Tánaiste launches new Policy for International Development02 May 2013
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., together with the Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today launched Ireland’s new policy for international development.
One World, One Future: Ireland’s Policy for International Development sets out the vision, goals and priorities for the Government’s overseas aid programme over the coming four years.
The key elements include:
· Fostering sustainable economic growth in our partner countries to support their exit from aid and bring increased trade opportunities for Ireland.
· A new focus on countries recovering from conflict and instability, including a commitment to include Sierra Leone as one of Ireland’s nine Partner Countries.
· The launch of a new Volunteering Initiative to harness the experience of Irish people and institutions.
· Responding to the harmful impacts of climate change in poor countries becomes a core priority; a commitment to build on Ireland’s leadership role in the fight against global hunger.
· Openness, transparency and accountability – with all aid data to be published under the internationally agreed format by 2015;
· Promoting and protecting human rights, and addressing inequality, including gender inequality, becomes a key goal.
· A whole-of-government approach to international development.
Launching the policy today, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said:
“This is about Irish values. We have never been a people who could look the other way, and the Irish people can be extremely proud of the difference that we make to the lives of millions of families who struggle to survive on less than €1.25 a day.
“Although times are difficult at home, we stand by the children struggling to reach their fifth birthday in a world where 7.5 milllion children die before this age every year. And we stand in solidarity with the subsistence farmer, whose crops have failed because of drought and whose family faces a perilous future.
“We do this because of our sense of justice and compassion, born of a history of famine, supression and conflict. And we do it because it is the right thing to do in an increasingly inter-connected world.”
Under the new policy, One World, One Future, Ireland will focus more on supporting sustainable economic growth in our partner countries to assist them to exit from aid and to increase trade opportunities for Ireland, the Tánaiste said.
“We need to seize this moment and build on the economic opportunities in Africa and elsewhere. Many African economies are growing at an average of 5% a year. Most countries are at peace. Record numbers are going to school. Consumer spending will almost double in the next ten years.
“We will use our strong partnerships to identify trade opportunities and to stimulate mutually beneficial relationships. This will be good for the countries that we are working with. And it will be good for us.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD said:
“The new policy, One World, One Future presents a clear direction for Ireland’s development programme in the years ahead. In it, we set out our three new goals: reduced hunger and stronger resilience; sustainable development and inclusive economic growth; and finally better governance, human rights and accountability.
“In striving to achieve these goals across Government, we will not only tackle the effects of poverty, hunger and insecurity, but work to address its root causes, so that people can lift themselves out of poverty. We will put the values of sustainability, effectiveness, equality – including gender equality - human rights, accountability and partnership at the heart of our aid programme.
“Today, I am calling on NGOs, missionaries, diaspora organisations, the third level sector, the private sector, volunteers and others to work with us in this pursuit of a more just and sustainable world.”
Minister Costello thanked the Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group, chaired by Nora Owen, for their independent oversight for the Review of the White Paper on Irish Aid and policy-making process.
This policy was informed by the Review of the White Paper last year, one of the commitments contained in the Programme for Government.