Press Release 35/2013
8 February 2013
Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala will attend the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation being held in Dublin on 11 and 12 February. The agenda for the meeting includes, among others, the post-2015 international development goals and the crisis in Mali.
The existing UN Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. Preparation of the following international development goals is under way. Finland considers it important that during the drafting process the EU acts coherently and supports the UN’s responsibility for leadership in the matter. The ministers will also discuss this topic at a working dinner, where the participants will include former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg.
With regard to Mali, there is a consensus in the EU that the root causes of the crisis are not removed by means of a military operation. Alongside military action, there is a need for both humanitarian aid and development cooperation that help to attain stability and more permanent change. The displacement of people stemming from the crisis and the massive development challenges require several years of work. The ministers for development will discuss the means of development cooperation in an extremely difficult situation.
The ministers will also discuss the continuing of international support from disaster relief through reconstruction to long-range development cooperation. Owing to the repeated crisis-proneness of the Horn of Africa, the EU compiled a comprehensive plan for the region in late 2011. The plan aims to strengthen the Horn of Africa and its communities and to reduce their dependence on disaster relief. This largely involves stressing the continuum between humanitarian aid and development cooperation, but also means consideration of the political situation. Further, the ministers will discuss how to benefit from experiences of the EU’s common strategy on the Horn of Africa in other areas as well. Finland considers close cooperation important so that, alongside the urgent need for humanitarian aid, it is possible to address the causes of crises and to reduce the vulnerability of societies.
Additional information: Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to the Minister for International Development, mobile tel. +358 40 522 9869, and First Secretary Katja Ahlfors, Unit for General Development Policy and Planning, tel. +358 9 1605 6272