Press Statement: Irish NGOs travel to Addis Ababa for crucial UN Summit which will set the global financial agenda

10 july 2015

DÓCHAS

The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

 Press Statement

10 July 2015

Financing for Development UN Summit

(13th – 16th July)

‘It all hinges on Addis’

Irish NGOs travel to Addis Ababa for crucial UN Summit which will set the global financial agenda

The Financing for Development Conference taking place in Addis Ababa on 13-16 July 2015 will seek a global agreement on financing the new global framework for development. In September this year, UN member states are expected to sign off on a set of "Sustainable Development Goals", aiming to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and create sustainable economic growth for all, and this summit determines how that will be financed.

Ireland has been at the forefront of international efforts to come up with this radical, new agenda for the world. The negotiations at the UN to agree a global framework for development have been co-chaired by Ireland and Kenya. However, in terms of overseas aid commitments Ireland is lagging behind.   

"The conference in Addis Ababa is a turning point, it’s a critical moment for world leaders to look at how we can finance this new global agenda," says Hans Zomer, director of Dóchas, the umbrella group of Ireland's development NGOs. “It is vital that Ireland continues to play a strong role on this global stage. If we look at Ireland’s report card in Addis– where we are proving strong in one area, we are at risk of failing in another – in terms of our reaching our commitment to overseas aid.”

Zomer will travel to Addis Ababa along with NGO representatives Dr. Lorna Gold, Head of Policy and Advocacy in Trócaire, and Sorley McCaughley, Head of Policy and Advocacy in Christian Aid Ireland to represent the Irish development sector at this crucial summit.

“The Government has stated that the appointment of Ireland as co-facilitator of the international negotiations ‘is evidence of the international community’s appreciation of our overseas aid programme and other efforts made by Ireland to support vulnerable populations abroad.’ Ireland has invested a lot of energy and time in these negotiations, and is naturally keen that the negotiations end up being a success. Yet, if the Addis summit fails, the likelihood of the SDG negotiations failing is also increased. It all hinges on Addis. That is why it is so important that Ireland plays a strong role in Addis, too” says Zomer.

"15 years ago, world leaders challenged themselves by setting goals to reduce the amount of poverty, hunger and disease. Today, extreme poverty has been halved, 91% of children in developing countries are now enrolled in primary school and great strides have been made in the fight against hunger and disease. We are proud to say that our member organisations, Irish development NGOs, have contributed to these tremendous global achievements. Now, knowing that what they set out to do is working, world leaders are about to increase the level of ambition, and agree to end extreme poverty by 2030, but this will need financial backing in order to make it a reality," says Hans Zomer.

This week (Tuesday 8th July) Irish Aid published its annual report which showed that the government’s spend on overseas aid has fallen far below its commitment of 0.7% of GNP. It now stands at 0.39% of GNP. While Ireland has contributed a great deal to humanitarian causes and the fight against hunger, we still have not met that key target.

Ireland has set and missed three deadlines for the achievement of its promise on overseas aid. As overseas aid is a key part of the agenda in Addis, Ireland’s lack of clarity on this issue is not helping. Ireland must urgently present a credible plan on how and when it intends to achieve its “solemn commitment” to reach the UN target.

"The commitments and agreements made in Addis Ababa will shape our ability to bring about a world in which the rights of all peoples, including future generations, are fully respected and protected – and where we remedy the damage climate change has already caused. If we are to have a new vision for sustainable development, Addis Ababa will need to produce ambitious, meaningful and comprehensive agreements on financing. It is not going to be easy, but the cost of failure will outweigh the cost of the actions we all know are needed," says Zomer.

<ENDS >

 

NOTES:

NGO representatives available for interview:

·         Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas

·         Dr. Lorna Gold, Head of Policy and Advocacy with Trócaire

·         Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy and Advocacy with Christian Aid Ireland

Media Contact                                                                                                                                                                       To arrange interviews or for more information contact: Naomi Linehan, Media Officer for Dóchas and the European Year for Development: 01 405 3801/ 086 1077079

Notes to the Editor

·         For more information on the Addis Ababa summit, see http://dochas.ie/blog/five-things-you-need-know-about-addis-summit

·         The Financing for Development website: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffd3/

·         Ireland will also be represented at the summit by Seán Sherlock, TD Minister of State at Department of Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for ODA, Trade Promotion and North South co-operation

·         Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between its members, and a platform for them to speak with a single voice on development issues. For more information, visit: www.dochas.ie

·         Dóchas membership is comprised of 61 overseas development and global justice organisations. A list of Dóchas members can be found at http://www.dochas.ie/membership/our-members/

·         In 2000 Ireland committed itself to reaching the 0.7% ODA/GNI target by 2007. However that deadline was later deferred to 2012 and then to 2015. Last year, the Government indicated that also this third deadline would not be achieved, despite the target and the deadline being outlined in the Programme for Government.

·         The Dóchas Budget submission can be found at:

http://www.dochas.ie/shared/Files/4/Dochas_2015_Budget_Submission.pdf

·         The Ipsos MRBI opinion poll key findings are available at: http://www.dochas.ie/Shared/Files/4/Ipsos_MRBI_2014_Overseas_Aid_Opinion_Poll_Key_Findings.pdf