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newsIrish Presidency delivering on Presidency priorities on development

Ireland is delivering on our ambitious Presidency programme to focus on the fight to end hunger and under-nutrition and to develop a unified European Union position on the future of global development, Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD.

Speaking after a key meeting of European Union Development Ministers in Brussels, Minister Costello announced that Ministers had endorsed a common European Union approach to the new global development framework which will replace the Millennium Development Goals after the target date for their achievement in 2015.

Minister Costello said:  

 “Development Ministers paved the way for the European Union to present a unified and coordinated position on the new set of goals that will drive all of our development efforts after 2015.

“This is particularly important as we review the impact of the Millennium Development Goals and begin discussions and negotiations on what should replace them after 2015. The European Union delivers over 50% of global official development assistance to developing countries, so it is crucial that we approach these negotiations with a unified voice. This policy framework was the key priority of Irish Presidency.”

    Minister Costello – “The new approach which we agreed today provides the European Union with an ambitious, focused and accountable policy for tackling hunger and under-nutrition that complements Ireland’s work in this area.”

Secondly, Development Ministers, meeting as part of the Foreign Affairs Council, also adopted a new European Union policy to tackle hunger and under-nutrition in the developing world.  This decision, which is also a Presidency priority for Ireland, will have far-reaching consequences for those currently living with hunger.

Minister Costello said:

“Every day 7,000 children under the age of five die, with malnutrition cited as the underlying cause. Tackling hunger is a cornerstone of Ireland’s development programme and a priority of our Presidency. The new approach which we agreed provides the European Union with an ambitious, focused and accountable policy for tackling hunger and under-nutrition that complements Ireland’s work in this area.”

Thirdly, the Council adopted a new European Union approach to supporting countries and communities at risk of natural or man-made crises to better prepare for, prevent and respond to disaster.

Minister Costello said:

“Large scale emergencies have occurred every year over the past decade, from the Darfur conflict which started in 2003 to the Horn of Africa food crisis in 2011. As the number of such crises increases, the need to plan for them as part of our overall development assistance becomes more critical.

“As a result of the agreement, we now have a practical focus on ensuring closer collaboration between the European Union’s humanitarian and development arms.  As we see from the European Union’s flagship resilience initiatives in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, a common approach is more effective than separate, fragmented approaches.”

Finally, the Development Ministers also signed off on the European Union position on the draft financial protocol for the 11th European Development Fund, under which funding will be allocated for development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Notes to editors

For further information or to request an interview with Minister Costello please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Adviser, Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 01-4082653 or 087-9099975.

Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development.  It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Further information is available at www.irishaid.ie. 

Ireland identified three key areas in the European Union’s development and humanitarian agenda which -working with the European Union High Representative - we would seek to progress during our Presidency.

The three areas are:

  •     Ensuring that the European Union actively engages in development of the “post-2015” agenda
  •     Highlighting the linkages between the thematic issues of hunger, nutrition and climate change
  •     Forging stronger links between emergency humanitarian relief and long term development aid

Read a  factsheet on what the Irish European Union Presidency has achieved for development.