Statement on Behalf of the European Union by Mr. Tom Kitt T.D., ECOSOC, High Level Ministerial Segment (Part II)
12. The advance of HIV/AIDS in the LDCs is of acute concern. It is now a development crisis which is threatening growth prospects and the achievement of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals. Although the population of the LDCs comprises 11% of the global total, 25.5% of all men living with HIV, 35% of women and 46% of children live in LDCs. Almost 50% of children orphaned by AIDS live in LDCs.
13. The EU has been instrumental in establishing, resourcing and promoting the effectiveness of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We want this new global mechanism to work effectively in its implementation. We are determined to ensure that it promptly disburses funding in support of programmes directed at prevention; treatment and the care of people living with HIV/AIDS and that provide affordable access to medicines and commodities.
14. As the resources devoted to the fight against HIV/AIDS increase, there is a risk of duplication, overlap and lack of coordination. The EU endorses the “Three Ones”: ONE agreed HIV/AIDS Action Framework that provides the basis for coordinating the work of all partners; ONE National AIDS Coordinating Authority, with a broad based multi-sector mandate; and ONE agreed country level Monitoring and Evaluation System.
15. The EU strongly welcomes recent positive developments in relation to the provision of anti-retroviral drugs at affordable prices in the world’s poorest countries. In this context, we underline the importance of the WTO General Council Decision relating to paragraph 6 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. We undertake to proceed, without delay, with the corresponding amendment of the TRIPS Agreement and its implementation in domestic legislation.
16. Threats to the global environment are a common concern of all countries. The LDCs are acutely vulnerable to a variety of natural shocks, including natural disasters and are susceptible to global environmental phenomena such as the loss of biological diversity and adverse effects of climate change which inter alia exacerbates drought, desertification and sea level rise. Such vulnerabilities generate considerable uncertainties and impair the development prospects of these countries.
17. The EU is committed to support the LDCs' efforts in environmental protectionin the context of sustainable development, in particular in achieving the goals contained in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, in complying with the MEA agreements, in formulating national environment policies, in developing and implementing national strategies for sustainable development and in integrating the environment component into national development policies and strategies.
18. In many LDCs in sub Saharan Africa, policies have improved and the capacity to make effective use of resources for development, both domestic and external, has been strengthened. The development policy of the European Community gives priority to LDCs and low income countries in its resource allocation. In January 2004, the EU agreed to consider extending the use of need based allocation criteria to all Community external assistance.
19. The recent UNCTAD LDC report notes that, in real terms, net aid inflows to the LDCs as a group expanded by 36% between 2000 and 2002. This upward trend is linked to the effort of donors to concentrate international assistance more on the poorest countries. The share of total ODA disbursements going to LDCs rose to 28% in 2002.
20. But more needs to be done. As policies and domestic environments improve, LDCs will be able to absorb more ODA and make effective use of the money to reduce poverty. In 2002 EU ODA rose by 5.8% in real terms reaching 0.34% of EU GNI. This amounted to $29 billion, or approximately 50% of global ODA flows. On current trends, collective ODA from the EU of 25 member States should increase to over $40 billion in 2006.
21. The EU is also working to make more effective use of its ODA. We are working towards translating the so called “Barcelona commitments” (March 2002) into practice. We remain committed to the objective of the Rome Declaration on Harmonisation. With 25 member States, we will ensure that, at the country level, our collective ODA is made more effective in order to reduce transaction costs on our partners. We aim to make a substantive contribution to the Second International High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Paris in 2005.
22. The EU is taking the necessary steps to integrate the untying of aid into all EC development cooperation instruments. The EU also supports progress at international level on further untying of aid beyond the recommendations of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee.