Press release: Irish NGOs welcome appointment of Simon Coveney as Minister for Foreign Affairs

15 june 2017

Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

Wednesday, 14th June 2017


Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations – has welcomed the appointment of Simon Coveney as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Dóchas CEO, Suzanne Keatinge said: “Dóchas would like to congratulate Minister Coveney on his appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. As a network of NGOs working on global justice, we look forward to working closely with the new Minister on a variety of wide-ranging issues – including the continuing tragedy of the refugee and migrant crisis, and its root causes in numerous ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.”

Dóchas has also welcomed the commitment by the new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Minister Coveney during the Fine Gael leadership campaign to meet Ireland’s pledge to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).

Keatinge continued, “This commitment must now be solidified with a published multi-annual plan to reach the 0.7% goal by 2025, at the very latest. In 2016, Ireland spent only 0.33% of GNI on ODA – down from a height of 0.59% in 2008. We must see a practical commitment to financing development, holding firm to Ireland’s proud record of delivering a quality aid programme across the globe. We hope to see Minister Coveney take swift action on this.”

Dóchas would also like to thank the outgoing Minister, Charlie Flanagan, for his commitment and service, and to wish him the very best in his new role as Minister for Justice.

Keatinge continued: “The transformative agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were negotiated under the leadership of Minister Flanagan, with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade playing a key role as Ireland co-chaired these crucial global negotiations.

“The SDGs provide a blueprint from which all nations have a responsibility to shape their economic, social and environmental policies and programmes in order to eradicate poverty, address growing inequality, and meet climate targets. We hope to see this strong leadership – based on the values of global solidarity, peace and justice – continue under the new Minister.”

Dóchas would also like to congratulate Joe McHugh on his appointment as Government Chief Whip and to thank him for his dedication and enthusiasm throughout his time as Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development.


For further information, please contact Aideen Blackwood – Dóchas Communications Officer on 01-4053801 or

Notes for the Editor:

• Dochas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It has a membership of 61 NGOs. You can find out more about Dóchas and its work here:

• For a full list of Dóchas members see: