‘A Better World’, Ireland’s New Policy for International Development
Press release28 February 2019
Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister Cannon launch ‘A Better World’, Ireland’s New Policy for International Development
Crucial Element of Global Ireland Plan for Doubling Ireland’s Impact by 2025
With the significant expansion of Ireland’s international development programme already underway, the Government today launched A Better World, a new policy with a re-aligned focus on gender equality, climate action, good governance and combatting poverty.
Speaking this morning (28 February) at the launch event, which is being hosted by the Sustainable Development Goals Unit in University College Dublin, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. said:
“I believe in an Ireland that is at the centre of the world, an economy open to trade and investment, a committed member of the European Union and the United Nations, a country committed to peace, human rights and multilateralism. Our commitment to continue to increase funding for International Development as part of the Global Ireland programme is central to realising this vision. But it’s not just about money. It’s about outcomes. So we have chosen to focus on a few areas in which we believe we can make a real difference including gender equality, governance, climate action and reducing humanitarian need.
“Climate change, terrorism, inequality and migration are worldwide challenges. We cannot solve them on our own. We need to take global action. It’s the right thing to do but it’s also in our interest to do it.”
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., added: “This policy provides the framework for the Government’s commitment in Global Ireland to reach the international target for overseas development assistance of 0.7% of GNI by 2030. In doing so, our investments will focus on the furthest behind first.
“This is not only a moral imperative - it is also in Ireland’s strategic self-interest. Expanding our development cooperation is an investment in a more peaceful, equal and sustainable world.”
A Better World focuses on conflict prevention, sustainable food systems, health and education, and dealing with humanitarian emergencies. It raises the emphasis on gender and climate action across Ireland’s international development programme. And it reinforces Ireland’s contribution to multilateralism where countries co-operate for the greater good.
A Better World alsoplaces a strong emphasis on partnerships with civil society and Ireland’s membership of the European Union, on innovation and on sharing Ireland’s own experiences in international development.
The Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., underlined the importance of these dimensions, saying:
“It is only through coming together with others that the great challenges of our time, such as climate change, poverty and conflict, can be addressed.”
A Better World will enhance Ireland’s role in dealing with global challenges, and build on the strong reputation that Ireland has gained in international development since it launched its first programme in 1974.
It builds on Global Ireland, the Government’s initiative to double the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint in the period to 2025. Global Ireland is the most ambitious renewal and expansion of Ireland’s international presence ever undertaken in terms of diplomacy, culture, business, overseas aid, tourism and trade.
Ireland’s Official Development Assistance
The new policy will provide the framework for making progress towards the UN target of allocating 0.7 percent GNI to Official Development Assistance by 2030 as economic circumstances permit. Overall Irish official development assistance in 2019 is forecast to reach almost €817 million, an increase of approximately €110 million, or a 16 percent increase on 2018’s budget announcements. This represents a very significant investment of public funds by the Government in Ireland’s international development cooperation programme on behalf of the taxpayer. Ireland’s contribution to reducing global poverty is regularly found to be amongst the best in the world, making a difference to approximately 130 countries each year.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Brokered at the UN in 2015, by Ireland and Kenya, the Sustainable Development Goals is a universal plan of action to improve the quality of life for all by 2030. Central to the SDGs is the concept of `Leave no one behind’ and reaching the furthest behind first. Ireland presented its first voluntary report to the UN on Ireland’s progress on the SDGs in July 2018. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld/publication