European Development Days opened by Prince Philippe

Published: 06 December 2010

Prince Philippe delivered a rousing speech to open the fifth European Development Days.

The event is taking place in Brussels on 6th and 7th December and will involve a series of conferences, seminars and public addresses on the theme of EU development assistance.

Prince Philippe expressed: "The route to being open to the world is knowing who you are yourself and knowing your own roots."

In particular he focused upon the importance of the development of the human being as a whole, and thus the equal importance of the 2015 MDG goals which countries across European are committed to meet.

The Prime Minister of Belgium, Yves Leterme, also spoke at the opening ceremony and expressed similar hopes that the event would be a chance to "reflect on the future of aid", and encourage cooperation between state leaders and NGOs.

He described his "one single goal" for the event of "envisaging together how to do things better" Encouraging mutual recognition of our differences and our diversities.

In particular he congratulated EU countries who have maintained their commitment to development aid despite the current economic crisis. Belgium has already met the MDG target of 0.7% GNI.

Along with Prince Phillipe, Leterme expressed the importance of understanding that human development is more than just economic.

"The human being has to be at the centre of development. We have to help people to become more aware and make their own choices", he said.

Madhav Kumar Nepal (Prime Minister of Nepal), Jose Manuel Durao Barroso (President of the European Commission), Jerzy Buzek (President of the European Parliament), Dr Lesley Anne Knight (EU ambassador of the European Year and Dominique Strauss-Kahn (President of the European Commission) also spoke at the opening ceremony.