwe Small holder Organic Farmers Forum, Via Campesina

-  Adriana Espinosa, Universidad Carlos III, Spain

Concluding words

-  Brid Brenan, Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam

Followed by three workshops (see registration form) for the follow-up, on 8 December at 09:30 and a short plenary from 11:30 to 13:00.

Conference

The current debate over CETA and TTIP in Europe, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and the federal election campaign in the United States, among others, have highlighted how many people, in the both Southern and Northern  countries as well, are deeply concerned about free trade.

Deals like TTIP, CETA, TPP, TiSA, the EPAs, and EU bilateral free trade deals with Japan, Tunisia, Singapore, Mercosur (...) are facilitating an unprecedented level of power for multinational companies; the concentration of wealth among ‘the one per cent’; the liberalisation of public goods and services; an absurd division of labour; the ‘race to the bottom’ of endless and senseless competition; and favouring foreign investors. The neoliberal model of trade and economics is offering no future for those who cannot fit into this model or those who don’t accept exploitation and environmental destruction.

The more these deals and their consequences are imposed on people, the more opposition grows. While the far right is attempting to capitalise politically on this discontent without providing any credible and democratic solutions, progressive organisations and individuals are building real alternatives and fairer approaches to trade are rapidly expanding.

Across all continents, social movements and progressive political forces are organising more and more effectively against free trade agreements, the power of corporations and speculative investors. Millions of people are standing up to defend public health; public services; democracy; cultural diversity; sustainable and autonomous energy; small, medium and cooperative farming; the precautionary principle; the commons; the right of all countries to protect sensitive sectors of their economies; and the free movement of people. Millions of fair and sustainable alternatives based on principle of democracy and solidarity are emerging to replace the current unfair trade model.

GUE/NGL is organising this Conference to facilitate dialogue and coordination among the organisations and individuals who are resisting free trade and building better alternatives for people and for the planet.  

Registration: HERE                       Contact : paul-emile.dupret@europarl.europa.eu

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Motion for a resolution on the EU strategic objectives for the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to be held in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 24 September to 5 October 2016 – B8-2016-0987

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the seriousness of the decline in global biodiversity, which represents the sixth mass extinction of species,

–  having regard to the role of forests and tropical forests, which are the world’s largest reservoir of terrestrial biodiversity and an essential habitat for wild fauna and flora and for indigenous populations,

–  having regard to the forthcoming 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to be held from 24 September to 5 October 2016 in Johannesburg (South Africa),

–  having regard to UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 69/314 on tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife, adopted on 30 July 2015,

–  having regard to the questions of xxx to the Council and to the Commission on key objectives for the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 24 September to 5 October 2016 (O-00088/2016 – B8‑0711/2016 and O‑00089/2016 – B8‑0712/2016),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas CITES is the largest global wildlife conservation agreement in existence, with 181 parties, including the EU and its 28 Member States;

B.  whereas the aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants is not a threat to the survival of the species in the wild;

C.  whereas, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, more than 23 000 species, representing about 30 % of the 79 837 species assessed by IUCN, are threatened with extinction;

D.  whereas tropical rainforests contain 50 to 80 % of terrestrial animal and plant species; whereas today these environments are particularly under threat, including from the commercialisation of species, in particular the exploitation of tropical timber and subsoils; whereas deforestation and the illegal sale of wood are having a disastrous impact on the preservation of forest flora and fauna;

E.  whereas intensive fishing, commercial hunting and the unrestricted exploitation of micro-organisms and sub-seabed resources are harming marine biodiversity;

F.  whereas many species subject to trophy hunting are suffering a serious population decline; whereas over a 10-year period EU Member States declared as hunting trophies imports of almost 117 000 specimens of wildlife species listed in the CITES appendices;

G.  whereas wildlife trafficking has become an organised transnational crime which has major negative impacts on biodiversity and on the livelihood of local populations, as it denies them a legal income, creating insecurity and instability;

H.  whereas wildlife trafficking has become the fourth largest black market, after the drugs, people and arms markets; whereas the internet has come to play a key role in facilitating wildlife trafficking; whereas terrorist groups also use the above types of trafficking to finance their operations; whereas wildlife trafficking offences are not punished severely enough;

