Question No. 553

Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his goals in shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 21st April, 2015.
Ref No: 15352/15


Ireland is co-facilitating the intergovernmental negotiations at the United Nations to agree a framework for global development to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015. The new sustainable development agenda should be adopted at a major UN summit of world leaders in New York in September. It will involve a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will complete the work of the MDGs on the eradication of extreme poverty and will also put sustainable development at the core. The SDGs will be universal in nature and address development challenges through social, environmental and economic actions in low, middle and high-income countries alike. They will address a wide range of areas including MDG priorities such as food and nutrition, but also broader challenges, including on climate, sustainable production and consumption, and peace and governance.

Ireland has taken a leading role in shaping the post-2015 Development agenda having facilitated EU discussions and Council Conclusions during our EU Presidency in 2013, and co-facilitated the Special Event on the MDGs at the UN in September 2013. In the drafting of Goals and Targets for the new agenda, Ireland worked in a team with Denmark and Norway in the Open Working Group at the UN, where we set out our key priorities for the global development agenda up to 2030. These included the fight to end hunger and undernutrition, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and good governance and rule of law. We have advocated for strong goals and targets in each of these key areas, and we have emphasised the need to incorporate human rights in the new development framework, reduce global inequality and protect the role of civil society.

Ireland’s positions in the UN negotiations are agreed through a whole-of-Government coordination process involving all relevant Government Departments. We are working with our EU partners to ensure that the process will culminate in a successful outcome in September and that the new SDGs, which will have a profound impact on the lives of the world’s poor, will reflect our priorities and galvanise action to end extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.

This year will also see major international conferences on the financing of the SDGs in Addis Ababa from the 13-16 July and on a new agreement on Climate Change in Paris in December. The second session of negotiations on the Financing for Development process took place from 13 to 17 April, in New York, and the fourth session of the intergovernmental negotiations on post-2015 will be from 20 to 24 of April.