Uutinen 18.2.2010

Minister Väyrynen: Transatlantic partnership full of possibilities

Press release 47/2010
18 February, 2010

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen stressed the wide possibilities offered by transatlantic development partnership in his address at the Informal Meeting of EU Development Ministers held in Spain on 18 February. The goals and principles of the partnership were also on the agenda of Väyrynen’s meeting with Rajiv Shah, the new Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The partnership launched at Finland’s initiative has gained high-level political approval on both sides of the Atlantic in a short time, and concrete guidelines for carrying cooperation forward are now being prepared.

“Earlier we have initially defined three pilot sectors where action can be taken to deepen cooperation between the EU and the United States. Attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, food security and the impacts of climate change are central themes for poverty reduction,” Väyrynen stated.

Väyrynen also emphasised that at the same we must think of how we can apply closer and better coordinated cooperation to promote, for instance, African regional integration and to improve the continent’s possibilities to participate in international processes. In Väyrynen’s opinion, the goal should be the provision of assistance especially for the poorest countries.

“No one can really be satisfied with the outcome of the climate conference in Copenhagen. We cannot afford not to use the opportunity afforded to us by joint commitment of the EU and the United States to a much more ambitious agreement, drawing developing countries into the agreement as well. In the WTO trade negotiations, the EU and the United States are responsible for ensuring that the interests of the very poorest countries are considered in the negotiation round – which is called the Doha development round for a reason,” Väyrynen said in giving examples.

Väyrynen also pointed out that transatlantic cooperation must be anchored in sustainable development principles.

“The economy must be based on a sustainable foundation. Our activities must be based on environmental sustainability and maintaining the biodiversity of nature. And for our activities to bring long-term results in developing countries, developing countries themselves must be committed to the principles of good governance, rule of law and democracy.”

Additional information: Director General Jorma Julin, mobile tel. +358 40 742 5279, and Päivi Nevala, Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, mobile tel. +358 40 753 4375