I.  whereas corruption plays a central role in wildlife trafficking;

J.  whereas evidence suggests that wild-caught specimens are being laundered through the fraudulent use of CITES permits and claims of captive breeding;

K.  whereas the EU is a major transit and destination market for illegal wildlife trade, especially for the trade in birds, turtles, reptiles and plant species(1) that are listed in CITES appendices;

L.  whereas a growing number of illegally traded exotic species are kept as pets in Europe and internationally; whereas the escape of these animals can lead to an uncontrolled spread affecting the environment and public health and safety;

M.  whereas the EU and its Member States provide substantial financial and logistical support for CITES, and for tackling illegal wildlife trade in many third countries;

N.  whereas the species under CITES are listed in appendices according to their conservation status and levels of international trade, Appendix I containing species threatened with extinction for which commercial trade is prohibited, and Appendix II species in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival;

O.  whereas CITES Appendix I species are strongly protected, whereas any commercial trade in species listed therein is prohibited, and whereas any permit to sell confiscated specimens or products (for example ivory, tiger products or rhino horn) would undermine the aim of the CITES Convention;

P.  whereas efforts to improve transparency in decision-making are essential;

1.  Welcomes the EU’s accession to CITES; considers the accession to be a fundamental step in ensuring that the EU can further pursue the wider objectives of its environmental policies and the regulation of the international trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna, and promote the sustainable development policies of the UN Agenda 2030;

2.  Welcomes in particular the fact that the EU is participating for the first time as a party, and supports the proposals made by the EU and its Member States, in particular the proposed resolutions on corruption and on hunting trophies, the extension of CITES protection to a number of species imported into the EU, notably as pets, and the proposed amendments to Resolution 13.7 (Rev. CoP14) on the control of trade in personal and household effects;

3.  Highlights the fact that the accession to CITES by the European Union has rendered the legal status of the European Union in CITES more transparent vis-à-vis third parties to the Convention; believes that it is a logical and necessary step to ensure that the European Union is fully able to pursue its objectives under its environmental policy; recalls that accession enables the Commission, on behalf of the European Union, to express a coherent EU position in CITES matters and play a substantial role in negotiations during the Conferences of Parties;

4.  Stresses that the European Union became a party to CITES in 2015 and that it will be voting with 28 votes on issues of EU competence at the CITES CoP; in that regard, supports changes to the CoP’s Rules of Procedure which reflect the text of the CITES Convention on voting by regional economic integration organisations and which are consistent with what has been in place in other international agreements for many years, and objects to having the votes by the European Union calculated on the basis of the number of Member States that are properly accredited for the meeting at the time the actual vote occurs;

5.  Welcomes the recently adopted EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking, which aims to prevent such trafficking by addressing its principal causes, improving the implementation and enforcement of existing rules, and combating organised wildlife crime more effectively; welcomes the inclusion in the Action Plan of a specific chapter on strengthening the global partnership of source, consumer, and transit countries against wildlife trafficking; and urges the EU and its Member States to adopt and implement the strengthened Action Plan, which will demonstrate a strong European commitment to tackling wildlife trafficking;

6.  Supports the initiative by the Commission and the Member States to agree on global guidelines on trophy hunting within CITES in order to better control internationally the sustainable origin of hunting trophies of the species listed in Appendix I or II;

7.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to adhere to the precautionary principle with regard to species protection in all their decisions on working documents and listing proposals (as set out in CITES Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP16)) – in particular regarding the import of hunting trophies of CITES species – taking account, in particular, of the user-pays principle, the principle of preventive action and the ecosystem approach; calls on the EU and its Member States, furthermore, to promote the removal of exemptions for permits for all hunting trophies from CITES-listed species;

8.  Demands that all CITES/CoP 17 decisions be based on science, careful analysis and equitable consultation with the affected range states, and be reached in cooperation with the local communities; underlines that any wildlife regulation should incentivise the rural population’s engagement in nature protection by linking their benefit with the state of biodiversity;

9.  Encourages CITES Parties to strengthen cooperation, coordination and synergies between biodiversity-related conventions at all relevant levels;

