CONGDE: 0.7 must be a firm commitment

Madrid, December 1, 2009.- Following statements of the Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation on the existing difficulties to achieve allocation of 0'7% of the GDP to Official Aid for Development, the Spanish NGO coordinator reminds that this must be a firm commitment and encourages the government to uphold it during the European Presidency.

In a context of crisis that is strongly hitting the poorest countries that have no social protection, it is important for the government to uphold its commitment with the Official Aid for Development that was in the electoral programme of the Socialist party of the general elections in 2004 and in 2008.

In addition the Foreign Secretary, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, said last May that "Spain keeps up its commitment to reach 0'7% of the GDP for cooperation for development in 2012 and added "I will appeal so that it will not be a reference number but a compulsory commitment of the main developed countries".

In spite of these public statements, the Coordinator reminds that it is worrying to see that the General Budget does not include the commitment to deliver 0.56% of GDP to foreign aid in 2010. This trend is also present at the regional budget level. Out of the 17 autonomic coordinators at least 7 have stated that their regional governments will reduce considerably their budgets for ODA.

The CONGDE reminds the government that to reach 0,7% by 2012 is a possible political objective and that it has the support of the main political parties in the State Agreement Against Poverty and a wide social support.

As next hosts of the European Presidency, the government must be an example for the compliance of its international commitments with the less favoured. 2010 will be the European Year for Eradicating Poverty and a crucial year for demonstrating the true political will of governments with important highlights such as the Declaration of the Millennium Goals and the Beijing Declaration.