Next year, 2015, will be the European Year for Development.
Since the early 1980s, the European Union has been designating thematic European Years, to highlight specific issues of relevance. And this is the first time that the EU has dedicated an EU Year to an “external action” area. It has done so, because 2015 will be an important year for the future of humanity:
During the year, two United Nations summit meetings will effectively define the parameters for international policy making.
In September, the UN will agree new goals – a new “Sustainable Development Framework” – to tackle poverty, inequality and environmental destruction,
And in December, the Climate Change summit in Paris will set new climate action targets, to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
These summits will have binding consequences for Ireland’s own development in a number of policy areas, including energy, transport, agriculture and environment.
We believe, therefore, that all people in Ireland should be aware of the importance of these summits. And that everyone in Ireland should have a say in what “Sustainable Development” should mean.
The European Year for Development 2015 will be an opportunity to have plenty of public discussions on what we should do to promote “sustainable development.” And – more importantly – it will be an opportunity to highlight the many things that people are already doing every day of the week, in pursuit of “sustainable development.”
The European Year will be a year to celebrate the many ways in which people in Ireland are already working towards a better, more sustainable world.
This is not going to be a European Year of Conferences. It is going to be a Year of citizen action for a better world. A Year that honours and encourages people to continue to stand up for what is right. A Year of Active Citizenship, but on global issues.
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