10.  Calls on the Member States to provide for cooperation, coordination and a prompt exchange of information among all relevant agencies involved in implementing the CITES Convention, in particular the customs authorities, the police, border veterinary and plant health inspection services, and other bodies;

11.  Encourages the EU and its Member States to promote and support initiatives to increase protection against the impact of international trade on species for which the European Union is a significant transit or destination market;

12.  Is concerned that the boundary between legal and illegal trade is very thin as regards the commercialisation of species and their derived products, and that with the cumulative effects of human activity and global warming the great majority of wild fauna and flora species are today threatened with extinction;

13.  Urges the EU to adopt legislation to reduce illegal trade by making it illegal to import, export, sell, acquire or buy wild animals or plants which are taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of the law of the country of origin or transit;

14.  Commits particularly to strongly encouraging all the Member States: to ban the export of raw ivory, as already do Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and some US States; to increase their vigilance with regard to marketing certificates on their territory; to make the fight against fraud effective, in particular at borders; to launch destruction operations of illegal ivory; and to strengthen the penalties for trafficking in protected species (notably elephants, rhinos, tigers, primates and varieties of tropical wood);

15.  Encourages the EU and its Member States, and the wider CITES Parties, further to Articles III, IV and V of the Convention, to promote and support initiatives to improve the welfare of live CITES-listed animals in trade; such initiatives include mechanisms to ensure animals are ‘prepared and shipped so as to minimise the risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment’, that destinations are ‘suitably equipped to house and care for them’, and that confiscations of live specimens are undertaken with due consideration for their welfare;

16.  Is concerned about the impact that ‘banking on extinction’, or the buying of products in the hope that the species concerned will soon be extinct, might have on the protection of endangered wildlife; invites the CITES Parties and Secretariat to carry out further research on whether emerging financial products and technologies such as bitcoin play an enabling role;

17.  Recognises that CITES observers play an important role in providing expertise on species and trade, and in lending their support to capacity-building by the Parties;

Transparency of decision-making

18.  Considers that transparency in decision-making in international environmental institutions is key to their effective functioning; welcomes all voluntary and procedural efforts to increase transparency in CITES governance; strongly opposes the use of secret ballots as a general practice within CITES;

19.  Welcomes the decision made at COP 16 to include a requirement for members of the Animals and Plants Committees to provide declarations of any conflicts of interest; acknowledges, however, that the requirement is based only on a self-assessment by members; regrets that there have been no declarations of any potential financial conflicts of interest from members of these committees so far;

20.  Urges the CITES Secretariat to investigate the potential for an independent review board, or the expansion of the mandate of the Standing Committee to include an independent review panel, in order to create an oversight safeguard for the conflict of interest provisions;

21.  Considers transparency imperative to any funding process and a requisite for good governance, and therefore supports the resolution proposed by the EU on the ‘Sponsored Delegates Project’(2);

Reporting

22.  Considers traceability essential for legal and sustainable trade, whether commercial or non-commercial, and also central to the EU’s efforts to fight corruption and wildlife trafficking and poaching, which is recognised to be the fourth largest illicit market on the planet; in this regard highlights the need for the implementation by all Parties of the e-permitting system, which should be organised transparently and jointly by all of them; acknowledges, however, the technical challenges faced by some Parties in doing so, and encourages the provision of capacity-building support to enable the implementation of the e-permitting system by all the Parties;

23.  Welcomes the decision made at COP 16 on regular reporting by CITES Parties on illegal trade; regards the new annual illegal trade report format, as included in CITES Notification No 2016/007, as a significant step towards developing a better understanding of wildlife trafficking, and encourages all CITES Parties to accurately and regularly report on illegal trade using the prescribed format;

24.  Welcomes private-sector initiatives such as those taken by the International Air Transport Association on e-freight for and by the air cargo supply chain; considers the expansion of such traceability initiatives, especially for the transport sector, to be an important tool in intelligence-gathering;

25.  Highlights the importance of the permit-issuing process in effective data-collection, and thus the key role played by the Management Authorities; reiterates that permit-issuing authorities must be independent, in accordance with Article VI of CITES;

Wildlife trafficking and corruption

26.  Draws attention to cases of corruption where deliberate fraudulent issuing of permits by actors in the permit-issuing authority has occurred; calls on the CITES Secretariat and the Standing Committee to address these cases as a matter of priority and urgency;

