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Tánaiste and Minister Cannon launch public consultation on new international development policy

Tánaiste and Minister Cannon launch public consultation on new international development policy

An Tánaiste - Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney speaks at the launch of consultations on the new Irish Aid White Paper. © Phil Behan / DFAT.



Tánaiste Coveney and Minister Cannon launch public consultation on Ireland’s new international development policy

  • Members of public encouraged to make written submissions by 23 August
  • Public consultation meetings will take place in September and October


The Tanáiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., and the Minister for State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., today jointly launched the public consultation on Ireland’s new international development policy.

The Tánaiste said:

This new international development policy is an integral part of the deepening of Ireland’s global influence. Our development programme last year reached over 120 countries: it is recognised as one of the best in the world. Its good reputation opens doors for Ireland across the world, not least at the United Nations in New York, where the world comes together to discuss global problems and – we hope – agree global solutions. We need to build on this reputation”.

He stressed the need for innovation, the Tánaiste continued:

We are connected in new ways to places where we have longstanding relationships rooted in solidarity and friendships – connections which require us to review our engagement and ensure that it is fit for purpose into the future.”

Also speaking at the launch, Minister Cannon said: 

"I am extremely proud of the role that Ireland played in brokering the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Our challenge now is to follow through and support developing countries in their efforts. Already this year we more than doubled our commitment to the Global Partnership for Education.”

Minister Cannon highlighted the importance he attached to strengthening public support for, and engagement with, Ireland’s development cooperation, saying:

“This public consultation is an opportunity to bring the Irish public into the discussion on development. It is a way to engage them on the global challenges facing Ireland and developing countries, and on how Ireland can make a difference.”

Speaking to representatives from business, civil society, Irish universities, and others with an interest in Ireland’s relationship with the wider world, the Tánaiste invited a wide range of contributions – beyond the traditional development constituency.  He said:  

“A new international development policy will allow us to refresh our approach in a rapidly evolving global context… our starting point is to build on what we are good at, and be coherent with what we do at home. Your insights, direction and thinking will help define and refine our thinking.” 

The new policy will present a vision for Ireland’s contribution to building a more equal, peaceful and sustainable world. It will focus on `Leave no one behind’ and in particular in reaching the furthest behind first, in line with Ireland’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. It is anticipated that the new policy will open opportunities for new and different partnerships which will be good for both Ireland and its partners.

An example of this will be Ireland’s membership of the African Development Bank. Membership of the Bank will allow Ireland to deepen its contribution to unlocking the African’s continent’s great potential as well as providing opportunities for Irish companies.

Ireland has also increased five-fold its support to the EU’s Trust Fund for Africa, supporting over 26 partner countries in their responses to complex challenges. These include responding to rapid population growth, extreme poverty, weak infrastructures, and well as the insecurities that come from conflict and climate change.

A series of public consultation meetings will take place in September and early October. 

The call for written submissions is now open and those interested in learning more can download the consultation paper from the website https://www.irishaid.ie/about-us/policy-for-international-development/

The closing date for receipt of submissions online is 5pm on 23rd August 2018.


Press Office

12 July 2018


Note for editors:

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. For 2018, the Government has allocated €707 million for ODA. €707 million represents a very significant investment of public funds by the Government in Ireland’s Aid programme on behalf of the taxpayer.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Brokered at the UN in 2015, by Ireland and Kenya, the Sustainable Development Goals is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. Central to the SDGs is the concept of `Leave no one behind’ and reaching the further behind first. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld/publication


Public consultation process

The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Thursday 23rd August 2018. Submissions must be made online. Those interested can access the consultation paper and guidance for submissions at: https://www.irishaid.ie/about-us/policy-for-international-development/ 


The dates and locations for the public meetings are as follows, venues to be confirmed:

13th September - Cork

17th September - Galway

18th September - Sligo

20th September - Limerick

2nd October - Dublin

For more information contact:

White Paper on International Development,

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

Iveagh House,

80 St Stephens Green,

Dublin D02 VY53,

Telephone: 01 408 2000                


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