CONCORD Europe took part in the 10th edition of the European Development Days, which took place on 15th and 16th June 2016 in Brussels. Find below the main take-aways from this 2-day event.

The European Development Days, organised by the European Commission, is a Europe’s leading forum on development. It brings the development community together each year since 2006 to share ideas and experiences and inspire for solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. This year was dedicated to the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, making it one of the very first major conferences focused on the issue. CONCORD Europe, bolstered by its membership from all around Europe, strongly represented the voice of Civil Society in the event.

For the first time, a Civil Society voice was taking part in the Opening Ceremony. The human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda (General Secretary of the YWCA, chair of CIVICUS and the International Board of ActionAid) represented our confederation in this high panel discussion. During her speech, she highlighted the crucial role of civil society in development alongside Federica Mogherini, Ban Ki-Moon, Uhuru Kenyatta and other Heads of State and Prime Ministers.

I bring the voice of the people. We strive every day to address the root causes of poverty.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda

If you have missed the session, find below the full record of the Opening Ceremony of #EDD16:

But the Opening Ceremony was actually just a start of #EDD16. CONCORD Europe participated also in the high level panel “The European contribution to global food and nutrition security. Is it enough, or can Europe do more? Is it effective, or can we do better?”. The session was organised by the Dutch Presidency and European Commission and moderated by David Nabarro (UN). CONCORD was represented there by Natalia Alonso, Deputy Director of Advocacy & Campaigns in Oxfam International.

“To address food and nutrition insecurity, the key is working with smallholder female farmers.”

Natalia Alonso

Oxfam International

Besides Food security, Economy, Gender Equality, Climate Change and Refugee crisis were among the wide range of different topics discussed by CONCORD members throughout their sessions at EDDs. Find below a small selection:

Oxfam organised a session “An economy for the 1%” focused on how privilege and power in the economy drive extreme inequality and how this could be stopped. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, was part of the panel and insisted on creating a new narrative that “makes it wrong to have an economy for 1%” and the importance “to have a human economy for all”.

Habitat for Humanity alongside with Cities Alliance and Practical Action worked together in a session “My city, my right”. The objective of the session was to talk about equal rights and opportunities for women living in cities and slums. The importance of education was at the forefront of the discussion.

The refugee crisis got a lot of attention in different sessions as well. All the high level panels about migration addressed the questions going from how to leverage the benefits of migration for development until the efficiency of Europe in the management of the crisis.

For getting even more accurate idea, how an outstanding event EDD16 was, we invite you to take a look at our selection of tweets which we compiled in Storify.