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Cypriot Minister addresses conference on funding developing countries
2006-03-01 16:45:18

Nicosia, Mar 1 (CNA) - Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou said that Cyprus has transferred its strategic geographical epicentre, action and philosophy to developmental cooperation in order to give priority to achieving the growth aims of the millennium and the EU priorities with special emphasis on the African continent.

Addressing yesterday's ministerial conference in Paris on innovative methods of funding developing countries, Iacovou added that Cyprus is discussing with older EU member states about the implementation of joint programmes so that it can gain from their experience and manage to guarantee the best possible effectiveness in its contribution, and expressed support for the introduction of a world tax as a new source of funding for development.

He said ''the Republic of Cyprus has been engaged in the sector of providing assistance to third countries since 1994'' and that with its accession to the EU, ''Cyprus has transferred its strategic geographical epicentre, action and philosophy to developmental cooperation in order to give priority to achieving the growth aims of the millennium and the EU priorities with special emphasis on the African continent.''

Iacovou said that apart from Cyprus' contribution to multilateral organisations and the current aid plan, for the first time in 2006 Cyprus invested a specific budget for aid towards five African and Middle East countries in the framework of bilateral and trilateral programmes.

He added that as a new country in this field, Cyprus is discussing with older EU member states about the implementation of joint programmes so that it can gain from their experience and manage to guarantee the best possible effectiveness in its contribution.

Iacovou noted Cyprus believes that the option of world tax as a new source of funding for development was an additional advantage, adding that Cyprus will support the proposal for a community contribution from air tickets with the introduction of a one-euro tax on each ticket.

He added that the legal documents to introduce and implement relevant legislation are being prepared.

Yesterday's opening ceremony was also addressed by French President Jacques Chirac and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

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