27.  Underlines that corruption can be detected at every stage in the wildlife trade chain, affecting countries of origin, transit and destination, and undermining the effectiveness, proper implementation and ultimate success of the CITES Convention; considers, therefore, that strong and effective anti-corruption measures are essential in the fight against wildlife trafficking;

28.  Raises serious concerns over the deliberate misuse of source codes for the illegal trade in wild-caught specimens in the form of fraudulently use of captive-bred codes for CITES species; calls on COP 17 to adopt a robust system for recording, monitoring and certifying trade in ranched or captive-bred species, in both countries of origin and the EU, in order to prevent this abuse;

29.  Urges the CITES Parties to develop further guidance and to support the development of additional techniques and methodologies to differentiate between species originating from captive production facilities and species from the wild;

30.  Condemns the high degree of illegal activity by organised criminal gangs and networks in violation of the Convention, which frequently use corruption to facilitate wildlife trafficking and frustrate efforts to enforce the law;

31.  Urges the Parties that are not yet signatories to, or have not yet ratified, the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption to do so without delay;

32.  Welcomes the international commitment under UNGA Resolution 69/314 (July 2015), inter alia on counter-corruption (Article 10)(3);

33.  Supports EU and Member State initiatives that call for more action in the global fight against corruption under CITES; urges the Parties to CITES to support the EU proposal for a resolution against corruption-facilitating activities conducted in violation of the Convention;

Enforcement

34.  Calls for the timely and full use of sanctions by CITES against Parties that do not comply with key aspects of the Convention, and in particular for the EU and its Member States to make use of the mechanisms available to encourage Parties to comply with the CITES Convention and other international agreements aimed at protecting wildlife and biodiversity;

35.  Underlines the importance of joint international cooperation between all actors in the enforcement chain, in order to strengthen law enforcement capacities at the local, regional, national and international levels; welcomes their contribution, and calls for even more engagement; points to the importance of setting up special prosecutors’ offices and specialised police squads to fight wildlife trafficking more effectively; highlights the importance of joint international enforcement operations under the ICCWC(4), congratulates in this respect the successful COBRA III operation(5); welcomes the EU support for the ICCWC;

36.  Acknowledges the increasing illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products via the internet, and calls on the CITES Parties to liaise with law enforcement and cybercrime units and the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime in order to identify best practices and model domestic measures to tackle illegal online trade;

37.  Calls on the Parties to adopt and implement clear and effective policies to discourage the consumption of products derived from vulnerable wildlife species, to raise consumer awareness of the impact of their consumption on wild species and to inform on the dangers of the illegal trafficking networks;

38.  Calls on the Parties to support the development of livelihoods for the local communities closest to the wildlife concerned and to involve these communities in the fight against poaching and in the provision of information on the effects of the trade in species of fauna and flora threatened with extinction;

39.  Asks for continuing international engagement in order to facilitate long-term capacity building, to improve the exchange of information and intelligence and to coordinate the enforcement efforts of government authorities;

40.  Calls on the Parties to ensure effective prosecution of persons who commit offences related to wildlife and to ensure that they are punished in a manner commensurate with the seriousness of their actions;

Funding

41.  Points to the need to increase the funding being made available for wildlife conservation and capacity-building programmes;

42.  Stresses the need to allocate adequate resources to the CITES Secretariat, especially in view of its increased responsibilities and additional workload; also stresses the need for the timely deposit of financial contributions pledged by the Parties to CITES;

43.  Encourages the Parties to consider increasing the core budget of CITES to reflect inflation and to ensure the proper functioning of the CITES Convention;

44.  Encourages the extension of public-private partnership financing for capacity-building programmes to other areas of the CITES Convention framework, as well as of direct funding, in order to support the implementation of the Convention;

45.  Welcomes the EU funding provided for the CITES Convention through the European Development Fund, and encourages the EU to continue to provide and ensure targeted financial support and, in the long term too, to continue to support specific and targeted financial aid;

