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‘European Development Days’ Forum Kicks Off in Brussels | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The European Union flag flies outside of EU headquarters in Brussels, file photo (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Brussels – The 11th edition of European Development Days kicks off on Wednesday in Brussels, with a special focus on investing in development.

The event is expected to gather around 7,000 participants and will discuss challenges facing the world, as well as various approaches to dealing with such challenges.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on the eve of the event: “Europe is the smallest continent, but it is also the richest. And as the richest, we have to help others not so fortunate in the lottery of birth to catch up.”

“Development aid is a word of the past. It is about partnership, not aid. And it is time we invested more in that partnership,” he added.

The European Development Days will witness the signature of the European Consensus on Development, a strategic document that outlines the future of European development policy.

For the first time, the Consensus will apply in its entirety to all EU institutions and all member states, who are committed to work more closely together.

The forum in Brussels will bring together heads of state or government and business leaders to discuss and share visions on sustainability, inclusivity, peace and prosperity, while focusing on the roles of youth, women and the private sector in development cooperation.

Among the high level speakers of the event are Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and EU High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherini.

Few days ahead of the forum, the European parliament voted in favor of the new Consensus on Development in a resolution adopted by 405 votes to 70, with 159 abstentions.

The consensus aims to unite the global Sustainable Development Goals with the EU’s development policy.