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Participants at the European Development Days (EDD 2016) underscored the role of partnerships in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The tenth anniversary of the EDD, which was organized by the European Commission (EC), focused on 15 topics related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

edd16 June 2016: Participants at the European Development Days (EDD 2016) underscored the role of partnerships in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The tenth anniversary of the EDD, which was organized by the European Commission (EC), focused on 15 topics related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The EDD 2016, which took place from 15-16 June 2016, in Brussels, Belgium, brought together the development community to share experiences and ideas with the aim of inspiring innovative solutions and partnerships to address pressing global problems. The EDDs promoted youth as a driving force behind global development efforts, and highlighted the importance of engaging youth on a path to sustainability by bringing young leaders from EU partner countries to participate in debates on development policy and international cooperation.

“National borders do not defend against climate change, emerging diseases or economic shocks,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told participants in an opening speech. He noted that “only as a global family” can we overcome global challenges. Ban also stressed the universality of the SDGs, observing that “all countries” have inequality and youth unemployment, need to promote gender equality, and are vulnerable to economic instability. Ban underscored the role of development cooperation in SDG implementation, including meeting the Official Development Assistance (ODA) targets and ensuring comprehensive financing and inclusive, innovative partnerships. He also called for improving links between development and humanitarian relief.

On climate change, Ban said he will convene an event during the high-level event of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2016 for countries to deposit their instruments of ratification and to advance efforts to bring the Paris Agreement on climate change into force.

On resilience, the EC launched its action plan to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which aims to reinforce efforts to increase resilience to disasters within and outside the EU. The UN Office for DRR (UNISDR) shared its work to build capacity for integrating climate change adaptation and DRR during a session. Participants called for ensuring coherence between indicators in the Sendai Framework and the SDGs.

The EC and the World Bank adopted a Joint Declaration on strengthening action in sustaining peace and increasing impacts in situations affected by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) situations, stressing the importance of strengthening and improving partners in FCV areas to achieve the SDGs.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) presented a toolbox to help countries localize the SDGs. A UN SDGs Hub brought together people from around the world via a digital platform that enabled participants to explore data for development, such as from the MY World 2030 Survey. UN Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Director General Li Yong underscored the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships, particularly with the private sector, in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) advocated for access to information and press freedom as part of efforts to achieve SDG 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels). Highlighting the need for safety of all media personnel, UNESCO showed a virtual reality film, ‘In Their Press Vests,’ on the risks faced by Syrian journalists.

The EU announced development support for a number of countries at the event. EC President Jean-Claude Juncker signed a joint declaration with Ethiopia, ‘Towards an EU-Ethiopia Engagement.’ EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Minica announced support to build resilience and enhance youth employment in Somalia, as well as support for statebuilding, peacebuilding and rule of law, among other areas. The EU also committed to support for improving the quality, equity and relevance of tertiary education in Mauritius. [UN Press Release] [EU Press Release 1] [EU Press Release 2] [World Bank Press Release 1] [World Bank Press Release 2] [UNISDR Press Release] [UNRIC Press Release] [UNDP Press Release] [UNIDO Press Release] [UNESCO Press Release] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [UN Press Release on Secretary-General Statement] [EDD Website]

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