Spindelegger on European Development Days: “Making development cooperation still more effective”
Vienna, October 22nd 2009 - “Development cooperation programmes are a European key concern. We have a common goal: making development cooperation still more effective. The European Development Days are an expression of our joint commitment,” stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger on the occasion of the European Development Days, which take place from 22 to 24 October in Stockholm.
This year, the European Development Days are being held for the fourth time. Meanwhile, they are considered the European development forum. Numerous lectures, discussions and workshops try to find global solutions to economic crisis and climate change as well as democracy, security and development. 5,000 representatives from the EU Member States, development agencies, non-governmental organisations and partner countries are expected to participate. The Austrian Development Cooperation is represented by experts and an information desk on Austrian Development Cooperation projects.
Security and development are topics that are of special concern to Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger. “Our goal is to raise awareness of the economic and social effects of peace-keeping missions and make optimal use of synergies for the development of societies,” stated Spindelegger. Together with partners from Sweden, Germany and a British umbrella organisation of non-governmental organisations, Austria has organised a panel discussion on Security and Development – the Impact of International Missions on Local Society. “The aim is a better interaction between international presence and local development. Security and development are contingent upon each other: there can be no development without security. Better cooperation between the actors in the fields of security and development policy is therefore essential for the consolidation of peace and reconstruction,” stated the Foreign Minister. Ambassador Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, head of the Development Cooperation Department at the Foreign Ministry, will present the Austrian initiative in Stockholm together with representatives from Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.
The European Development Days are also taking a practical approach to subjects such as climate change and energy: for the first time, the event will be held in a predominantly “climate neutral” manner. All participants are called upon to offset their carbon footprint by contributing to a CO2 compensation programme of their choice.