The 13th edition of the European Development Days (EDD), the leading global forum on development cooperation, has been kicked off in Brussels. The two-day event will welcome more than 8,000 participants from 140 countries worldwide, representing 1,200 organisations from the development community, including Heads of State or Government, leading experts, key influencers and young leaders.
This year's European Development Days theme is ‘Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind'. It will debate successes and failures in addressing inequalities in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the SDGs.
Ahead of the event, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “In these turbulent times, the EU is a force for good in this world and a reliable partner for all. We are the world's largest development donor, but this is not charity, it is investment. Investment in growth, jobs and in building a better future for young people across the globe.”
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, emphasised: “The European Development Days are about giving a voice to the whole development community, from world leaders to NGOs, business and industry leaders. Addressing inequalities is a necessary step in making our development cooperation more efficient and more meaningful in order not to leave no one behind.”
President Jean-Claude Juncker opened the European Development Days, and in addition, Commissioners Neven Mimica, Christos Stylianides, Marianne Thyssen, Pierre Moscovici and Mariya Gabriel participated in different events.
Among high-level speakers and participants were Her Majesty Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians; Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda; Jorge Carlos Fonseca, President, Republic of Cabo Verde; Macky Sall, President, Republic of Senegal; Charles Michel, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Belgium; Lotay Tshering, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Bhutan; and Antonio Tajani, President, European Parliament. Tony Blair, David Miliband and Cesar Alierta are among the many other leading figures from partner organisations.
In addition to a wide variety of sessions and high-level panels, the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2019 will be awarded to three journalists in recognition of outstanding reporting on development cooperation issues such as gender equality, health or climate change.