Vienna, November 24th 2009 – “Challenges - such as high food prices, the consequences of climate change, together with the increasing gap between the poor and the rich - affect all states throughout the world in the same way. Within the framework of development policy, it is therefore imperative to find common solutions to these global crises,” stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger in his speech at the opening of the C3 - Centre for International Development. The Centre sees itself as a place of knowledge, information and encounter, and is comprised of the Austrian Research Foundation for International Development, the two organisations BAOBAB and Women’s Solidarity, the Paulo Freire Centre, the Mattersburg Circle for Development Policy and the Austrian Donations Institute.
“Increasing global networking means that to an increasing extent we have to regard development policy as a global structural policy as well as a cross-sectional task fed by many political spheres. Development policy is not only an important part of Austria’s foreign policy – it is much rather the responsibility of the entire federal government,” affirmed the Foreign Minister. “We therefore want to make use of synergetic effects between development policy and other political spheres such as business, the environment and security - to a higher degree than has been the case thus far. This is the only way to make our development cooperation more effective in the future,” continued Spindelegger. This goal of increased coherence was also clearly expressed in the new three-year Austrian development policy programme, adopted by the Ministerial Council last week.
The new Centre for International Development also makes allowances for this objective: “Research, education and information on development policy are now united under one roof. We are delighted that the proven partners of Austrian Development Cooperation are pooling their forces to achieve synergetic effects. The Centre will play an important role in the field of Austrian development policy and serve as its hub,” concluded Spindelegger.
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