Taking advantage of the “magical” date 7th July 2007 (07/07/07), the Assembly of European Regions (AER, aer.eu) has launched today a major initiative in favour of the so-called “Development Target”, whose final aim is to invest the 0,7% of national GDP in development cooperation.
Marie-Françoise Muller (Vice-President of Burgundy-F), President of the AER Sub-Committee “Interregional and International Co-operation” has launched an appeal in favour of increased efforts in Europe: “I call on the European Regions to mobilise public aid for development, in order to reach the goal of 0,7% of national GDP by 2015 and to participate in the realisation of the UN Millennium Development Goals!”.
On 07/07/07, the AER has also unveiled its new website on International Solidarity, which will become soon a forum for the AER Member Regions, where they will be able to present their development activities as well as their best practice, and where they will promote interregional cooperation in the field of development policies between the AER Member Regions and international institutions (such as the EU or the United Nations).
Currently, thirteen AER Member Regions are involved in development issues within the framework of the International Solidarity Working Group. The Working Group intends to promote and coordinate the development activities of the AER Member Regions, in order to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
In particular, the AER focuses on the United Nations Development Programme and on the European Commission, in order to better involve the European regions in their development programmes and make development policies better targeted and more coherent.
The AER is also working on opening international development programmes for regions in a more efficient manner, so that regions get better access to funding in the field of development programmes.
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