Labour MEPs have welcomed the European Year for Development, which was launched this morning in Riga, Latvia.
The year 2015 presents an opportunity for European countries to discuss global development policies, and will redefine how the EU leads the global development framework.
Labour MEP Linda McAvan, chair of the European Parliament development committee, participated in the launch today and will address MEPs on the goals and objectives of the European Year for Development in Strasbourg next week.
Looking ahead, Ms McAvan today said:
"2015 is a vital year for international development policy. As we reach the target date for achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), work is now underway to agree a new global development framework at the UN in September.
"The European Year for Development is a great opportunity to galvanise support for a strong new framework amongst EU citizens. We want the Year to show development policy works, it has concrete effects in improving the lives of millions, but that there is still more to be done.
"A focused European strategy on international development, as well as greater policy coherence for development, is needed to help people living in the world's poorest countries, reduce poverty and co-ordinate EU efforts for a sustainable and inclusive development.
"The EU must play a leading role in these efforts, in partnership with other countries, international organisations and civil society."