Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation : Minister Jean-Louis Schiltz addresses the Luxembourg Parliament in his annual policy speech
The Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Jean-Louis Schiltz, addressed the Luxembourg Parliament in his annual policy speech on 25 March 2009. The Minister reflected on the consequences of the world economic and financial crisis on development and called on all donor countries to keep their development cooperation commitments in order to help achieve the MDGs, notwithstanding the crisis. While Luxembourg’s ODA currently stands at 0.92% of its GNI, the Minister confirmed the Government’s determination to soon reach its goal of 1%. Minister Schiltz warned that the economic crisis might generate social and political unrest in many countries if development efforts faltered, with significant long term costs. He insisted on the importance of carrying out development assistance in true partnership with the developing countries, a principle that is at the heart of Luxembourg’s development cooperation policy.
In his speech, the Minister outlined ten proposals to further enhance Luxembourg’s development cooperation, building on its principles of transparency, coherence with other government policies (for example on security and defense, on climate change and the environment), enhanced operational strategies, a continuous focus on the basic social sectors, and close cooperation with local authorities, non-governmental actors and think-tanks in the field of development cooperation. Luxembourg will continue to be active in the area of microfinance, drawing on the expertise of its financial sector, and is currently exploring possibilities to use telecommunications to accelerate development efforts.
The debate following the Minister’s address emphasized the support all political parties are lending to an ambitious development agenda. In a motion that was passed unanimously, the Parliament encouraged the Government to pursue its efforts to reach the ODA/GNI target of 1%.