On 13 July 2015, Romain Schneider, Luxembourg's Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, participated in the opening of the Third Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Along with the United Nations Summit in New York in September and the Paris Climate Conference in December (COP21), the Addis Ababa conference ranks among the three major events on the road to sustainable development to be held during Luxembourg's Presidency. The New York Summit aims to set out future sustainable development goals for the post-2015 development agenda (SDG). However, prior agreement on the means for implementing the agenda is desirable.
Romain Schneider noted that these three events will "map out the future of our planet", and expressed hope that the agreement will herald "a better future for all to live in dignity", echoing the slogan of the European Year for Development.
At the joint press conference with Nevin Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Romain Schneider, on behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, presented the contribution of the European Union.
"Collectively, the EU is already the largest donor of official development assistance and a pioneer in the design and use of innovative financing mechanisms", stated Neven Minica before noting that the European Union has renewed its commitment to contribute 0.7% of its GNI to development cooperation. Romain Schneider expressed hope that many other countries would follow in the EU's footsteps. However, he noted that development aid is not the only way of implementing future sustainable development goals. "Domestic resources must also be mobilised", the Minister argued, also stressing the importance of tax issues and the crucial role of the private sector. "Regulation and support at political level" in relation to the financial resources are also crucial for the Minister.
The European Union must play a "constructive role" Romain Schneider indicated, expressing hope that the conference will be a success. The EU wants an agreement in Addis Ababa which is based on a new global partnership involving all countries around the world, on an equitable basis, and which can mobilise all possible means, both financial and non-financial, to finance the post-2015 Development Agenda. Integration of the three dimensions of sustainble development (economic, social and environmental) is key to the EU position
The Minister relayed this message at a round-table event on the "global partnership and three dimensions of sustainable development". In his speech, Romain Schneider stressed his desire to "see the need to address the social dimension of sustainable development taken properly into account", which he believes to be crucial to success with regard to the other two dimensions. Romain Schneider welcomed the concept of the "new social compact" on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which provides for setting up national social protection systems and the call for investment in essential public services such as health, education, water and sanitation.