Doha, 1 December 2008 Press release

Winkler: "Doha - a commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals"

State Secretary Hans Winkler at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Doha

Doha, 1 December 2008 – "Doha constitutes a commitment to achieving the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals. Austria, too, has once more expressed its clear commitment to them in Doha, advocating increased efforts at all levels," said State Secretary Hans Winkler at the Second International Conference on Financing for Development.

"Austria is aware of its international responsibility. The government programme therefore explicitly states that Austria will substantially increase Austrian Development Cooperation funds as well as voluntary contributions to international development organisations within the next four years. The signpost indicating the direction for the next four years has thus been put up. It is a good basis for the forthcoming budget negotiations under the new Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger," affirmed the State Secretary.

"A successful conclusion of the Doha negotiations on a final document in the course of the next few days would be seen by many as an important signal towards a more just global development," stated Winkler, explicitly pointing out that in addition to higher funds for public development cooperation it was also necessary to identify new approaches to financing development and develop a fairer trade system. "Improved framework conditions therefore play a key role in sustainable economic and social development. Joint programme development and the use of existing structures by the partner countries, close cooperation with the civil society and national parliaments, equal rights for men and women, women’s integration into all development plans, policies and budgets as well as mutual trust are indispensable prerequisites for this. I hope that Doha will close tomorrow with a positive result," concluded the State Secretary.

The commitments made by the industrial countries regarding the increase in funds for development cooperation, the developing countries’ own responsibility for their development, aid efficiency, WTO negotiations, gender issues and the question of how to deal with the effects of the financial crisis and climate change have been particularly controversial issues in Doha to the very end of the conference.

Federal Ministry for
European and international Affairs
Katharina Swoboda
Office of the State Secretary
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3469