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Minister to host meetings on Ireland’s New Policy for International Development

Irish Aid, Minister Joe Costello, Press Releases, Ireland, 2013
Minister Costello to host public meetings in Cork and Limerick on Ireland’s New Policy for International Development

The Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., will hold public meetings in Cork and Limerick this week to raise awareness of Ireland’s new policy for international development and to hear the views of those who contributed to the policy during the past year.

Minister Costello said the public meetings would also be a forum for discussions on how the policy can best be implemented. 

Speaking ahead of the meetings on July 15 and 17, Minister Costello said:

“These are difficult times for many Irish people but we can be proud of the work we are doing to help those in greatest need in some of the world’s poorest countries. The aid programme belongs to the Irish people and it is essential that they have  a voice in the discussions around how we engage in this area.

“We held very well-attended public consultation meetings in both cities just over a year ago and received very useful input from interest groups and citizens in both areas. I am now looking forward to presenting the final policy to them and seeking their views on its implementation.”

  • The Cork meeting takes place on Monday 15th July from 7pm to 8.30 pm in the Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay, Cork.
  • The Limerick meeting takes place on Wednesday 17th July in the Clarion Hotel, Steamboat Quay, Limerick from 7pm to  8.30pm

Building on Ireland’s leadership role in the fight against global poverty and hunger, and the key achievements of the Irish Presidency, the new policy charts a clear direction for the Government’s programme of overseas assistance in the coming years.

The key elements of the new Policy include:

  • a commitment to build stronger economic partnerships in Africa and elsewhere which will bring increased trade opportunities for Ireland;
  • the announcement of Sierra Leone as a new Partner Country for Ireland as part of a greater focus on countries that are recovering from conflict, instability and the harmful effects of climate change;
  • a new Volunteering Initiative which will harness the experience of Irish people and institutions to the benefit of institutions in developing countries;
  • a firm commitment to greater openness, transparency and accountability – with all aid data to be published under the recently internationally agreed format by 2015 at the latest;
  • a greater emphasis on promoting and protecting human rights, and addressing inequality
  • a commitment to maintain as much as possible the current expenditure on overseas aid despite the economic difficulties being currently faced;

Nora Owen, chairperson of the independent Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group, will attend the Cork meeting.

To maximise public participation, those who cannot attend the meetings in Cork or Limerick are invited to place questions to Minister Costello via the Irish Aid twitter account (@Irish_Aid).
Questions will be answered during Wednesday’s meeting in Limerick.