The EU has come under fire for failing to set a deadline for its own financial commitments to aid, a move that activists say could threaten wider talks on funding an ambitious development agenda.
A critical funding summit in Addis Ababa in July is meant to agree how to finance development priorities for the next 15 years. The sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will replace the millennium development goals when they expire this year, will be ratified in September. But campaigners say that, without concrete progress in Addis Ababa, the entire process is in jeopardy.
A meeting last week of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on Development set out the EU’s vision of a new global partnership for sustainable development, including a renewal of member states’ pledges to commit 0.7% of gross national income to aid. But it gave no concrete deadline.
Concord, the European confederation for relief and development, described the pledge as “vague and non-binding” and said 2020 should be the new deadline.
Donor nations have generally failed to fulfil the promise made at the Gleneagles G8 summit of 2005 to meet the UN target. Only five countries – Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and Britain – achieved the 0.7% level in 2014.