Media room

European Development Days: Working towards the Sustainable Development Goals

For immediate release - Wageningen, 14 June 2016

June 14, 2016

A leading forum on development and international cooperation, this year’s European Development Days (EDD) will focus on the agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals – a set of 17 targets to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. The annual EDD gathering, which is organised by the European Commission and held in Brussels, brings the development community together to share ideas and experiences on innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is co-organising five events during the two-day forum, which runs from June 15 to 16. 

This year, which marks EDD's tenth anniversary, the forum is expected to attract some 6,000 visitors from around the world. EDD 2016 will focus on 15 topics, centred on the five main themes of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.

In one way or another, trade between countries can exert influence on the outcome of some 20 targets in different Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). International trade has been specifically identified as a driver for inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work (SDG 8). A debate on Developments in agricultural trade and the Sustainable Development Goals in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will explore how innovative, inclusive and sustainable solutions for agriculture can be supported through the multilateral trade system. Discussions for this session, which is organised by CTA and partners, will place a special focus on the scope for agriculture to help drive poverty reduction (SDG 1).

Still on the subject of trade, and its implications for smaller economies and the producers who often form their backbone, a high level panel – Treatment of food standards in mega-RTAs: policy implications for ACP countries – will discuss the effects of mega-regional trade agreements. The rules governing global trade threaten to sideline ACP countries even further from global value chains. Often agreed in negotiating fora where these nations have no voice, such trade regulations also impose a heavy burden in the form of more rigorous food standards, with cumbersome and costly compliance requirements for producers.

Accounting for some 40 percent of the agricultural labour force, women play a critical role in food production, processing and marketing and have the potential to make major contributions to achieving all the SDGs. A session on Gender and agricultural entrepreneurship will showcase how women in agribusiness can be the drivers of positive change in the social and economic development of their communities – and how important it is to ensure that women have better access to productive resources and economic opportunities in agriculture.

Strengthening linkages between tourism and agriculture is one development approach that is rapidly gaining ground in some ACP regions, especially in Caribbean and Pacific island countries. These two productive sectors offer significant opportunities for inclusive economic growth and achieving the SDGs. Stronger linkages between tourism and agriculture can also help to limit food imports and promote healthier diets based on local produce. A panel session – Supporting local and sustainable food production in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries – will bring farmers, chefs and actors from the tourism sector together to share best practices on sustainable farming and agribusiness development.

Progress towards ending hunger and undernutrition – SDG 2 – is moving ahead too slowly. A debate designed to examine how the pace can be stepped up will look at the need for targeted research, innovations in delivery and rapid interventions to reach the most vulnerable and inaccessible sectors of the community. With a line-up of high profile speakers, Ending hunger and undernutrition: It can be done faster will seek to increase awareness of the need to accelerate progress towards eradicating hunger and undernutrition by 2025, and offer some ideas on how this crucial goal can be achieved.


CTA at the European Development Days 2016:

• Developments in agricultural trade and the Sustainable Development Goals in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries
Debate D6 - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 09:30 to 10:45

• The Treatment of Food Standards in Mega-Regional Trade Agreements
Debate D1 - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 09:15 to 10:30

• Gender and Agricultural Entrepreneurship
Debate D3 - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 11:00 to 12:15

• Supporting local and sustainable food production in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries
Debate D5 - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 13:00 to 14:15

• Ending hunger and undernutrition: It can be done faster
Debate D1 - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 14:45 to 16:00

For more information on the European Development Days 2016, visit: 

For more information on CTA-supported events, visit: 

Media contact:
Stéphane Gambier 
Tel.: +31 (0)317 46 71 79