Amendments to the CITES Appendices

46.  Expresses its strong support for the listing proposals submitted by the EU and its Member States;

47.  Urges all Parties to CITES and all participants in COP 17 to respect the criteria laid down in the Convention for the inclusion of species in the appendices, and to adopt a precautionary approach in order to ensure a high and efficient level of protection of endangered species; observes that the credibility of CITES depends on its ability to alter listings in response to negative trends as well as positive ones, and therefore welcomes the possibility of downlisting of species only when it is appropriate, in accordance with established scientific criteria, providing evidence that the CITES listing functions well;

African elephant and ivory trade

48.  Notes that with the doubling of illegal killing and the tripling of the quantity of ivory seized over the past decade, the crisis faced by the African elephant (Loxondonta africana) as a result of poaching for the ivory trade remains devastating and is leading to a decline in populations across Africa, and is a threat to the livelihood of millions of people, given that the illegal ivory trade harms economic development, fosters organised crime, promotes corruption, fuels conflicts and threatens regional and national security by providing militia groups with a source of funding; urges the EU and its Member States, therefore, to support proposals that would strengthen the protection of African elephants and reduce the illegal trade in ivory;

49.  Welcomes the proposal submitted by Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Uganda and endorsed by the African Elephant Coalition that seeks to list all the elephant populations of Africa in Annex I, which would simplify the implementation of the ban on international trade in ivory and would send a clear message to the world regarding the global determination to prevent the extinction of African elephants;

50.  Calls on the EU and all Parties to maintain the current moratorium and hence to oppose the proposals made by Namibia and Zimbabwe on the ivory trade, which seek to remove restrictions on trade associated with the annotations to the Appendix II listing of those parties’ elephant populations;

51.  Observes that attempts by CITES to reduce poaching and illegal trade by permitting legal ivory sales have failed and that ivory trafficking has increased significantly; calls for further efforts by the parties concerned under the National Ivory Action Plan process; supports measures for the management and destruction of ivory stockpiles;

52.  Recalls the call made in Parliament’s resolution of 15 January 2014 on wildlife crime on all 28 of its Member States to introduce moratoria on all commercial imports, exports and domestic sales and purchases of tusks and raw and worked ivory products until wild elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching; notes that Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Denmark have already decided to not grant any export permits for pre-Convention ‘raw’ ivory; encourages the EU and its Member States, therefore, to ban the export and import of ivory and prohibit all commercial sales and purchases of ivory within the EU;

White rhino

53.  Regrets the proposal made by Swaziland to legalise trade in rhino-horn from its white rhino population (Ceratotherium simum simum), which would facilitate the laundering of poached rhino-horn into legal trade, undermining existing demand reduction efforts and domestic trade bans in consumer markets, and might fuel poaching of rhino populations in Africa and Asia; urges the EU and all Parties to oppose this proposal, and consequently calls on Swaziland to withdraw its proposal;

African lion

54.  Notes that while African lion (Panthera leo) populations have experienced a dramatic inferred decline of 43 % in 21 years and have recently been extirpated from 12 African States, international trade in lion products has increased significantly; urges the EU and all Parties to support the proposal by Niger, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda and Togo to transfer all African lion populations to Appendix I of CITES;

Pangolins

55.  Observes that pangolins are the most illegally traded mammal in the world, for both their meat and their scales, which are used in traditional medicine, putting all eight species of pangolin (Manis crassicaudata, M. tetradactyla, M. tricuspis, M. gigantea, M. temminckii, M. javanica, M. pentadactyla, M. culionensis) at risk of extinction; welcomes, therefore, the various proposals for transferring all Asian and African pangolin species to Appendix I of CITES;

Tigers and other Asian big cats

56.  Urges the EU and all the Parties to support the adoption of decisions proposed by the CITES Standing Committee which lay down strict conditions for tiger farming and trading in captive tiger specimens and products, as well as the proposal made by India encouraging the Parties to share images of seized tiger specimens and products, which would assist law enforcement agencies with the identification of individual tigers by their unique stripe patterns; calls on the EU to consider providing funding for the implementation of these decisions, and calls for the closure of tiger farms and for an end to be put to the trade in captive tiger parts and products at the CITES COP 17;

