On the 16th October, at the Palace of Parliament, Bucharest, took place the national debate on development cooperation and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The event was organized by the Civil Society Development Foundation, in partnership with FOND and World Vision Romania, and was funded by the European Commission through a program implemented by UNDP – UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre and UNDP Country Office in Poland.

The debate had as primary objectives:

  1. promoting the European Development Days 2007, mobilizing national media coverage of development/MDGs topics (including MDGs mid-point assessment),

  2. mobilizing participation of Members of Parliaments (MPs) and decision-makers in discussing development topics,

  3. raise awareness on Romania’s responsibility to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs.

At the event participated Romanian NGOs, representatives of the Government, MPs and MEPs, ambassadors, scholars, mass media, EC representative as well as other relevant stake-holders.

 

Bogdan Olteanu, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies and the host of the event, appreciated that it was high time we helped the people in need, and that it was important to acknowledge the role of the actual actors that try to achieve the MDGs and in this process, implicate the civil society as main consultant of the public authorities.

Anton Niculescu presented an overview of the MDGs and of the Romanian participation in the global debate on development.

Machiel Salomons, Acting UN Resident Coordinator for Romania, UNDP, declared that Romania has made an important progress in achieving the MDGs, especially in combating severe poverty and the HIV/AIDS. Moreover he announced that the report on Romania that was published in September this year, and that will soon be made public shows the overall situation in Romania and sets up new ambitious targets for the future.

Valentina Contescu, State Councilor, The Cabinet of the Prime Minister, estimated that by 2015 we will no longer talk of poverty in Romania, severe poverty being out of the question, since by structure Romania is not a poor country.

Vasile Puscas, Secretary of the Committee on European Affairs, Chamber of Deputies, declared that „apart from the fact that Romania is now a donor state, we are interested in correlating the neighborhood policy with the aid assistance policy” and that it is important to continue working with the EU financial instruments in assisting Georgia.

Cosmin Dobran, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development Assistance Unit insisted on the fact that we should focus more on awareness raising among the Romanian citizens concerning Romania’s role as a donor country.

Minodora Cliveti, Chairperson of the Committee on Equal Opportunities, Chamber of Deputies expressed the Romanian Parliament’s view and role in promoting MDGs and  development, particularly to the Goal of achieving gender equality in Romania and in the region.

Joachim Lindau, former chair of Brot fur die Welt made an evaluation of the MDGs significance and process of elaboration. He indicated that MDGs should become an instrument for the civil society for the promotion of development oriented policies by the national governments.

Professor Dan Manoleli, Chairman of Civil Society Development Foundation and Chairman of Black Sea NGO Network, introduced a regional perspective on the Development Goal of Sustainable Development in the Black Sea Region at a moment where the region goes through important environmental challenges in the context of new energy policies.

 

Several Romanian NGOs have presented their contribution to the achievement of the MDGs in Romania through programs and projects aiming to contribute to the eradication of poverty (World Vision Romania), education for all (Save the Children Romania), gender equality (AIDRom) reproductive health (Society for Sexual and Contraceptive Education), combating HIV/AIDs (Center for Health Policies and Servicies) and TB (Romanian Red Cross).

In the last part of the event civil society organizations presented and debated prospects and ideas on future action for the promotion and achievement of MDGs in Romania and through the Romanian development cooperation policy.

Claudia Iatan, National Platform Coordinator, gave a succinct presentation of FOND, the Romanian NGDO platform, specifying that the MDGs are part of the platform’s main objectives and that it strives to improve the life of developing countries such as Moldova and Georgia by using the capacity and the expertise of member organizations.

To see photos from this conference please click Photos from events.

Article on the GCAP site.

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