Development policy: working for more global justice
The world faces major global challenges: climate change and sustainability, poverty and global security, the development of the economy and labour markets, and the international financial and economic crisis all require cooperative solutions from the international community. None of these problems can be solved separately and no state can deal with them unilaterally. We Greens stand for a holistic understanding of politics. Our concept of Green international politics"joins up" the issues of global justice, human rights, protection of the environment and climate, and social development. We are working for an equitable balance of interests between the world's regions, and between rich and poor. Development policy must contribute to a more equitable form of globalisation. In that sense, we seedevelopment policyas part ofglobal structural policy.
More coherence and coordination are required between trade and financial policy, economic, environmental and development policy. The EU's agricultural export subsidies are one example, which we want to abolish because they devastate markets in the developing countries. We are also opposed to interest-led fisheries agreements which result in the seas off the coast of Africa being fished to depletion. Development policy cannot compensate for such unfair trade and financial policies.
Realising the Millennium Development Goals
Our policies are guided by the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2000. They aim to halve extreme poverty and hunger by 2015, stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, reduce maternal mortality, curb global environmental degradation, improve access to safe drinking water, give all children access to primary education at the very least, and achieve more gender justice. The mid-term review of progress towards the achievement of the MDGs paints an alarming picture, however.
It is a moral and political scandal that more than one billion of the world's people are undernourished and face chronic hunger. We call for a resolute change of course in the campaign against hunger and for the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals.
Keeping our development pledges!
The international community has pledged to increase its development spending to 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) by 2015. Despite the current economic and financial crisis –which affects many developing countries much more severely than the industrialised nations – we should send out a signal of solidarity and honour our financial pledges. To that end, we need:
- increased budgetary resources ,
- new financing instruments : for example, we propose a financial transaction tax and an air ticket levy, with a proportion of the revenue to be used to tackle global problems,
- additional debt relief initiatives for specific developing countries whose situation has deteriorated as a result of the financial crisis.