Pet traded species

57.  Observes that the market for exotic pets is growing internationally and in the EU and that a large number of proposals have been submitted to list reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish and mammals that are threatened by international trade for the pet market; calls on all the Parties to support these proposals in order to ensure better protection for these endangered species from exploitation for the pet trade;

58.  Calls on the EU Member States to establish a positive list of exotic animals that can be kept as pets;

Agarwood and rosewood

59.  Acknowledges that illegal logging is one of the most destructive wildlife crimes, as it threatens not just single species but entire habitats, and that the demand for rosewood (Dalbergia spp.) for Asian markets has continued to increase; urges the EU and all the Parties to support the proposal by Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala and Kenya for the inclusion of the genus Dalbergia in CITES Appendix II, with the exception of the species included in Appendix I, as this will be a critical contribution to the efforts to halt unsustainable rosewood trade;

60.  Notes that the current exceptions to CITES requirements could allow resinous powder of agarwood (Aquilaria spp. and Gyrinops spp.) to be exported as exhausted powder, and other products to be packaged for retail sale before export, thus evading import regulations; calls, therefore, on the EU and all the Parties to support the United States of America’s proposal to amend the annotation in order to avoid loopholes for trade in this very valuable aromatic timber;

Other species

61.  Urges the EU and all the Parties:

–  to support the proposal from Peru to amend the annotation to Appendix II for the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), as it will consolidate the marking requirements for the international trade in this species;

–  to support the inclusion of the nautilus (Nautilidae spp.) in Appendix II, as proposed by Fiji, India, Palau and the United States of America, given that the international trade in chambered nautilus shells as jewellery and decoration is a major threat to these biologically vulnerable species;

–  to oppose the proposal by Canada to move the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) from Appendix I to Appendix II, as this may exacerbate the significant illegal trade in the species;

62.  Recalls that the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) is on the IUCN list of endangered species and that a huge proportion of the species has been lost, including several entire populations, due to the continuing high demand for the aquarium trade, with main destinations being the European Union and the United States; calls on the European Union and its Member States, therefore, to support the inclusion of the Banggai cardinalfish in Appendix I rather than Appendix II;

63.  Notes that the international trade in raw and worked coral has expanded and that market demand for precious corals has increased, threatening the sustainability of precious corals; urges the European Union and all the Parties to support the adoption of the report on precious corals in international trade submitted by the United States;

64.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Parties to CITES and the CITES Secretariat.

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Geneva (Rep. Office)

100 Electric Vehicles "stamp" #1o5C at UN Gates for Climate Change Action!

“There is no reason why every car cannot already be electric, zero emissions and renewably powered,” says Louis Palmer, founder of the World Advanced Vehicle Expedition (WAVE). “Electric vehicles are here, they are here to stay, they’re fun, attractive and the obvious choice. They are the future.”

Louis, along with 75 teams from 13 nations, and supported by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), entered the finishing phase of a 1,300km traverse from Bremerhaven, Germany on Friday. Sitting behind the wheel of a 100% electric vehicle rally, he had one simple objective: zero emissions for 1.5 degrees.

Now in its 7th year, WAVE Trophy is the largest e-vehicle rally in the world. Conceptualized in the years following two successful round-the-world trips in a solar vehicle, Louis carried forward his enthusiasm and optimism for a brighter future; tackling climate change one electric vehicle rally at a time.

Now an annual event, in 2016 the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) supported WAVE in raising awareness of the #1o5C campaign, an effort to encourage #ZeroEmissions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees; as was agreed during the Paris Agreement one year earlier.

The CVF formed in 2009, and supported by UNDP works to tackle global climate change through collaboration on common goals, communications and the sharing of expertise and experience. It now represents one billion people highly at risk to heat waves, flooding, storms and other weather-related disasters across 43 member states.

On the afternoon of the second last day of their 8-day journey, 100 cars drove upon the Place des Nations in Geneva, stamping #1o5C for all to see. With support from CVF and UNDP (UNEP, CleanTech21, CARE International, UNOSSC, WACAP and CAN), each car was carefully parked in formation for the drone above. As the crowd ‘waved’ in unison, the unified call for zero emissions was echoed for all to see and hear.

With the severity of natural disasters increasing as the planet warms, and the lives of those in the most vulnerable locations threatened; CVF and WAVE unite to remind us all of the way in which we are all able to contribute to a zero emission agenda and a brighter future.

