Tánaiste meets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton06 December 2012
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., met US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, this morning to discuss bilateral and international issues.
The Tánaiste noted the expansion of practical cooperation between Ireland and the US across a range of foreign policy areas during Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.
During the meeting, the Tánaiste thanked Secretary Clinton for her longstanding commitment to peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland and briefed her on recent developments in Northern Ireland. Both sides spoke about the importance of laying the ground for an EU-US Free Trade Agreement during Ireland’s forthcoming Presidency of the EU. They also reflected on Ireland’s successful Chairmanship of the OSCE and looked forward to working together on the Human Rights Council.
The Tánaiste and Secretary Clinton discussed immigration reform. The Tánaiste took the opportunity to recall our strong support for comprehensive immigration legislation and the passage of E3 visas for Irish citizens.
The Tánaiste warmly welcomed the US Administration’s decision to co-host a major Global Diaspora Forum in Dublin and the US next May. He said that the selection of Dublin as a partner venue reflected Ireland’s leadership and innovation in this area of growing international interest.
Following the meeting, the Tánaiste announced that the Government will provide €250,000 in emergency funding to Irish voluntary organisations in the Eastern United States to assist those members of the Irish and wider communities worst affected by Hurricane Sandy. Funding will be directed towards relief and reconstruction efforts in Breezy Point, Staten Island and the Jersey Shore where Hurricane Sandy caused massive devastation to communities with deep Irish roots. The funding is being made available from within existing resources in the budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and complements the work already being undertaken by our Consulate General in New York which cooperates closely with the Irish community organisations concerned.
The Tánaiste paid tribute to Secretary Clinton’s commitment to international development, and they strongly endorsed the partnership between Ireland and the U.S. in the fight against hunger and undernutrition. They welcomed the initiative being led by Ireland and the US to increase dramatically the use of fuel-efficient stoves in Malawi, which will save lives and improve the health of huge numbers of poor women and children.
The Tánaiste announced that Ireland and the US will work with the Government of Malawi, local NGOs and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to increase the number of fuel-efficient cookstoves to 2 million by 2020, in some of the poorest communities in Malawi, which is a priority country for Ireland’s aid programme. Inhalation of smoke from cooking is the cause of over 2 million premature deaths worldwide, including 13,000 annually in Malawi, most of them women and young children.