Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today begins a visit to New York for high-level meetings at the United Nations to step up the global fight against extreme poverty and hunger.
Global leaders are gathering this week to review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and discuss the development of a new set of targets to guide international development efforts once the deadline for the MDGs passes in 2015.
Speaking in New York, Minister Costello said:
"While we have made great progress on our ambitious goals to halve the number of people living in poverty and hunger, dramatically increase the number of children at primary school and improve gender equality, we are lagging in critical areas, including on our target to reduce the number of women who die giving birth.
Ireland has played a pivotal role in securing agreement on a clear roadmap for the negotiation of a new set of development goals. This week is an important opportunity to take stock of the remarkable progress that has been achieved since the Millennium Development Goals were launched and refocus our efforts on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
During our Presidency, Ireland worked with our EU partners to make progress on the outstanding targets in the two years which remain and to shape a new international framework to drive our development efforts after 2015. I am looking forward to continuing those efforts this week.”
During his visit, Minister Costello will meet UN agencies and international partners to discuss measures to tackle hunger and gender-based violence, provide support to countries in crisis such as Somalia, and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities.