09 November, 2007
The second edition of “European Development Days”, which focuses on climate change, is taking place in Lisbon from 7 to 9 November. Among the officials who participate in the event are the Prime Minister of Portugal, Mr. Socrates, the President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr. L. Michel, as well as former UN Secretary General and current President of the Global Humanitarian Forum’s board, Mr. Annan.
This event, organised for the second time under the auspices of the European Commission, aims at bringing representatives from EU member states, development partners, international organisations and other agencies closer, in order to discuss the major issue of climate change, with the ultimate goal of raising international public awareness and informing the public about the development policy of the European Union and its member states.
This event is held at a purpose-built area, with special room for the participants’ stands. The Greek stand offers a presentation on Greece’s development cooperation policy, and on the Greek Chairmanship of the Human Security Network (May 2007 – May 2008), which focuses on the impact of climate change on human security with regard to vulnerable population groups.
Visitors can view a video on Hellenic Aid's most important activities (humanitarian aid, development programmes), and the Hellenic Aid’s yearbook is also available.
There is also an exhibition of UNEP posters on climate change, entitled: “Melting ice, a hot topic”.
Within the framework of the “European Days of Development”, Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation Mr. T. Skylakakis, took part in yesterday’s round table on climate change and its impact on the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
In his intervention, the Secretary General mentioned the crucial nature of climate change and the extent of its impact on both the developed and developing world, with an emphasis on how it obstructs the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
He stressed the importance of a global approach and the need for collective action in order to address this issue through a long-term international strategy, and also referred to the factors that render this endeavour extremely complicated.
He stressed that a happy medium has to be found in order to avoid a negative impact on the growth of developing countries and in an effort to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. This will make it easier to achieve a fair and equitable international agreement – to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
Addressing climate change, adapting and transferring green technologies to the developing world should be the three basic axes of our international strategy.
“In order to have the opportunity to ensure long-term success, we must follow a development course that consists in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the developing world. (…)
What we do know is that decisions made in the first stages of a development course can be binding for decades. The construction of roads instead of railways, of energy-inefficient buildings, and the deforestation of tourist resort areas are irreversible decisions; decisions you have to live with for the rest of your life."
Finally, Mr. Skylakakis mentioned that Greece aims at the convergence of its climate change and development policies, by incorporating the climate change dimension in bilateral development cooperation programmes, and also on a multilateral level, within the framework of the review of the European Union’s relevant policies.