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President Higgins on Official Visit to the United States, 24-28 September 2015

President Higgins departs Dublin for New York on Thursday 24th September on an official visit to the United States. This visit will include his participation in the 'UN Sustainable Development Summit' which is set to agree with the 'Agenda 2030 Goals' as the successors to the Millennium Development Goals. The President and Sabina Higgins will be met on arrival by Ireland's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Mr David Donoghue.

Ireland has co-chaired the negotiation process leading up to this Summit.

The President's programme includes participation at three sessions at the United Nations and the delivery of a keynote address at New York University, entitled, "The European Union - Towards a Discource of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope."

The issue of development has been a major theme' of President Higgins' Presidency. Last year, during his visit to Africa, the President delivered a keynote address on the theme of sustainable development to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and earlier this year he marked the European Year of Development with an address at Dochas's conference in Dublin Castle.

Friday 25th September

On Friday morning the President has a private meeting with Mr George Soros and Mr Chris Stone, President of Mr. Soros's Open Society Foundation - at their invitation. Later he meets with representatives of the Irish NGO sector, who are in New York for the 'Agenda 2030 Summit'. In the evening he meets with Irish staff working at the United Nations, at the residence of our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. David Donoghue. Finally on Friday the President and Mrs Higgins visit and view the Sightsavers 'Framing Perceptions' Exhibition at the Alexandria Centre.

Saturday 26th September

On Saturday morning the President participates in an interactive dialogue at the United Nations on: "Fostering Sustainable economic Growth, Transformation and Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production"

This high level dialogue will also involve other Heads of State and Government.

In the afternoon (remaining at the United Nations) the President participates and delivers a keynote message at a session on, 'Mobilising Generation Zero Hunger'.

This session will involves participation from Representatives of UN member states, Graziano Da Silva, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organisation, Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agriculture Development, Etharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme and invited Youth Leaders.

Later in the evening the President and Sabina Higgins will go on to attend a performance of 'Little Thing Big Thing': written by Donal O'Kelly; directed by Jim Culleton; produced by Fishamble; featuring Sorcha Fox and Donal O'Kelly. After the performance the President and Sabina meet with the cast of 'Little Thing Big Thing' and 'Pondling' together with Board Members of 'Origin 1st Irish Festival'. 

Sunday 27th September

On Sunday morning, again at the UN, the President participates in a Global Leaders' meeting on 'Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment - A commitment to Action'. This event is hosted by UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon and President Xi Jinping of China on occasion of the 20th anniversary of the 'Beijing Platform on Gender Equality'.

President and Sabina Higgins then attend a lunch hosted by Ireland's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr David Donoghue and Jill Donoghue, which will be attended by a number of senior UN Representatives.

On Sunday evening the President and Sabina Higgins are guests of honour at a cultural gathering hosted by Consul General to New York, Ms Barbara Jones.

Monday 28th September

President and Sabina Higgins will attend a lunch, hosted by the Consul General Ms. Barbara Jones, attended by key members of the Irish community based in the United States. (Further detail issued on 28th).

Later in the evening the President delivers the Annual Emile Noël Lecture, entitled, "The European Union - Towards a Discourse of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope", at a New York University. On arrival at the university the President and Sabina Higgins will be greeted by Professor John Sexton, President, New York University and Professor Gráinne de Búrca, Director, Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice.

The President and Sabina attend a reception for the invited audience after the address and question and answer session. (SEE NOTE TO EDITORS BELOW)

The President and Sabina depart New York for Dublin on Tuesday 29th September.

This is the President's sixth official visit in 2015. In January he delivered an address to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg; in April he attended commemorative events in Gallipoli and visited Irish troops in Lebanon; in June he visited the Irish Expo in Milan and met with Italian President, Mr Sergio Mattarella - and in July his official visit to the UK included events in Liverpool and Warrington.


For contact: Wally Young, Media Adviser - 00 353 87 9064331

Note to Editors - Annual Emile Noël Lecture

The Annual Emile Noël Lecture was inaugurated in March 2004 with an address by Professor Giuliano Amato Since then the following have delivered the lecture:

2005 - Valery Giscard d’Estaing, President of the European Constitutional Convention and Former President of the Republic of France
2006 – Mr Pascal Lamy, World Trade Organization Director General
2007 - Annual Emile Noël Lecture: Presented by Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
2008 - Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro, Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Communities
2009 - Dr. Danilo Türk, distinguished professor of International Law and President of the Republic of Slovenia
2010 - Mr. Giorgio Napolitano, President of The Republic of Italy
2011 - Mr. Demetris Christofias, President of The Republic of Cyprus
2013 - Mr. George A. Papandreou, President of Socialist International and former Prime Minister
2014 - Koen Lenaerts, vice-president of the European Court of Justice