Discussing future development priorities is not enough – the time to act is now! | Plan International Skip to main content

Discussing future development priorities is not enough – the time to act is now!

On 17th October, upon invitation from the European Think Tank Group (ETTG), Plan International CEO Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen participated in an event in Brussels discussing innovation in development: the future of EU International Cooperation. Together with Linda McAvan (MEP, Chair of the DEVE Committee), Adebayo Olukoshi (Chairperson, ECDPM), Alex Their (Executive Director, ODI), Nathalie Tocci (Director, IAI) and Charles Goerens (MEP, DEVE Rapporteur), Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen’s panel discussed the development priorities for the next European Commission and Parliament from 2019. The aim of the discussion was to review and assess the EU’s contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to set an agenda for EU external action in the run up to the European Parliament elections and the installment of the new European Commission.

Plan International CEO’s intervention was all about underlining the "need to put girls’ rights at the top of the EU agenda by adopting an EU feminist international development policy that truly fights inequalities". As she stated in a recent blog “none of the negative things that affect girls are an accident, but the result of specific actions by people in power. Therefore, powerful institutions like the EU must make girls’ rights central to their agenda if we are to help girls succeed in changing the world.”

none of the negative things that affect girls are an accident, but the result of specific actions by people in power

In addition, she sent a strong call to consider the Sustainable Development Goals not as a set of unfulfilled goals, but as a fundamental transformative agenda that we should implement with a sense of urgency. This was echoed by other panelists who agreed that the EU must ensure that its Development Cooperation priorities seek to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals above all and follow the principle of leaving no-one behind. In order to do so, the EU must put people at the centre of development cooperation and invest in young people and girls.

Discussing the development priorities for the next European Commission and Parliament is not enough. We now have the opportunity to shape these priorities through the next EU budget. Plan International EU Hub has been working with EU institutions to ensure that the SDGs, girls’ rights and the fight against inequality are reflected in the next 7-year EU budget. During the second panel of the event, EU HR/ VP Federica Mogherini also reiterated the importance of investing in the SDGs, human development, gender equality and youth. So what are we waiting for to act?

 

Photo - © European Union 2018 - Source : EP