The 2015 edition of European Development Days (EDD15) comes at a critical juncture for the future of the planet, with key decisions on the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be taken at the Financing for Development Conference in July, the United Nations General Assembly in September and ambitious new goals to combat global warming expected in December.
“This is a now or never moment for the international community,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “For the sake of the planet and its people, it’s time to take bold decisions to put the world on a path towards sustainable development and eradicate poverty once and for all.”
European Development Days is the flagship event of the European Year for Development, whose motto – ‘our world, our dignity, our future’ - is reflected in the main themes of the Brussels forum.
Over 500 speakers, experts, practitioners and decision makers will contribute to the debate at EDD15, including:
Following the opening ceremony of EDD15 on June 3, Melinda Gates will join EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and other global leaders to announce new measures to address the global challenge of malnutrition. On 4 June, Commissioner Mimica will also sign a partnership to deepen regional integration with five regional organisations from Eastern and Southern Africa.
- European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker
- Co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates
- HM Queen Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians
- President of the 69th United Nations General Assembly, Sam Kutesa
- Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan
- Dr Denis Mukwege, Founder and Medical Director of Panzi Hospital and laureate of the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
Participants from over 140 countries, representing 1,200 organisations will have a chance to discuss how to create sustainable growth, develop a shared vision of universal and fundamental rights and show that smart policies can improve the lives of millions of people.
14 young adults from all over the world have been selected to take part in different sessions at the event, as part of the Future Leaders competition which will give young experts a platform to express their views on how future development policy should look . In addition, EDD15 will showcase over 50 examples of best practice in the field of international cooperation.