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Minister Sherlock welcomes recommitment by EU Development Ministers to international aid targets

European Union, MoS Sean Sherlock, Irish Aid, Press Releases, Ireland, Africa, 2015
Shot of the front door of Iveagh house, the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Minister for Development, Trade Promotion, and North-South Cooperation, Seán Sherlock, TD, has welcomed the recommitment by EU Development Ministers to the target of providing 0.7% of GNP in Official Development Assistance.

Speaking this morning after a meeting in Brussels with EU Development Commissioner, Neven Mimica, Minister Sherlock said:

“Ireland played a strong role in helping broker agreement among EU Development Ministers yesterday to commit to achieving the 0.7% target within the timeframe of the post-2015 development agenda.

“Ireland is co-facilitating the negotiations at the UN for a new set of Sustainable Development Goals to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals, for the period 2015 to 2030.

“This EU agreement is vital for the fight to end extreme poverty and hunger in the world by 2030, and will strengthen the EU’s approach at the international conference on Financing for Development, which I will attend in Addis Ababa in July.”

The Ministers also discussed development and migration with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, directly after his visit to Ireland where he emphasised the need for the EU to work for the success of the Addis Conference and the importance of the ongoing negotiations on sustainable development and climate change.

Minister Sherlock added:

“In addition to reconfirming the EU’s collective commitment to reaching the target of providing 0.7% of GNP in development assistance, we agreed on the need to direct more aid to the Least Developed Countries, and especially to the poorest African countries.

“These countries are the focus of Ireland’s aid programme, and Ireland is already a world leader in the proportion of our aid which we provide to the poorest countries. We helped achieve agreement among EU Ministers yesterday, and we are determined to play our part in helping reach agreement globally at Addis in July.”

ENDS
Press Office
27 May 2015

Notes to Editors:

•Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. See the Irish Aid website for further information

•A new agenda for international development which will have a defining impact on a broad range of economic, social and environmental challenges is in the process of being negotiated. This agenda will be adopted at a Summit of world leaders in New York in September 2015. It will succeed the Millennium Development Goals, and seeks to galvanise efforts globally to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and promote sustainable development.

•Key features of this agenda will include a set of universally applicable Sustainable Development Goals, as well as a new global partnership which will mobilise the resources, capacity and energy required to help meet these goals.

•Ireland and Kenya were appointed as co-facilitators the international negotiations in October 2014.

•This year is widely regarded as a critical phase of human development because a number of negotiation processes of significant and interrelated importance are taking place. These include the UN post-2015 development agenda which has the objective of agreeing a new global framework for development around a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to run until 2030; the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) that aims to reach agreement on how to finance the SDGs, and the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

•Ireland is making a significant contribution to addressing the root causes of irregular migrant flows, notably through the humanitarian assistance which we provide in Syria and the region, as well as in the Horn and other regions of Africa. By the end of this year, we will have provided €41 million in assistance in response to the Syrian crisis. We have also provided almost €36 million in humanitarian funding to Somalia since 2008. To date in 2015, €1 million has been approved for the UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund in Somalia, with a further €1.7 million to be provided to our NGO partners for their lifesaving work on the ground.