2015, a test for social cohesion

What is the most important call to action for the global development community?

With three major events in quick succession that impact the direction of global development — the third International Financing for Development Conference later this month, the U.N. General Assembly in September where the sustainable development goals will be adopted and the Paris climate summit in December — 2015 is arguably a year that will also decide the future of our planet.

At the European Development Days 2015 in Brussels, Belgium, Devex asked key members of the global development community for their single most important call to action for this pivotal year.

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director, shared that financing should go beyond official development assistance, stressing a need for more domestic funding and more innovative ways to finance development.

Heidi Hautala, Green League member of the European Parliament said donors need to do more than reach the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income, because not doing so is setting up developing countries for disappointment.

Renate Baehr, executive director at DSW Worldwide, said the global development community must look for various channels to finance development, and involve aid recipient countries in the process.

Tim Roosen, EU coordinator at Action for Global Health, meanwhile cautioned against “increasingly using loans” which are risky and could eventually do more harm than good.

Maarten van Aalst, director at Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center, said these events are mostly conducted between governments, whereas implementation is done at the local level. He said there must be a way to translate the discussions on the international level to the local government and community levels, as well as involving the private sector.

2015 is a test for social cohesion, Achim Steiner, executive director at the U.N. Environment Program said. The biggest challenge for global development is to find a “credible answer to how 9 billion people can share resources on this planet.”

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About the author

  • Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.