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UNDP and the Global Fund partner with Zimbabwe to strengthen HIV prevention and treatment services

Aug 31, 2016

New York - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Fund strengthened their partnership with additional funding of US$ 143 million to help scale up the fight against HIV in Zimbabwe.

HIV remains a major public health challenge in Zimbabwe with 1.4 million people living with HIV at the end of 2015. Even though the country has seen one of the sharpest declines in HIV prevalence in the region, at 15 per cent it remains among the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world.

The HIV grant aims to increase access to HIV treatment, with a particular focus on the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, expanding HIV testing and counseling services, and scale up of prevention for adolescents and in and out of school youth.

“This timely new funding will sustain and strengthen existing HIV prevention and treatment services in Zimbabwe. Significant advances have been made in recent years but we must not be complacent. Services must continue if we are to further reduce the rate of new HIV infections while also increasing the number of people initiated on to HIV treatment,” said Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe.

Implemented by UNDP, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the National AIDS Council and civil society organizations, the new funding will run from January 2017 through December 2017. The US$ 143 million is additional funding to the Global Fund’s existing HIV grant to Zimbabwe, taking the grant total to US$ 611 million.

Zimbabwe has made great strides in the fight against AIDS, with the support of UNDP, the Global Fund and other development partners. The existing HIV grant supports 880,000 people in Zimbabwe to access life-saving HIV treatment. Between 2014 and 2015, retention of patients on HIV treatment has increased from 87% to approximately 90%, while the proportion of HIV-positive infants born to HIV-positive mothers has declined from 18% to 4% in the same period, corresponding to 14,000 new HIV infections of children being averted.

The grant will be key to reducing the impact of the HIV epidemic and ensuring healthy lives for all, contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring health and well-being for all.

Contact Information

In New York: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist | UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support | Email: sangita.khadka@undp.org | Tel: +1 212 906 5043

In Geneva: Sarah Bel, Communication Specialist | Email: sarah.bel@undp.org | Tel: +41229178544

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UN Gender Focus: reproductive rights, women police officers and solar energy

9 Jun 2016

Listen /

Annah Sango. UN Radio/L. Jarriel

Zimbabwe activist champions sexual reproductive rights for women

Young girls in Zimbabwe struggle with issues ranging from early pregnancy to accessing sexual reproductive services, a young activist has said. Annah Sango, advocacy officer for Africa Young Positives, is in New York to attend a High-Level event in the UN General Assembly on ending AIDS. A political declaration was adopted on Wednesday, setting new time-limited targets to end the epidemic as a public health threat, by 2030. A motivational speaker and life coach, she started her own community-based support group for women affected by HIV. Speaking to Jocelyne Sambira, Ms Sango began by explaining why the conference was important to her and the young girls she works with.

Priscilla Makotose speaking to Daniel Dickinson. Photo: UN Radio

Countries urged to send more women police officers to Darfur

More women police officers are needed in Darfur to help protect millions of people displaced by conflict. The appeal has been made by Priscilla Makotose, Police Commissioner at the hybrid UN-African Union mission there, known as UNAMID. She said although women comprise the majority of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Darfur, women police officers make up just two per cent of the mission's Formed Police Units (FPUs). Daniel Dickinson caught up with Ms Makotose during her recent visit to UN Headquarters to attend a global summit of police chiefs. She began by talking about what it is like to work for peace in Darfur.

Abze Djigma. Photo: UN-OHRLLS

Solar energy: A catalyst for transforming lives in West Africa

Solar energy is lighting the pathway to a better future for rural youth and women in West Africa; that's according to an engineer from Burkina Faso who attended a recent UN conference in Turkey devoted to the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The young people are being trained to install and maintain solar panels, water heaters and other items through a project called MAMA-LIGHT for Sustainable Energy.Princess Abze Djigma, founder of Abze Solar which produces the MAMA-LIGHT line of products, is behind the initiative.Princess Abze spoke to Reem Abaza who began by asking her if there was a conflict between the need for companies to be profitable as well as socially responsible.

Presenter: Jocelyne Sambira
Production Assistant: Ana Carmo
Duration: 10’00″

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