At May's Paris conference on innovative financing, I put back on the international agenda an old idea, proposed by the European Parliament in 2000, voted for by France in 2001 and supported by many non-governmental organisations. It is wholly relevant today: to fund development, we have to think about introducing a voluntary contribution based on international financial transactions.
On one side, there are vast needs. The Millennium Development Goals set in New York in 2000 remain a priority. Last November, at the United Nations conference on development financing, President Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated our commitment to them. By 2015 we have to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, increase gender equality, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat major pandemics such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.
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