While many countries are in better shape today compared to twenty years ago, the world’s poorest will still need help getting access to education, the right infrastructure and skills. This is why the EU remains the biggest donor of aid in the world. Last year we gave 53 billion euros (US$66.9 billion) in development aid — more than half of the aid gifted by the entire world, and this is why we will stick to our promises. Despite the current financial crisis, the EU countries recently reaffirmed this commitment which would translate into important additional development aid by 2015, including for projects related to the Rio outcome.
So, what kind of future do we want? Here’s the answer from 17-year old Brittany Trilford from New Zealand, winner of the Future We Want competition and who will address leaders in Rio: “Frankly, I’d be happy to just have a future. To have that guaranteed. Right now, it’s not.”
It is not only about the future of Brittany’s generation and generations to come. It is already about us; it is our own future we put at stake if we fail to tackle the problems. Let’s not waste our chance to choose the kind of future we want — while we still can.
Janez Potocnik is the EU environment commissioner.