MEP György Hölvényi, representing the EPP Group, took part at the ‘Strengthening the Family for Sustainable Development’ conference organized by the Political Network for Values in New York on 5th December. At the conference former EPP Group Vice-Chairman Jaime Mayor Oreja received the Familias et Veritas award from the World Congress of Families.

The conference was a side-event to the meeting of the UN General Assembly which discussed the role of families in sustainable development for the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family.

Supporting families as agents and beneficiaries of development efforts

The aim of the December UN General Assembly and the related ‘Strengthening the Family for Sustainable Development’ conference was to highlight the role of the family in the development sector. The International Year of the Family in 1994 stimulated worldwide debate on the role of the family. Families are at the same time agents and beneficiaries of development efforts, and as a basic unit of society they deserve special attention - this was recognised then and it is important still today. The post-2015 UN development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which are to take the place of the Millennium Development Goals should therefore underline this.

Facing demographic challenges in Europe

Participants agreed that families play a stabilising role in society; they contribute to economic growth and healthier lifestyles. The anniversary meeting focused on three major themes: confronting family poverty, ensuring work-family balance and advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity. These issues have also been a challenge in Europe, in addition to low fertility rates in most European countries.

The EPP Group is in favour of a development policy that puts the emphasis on support of the family. Our congratulations to Jaime Mayor Oreja for the award he has merited with his work in this area!

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