Vienna, 11 October 2012 - "No single country can solve all the major problems of our time alone", Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said at the "Development Dialogue" event in Parliament today. "The enormous growth in the world population, climatic change and the re-location of the major economic and growth centres are all factors that present the international community with gigantic challenges. Our planet must now provide food for over seven billion people. By 2020 it is expected that there will be 8.17 billion people and 9.6 billion by 2050 - and the trend is rising", Lopatka said. "Against a background of continuing globalisation, political action must also be globalised."
Development policy must not be regarded as an isolated issue in this context, but it must be linked as closely as possible to trade, agricultural and energy policies. "The key to this is in political coherence: all initiatives and projects must be coordinated in a far better manner in order to ensure that optimal synergies are achieved for our measures", the State Secretary said.
As a result of their very rapid growth, countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China or South Africa have changed in status from receivers of development funds to that of "new donors". "These countries are also called upon to take their responsibilities seriously in the solution of worldwide problems", Lopatka said. "It can only be together with the new stakeholders that we can come to grips with the global challenges and deal successfully with them." For example when the issue is that of supplementing the development policy framework with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) after 2015 and the expiry of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
"Demonstrating solidarity and taking on responsibility are vital aspects of our foreign policy and are an argument for Austrian development cooperation", the State Secretary said.
"If we want to secure our own prosperity, then we must do our bit to ensure our neighbours are doing well too."
In a globalised world, these neighbours of ours are no longer simply the peoples of Europe, but also those in Africa, South America and in Asia. That is why cooperation is also essential with the developing and the threshold countries, because prosperity creates jobs, boosts trade and the economy, allows peaceful development and prevents migration flows.
"Austria will make its contribution to sustainable development with clear priorities set in the areas of water, energy, agriculture and forestry, as also in the development of structures for the rule of law", Lopatka concluded.
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