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Kryštof Hádek

Kryštof Hádek
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European Commission Make Europe Sustainable For All Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance Department
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Our Demands

Increase the volume of Czech Official Development Assistance in accordance with pledges of EU member states up to 0, 7 % of GNI till the year 2015.

At present the funds provided for Official Development Assistance by the Czech Republic represent 0,11 % GNP only. Nevertheless, already 36 years ago the world's developed countries pledged to increase their assistance to world's poor countries to 0,7 % GNP. There cannot be any doubts about the fact, that the Czech Republic belongs among developed countries – it is a member of the OECD associating the world's most developed countries and member of the European Union.

Following the Human Development Index (HDI) used as a measure of country's development, the Czech Republic is the thirty-second best place for living worldwide and following the World Bank indicators it is the 34th richest country of the planet, being counted into the richest fifth of world's countries. Although we appear to be generous and large-handed when crises and natural catastrophes strike, for the long-term development Czech Republic gives nine times less than Norwegians and three and a half times less than an average European. The Czech government promised to make efforts in order to increase the funds for development assistance to 0,17 % by 2010. But already in 2015 should be fulfilled the Millennium Development Goals defined by the UN adopted by all the countries, Czechia included. And that would not be possible to achieve without at least a share of 0,7 % GNP.

Establishing a Development Agency to make development co-operation effective and transparent so that it would really reflect priorities of developing countries and contribute to fulfillment of Millennium Development Goals and would not support the Czech export.

We demand that in order to align with policy of other European countries a professional development agency needs to be put in charge of administration of the development cooperation funds, so they will not be in the future managed only by uncoordinated officials in nine Ministries, as it has been by now. We demand that projects are in particular defined by the Millennium Development Goals and not follow the current objectives of foreign policy interests. It is very important that the funds, destined for the fight against extreme poverty and for the provision of elementary social services in developing countries, would be really used for these purposes and not for the support of Czech export. Czech Republic has already made the first steps toward rationalization of the institutional framework of the foreign development cooperation. On September 19, 2007 the government approved a transformation of the foreign development cooperation system, including the creation of a state organizational unit – the Development Center by January 1, 2008 (Government Decree nr. 1070).

Promote and push forward responsible solution and implementation of national programs in recipient countries to reach the Millennium Development Goals under democratic control and participation of civil society.

In order to ensure a better use of development assistance resources, it is necessary to create a new communication framework between donor and recipient countries reflecting the real development needs. Strategic development plans should be based on the cooperation of public, civic and private sectors and ought to be oriented in particular to the groups and the regions marginalized up to now. The jointly created control mechanisms should not become tools of protraction and pressure, but are supposed to hamper the corruption on both sides, to increase the potential of good governance in recipient countries and to improve the development assistance in donor countries.

Empower position of women in poor countries through Czech programs of development cooperation.

Within the framework of all programs the gender mainstreaming approach should be integrated, which means that within all policies, adopted measures and programs (including their financing), the equal chances for men and women should be taken into account and should be fulfilled the Beijing Declaration and the Action Platform adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women and equally the pledges of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This measure is indispensable also because women are in general more threatened by poverty and by non-transparent decisions, on which they do not or cannot participate for the reason of their weak political involvement.

Relieve the poorest countries of undue debts, which are owed to rich countries, International Monetary Fund and other creditors. Cancel all illegitimate debts, which were set in without foreknowledge of its citizens and were used against their interests.

Relief of undue debts would for the developing countries mean a possibility of investing seven times more funds into education and health than they are receiving within the framework of development assistance. Annually it could save the lives of approx. 7 million children and it would allow 30 million girls and women to access elementary education. At the same time as the debt relief would be effectuated, a mechanism preventing illegitimate debts and irresponsible credits should be also created for the future. An appropriate tool would be e.g. the creation of a debt arbitrage.

Ensure fair and transparent rules of international trade and their implementation in policies of governments and international institutions in order not to advantage rich countries unilaterally.

Due to their weak economic power, political influence and limited possibilities of analyzing and negotiating of their own interests, the poor countries have had until now only little influence on the establishment of international trade rules. On the contrary, the European industry lobbyist groups are very influent. Poor countries need to obtain more weight in the WTO. The rules of intellectual property (TRIPS) need to be changed in such a way that poor countries would get access to new technologies and essential drugs. The government should have the obligation to publish contacts and proposals of all the organizations striving for influence its trade policy.

Set up mandatory international rules to protect public services against such privatization and liberalization which limits development.

Public services have always been the basis for development of every successful country. But the citizens of poor countries suffer from insufficient access to health care, elementary education or access to drinking water, sanitary equipments and energies, not speaking about their quality. In the poor countries forced liberalization of public services is restraining the space necessary for the realization of policies contributing to the fulfillment of Millennium Development Goals. Equally public support of the elimination of water management from the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) will be necessary and to stop the practice of conditioning credits provision to the poor countries or their access to the European markets by further liberalization.

Increase social responsibility of transnational corporations in the area of human rights, environment protection and local development.

Despite the fact that the companies operating in many countries by intermediary of branch offices declare in the country of origin their social profitability, the effect they are having once in the poor countries, is exactly the opposite. In particular, it is the negative effect of natural resources exploitation, catastrophic working conditions and child work, ecologic damages and harmful influence on the local community. Therefore it is necessary that these companies accept their corporate social responsibility in all the regions, where they operate. To achieve this objective, corporate social responsibility of wholesale business and of commercial chains should also contribute. Certain companies have already pledged to sell only the goods produced at ethically acceptable conditions and for instance also to extend the assortment of Fair Trade goods.

Launch a significant and systematic reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases in the Czech Republic – global climate change may hit mostly the poor countries.

The detailed scientific calculations are warning that increasing pollution with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has been changing the world's climate; in the next ten years floods, hurricanes, windstorms should be more frequent and stronger and heat or drought waves, spreading of tropical diseases, flooding of coastal lowlands with raising sea level, or lack of water in torrid areas should worsen. The worst consequences will afflict the developing countries. The Czech Republic belongs to European champions in carbon dioxide emissions per capita and is even among the first ten worst world's industrialized countries. The reason of the high Czech pollution is coal-fired electric plants, foundries or chemical plants, the energy losses in industry and the growing number of cars and trucks. Clean and efficient technologies and necessary legislations are already invented. All that is needed is to start using them.

Stop subsidized export of European agricultural products below the costs of production which is harmful to farmers in developing countries.

The EU agriculture policy formulated after the WWII within the context when food self-sufficiency was needed is already absolutely inconvenient at present. The subsidies reaching almost 1 % GDP create chronic over-production. This subsidized production ruins local farmers, when it is exported to the developing countries and equally it contributes to generally used intensive production methods with negative impacts on environment, living conditions of domestic animals and on human health. The solution is in re-orientation of the subsidies system either to landscape or energetic functions, or to the development of ecologic agriculture, local production or agrotourism. At the same time it is necessary to cease immediately to subsidize agriculture products exported to the developing countries.

Every person on this planet consumes an amount of energy, corresponding to the equivalent of more than 1,6 tons of oil per year. While about 2 billion people do not have access to any source of electric energy at all. Goal 7

Goal 7
Ensure environmental sustainability

Illustrations to MDGs were created by students of Hollar Graphic School in Prague