The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., will today attend a major international meeting on aid effectiveness in South Korea.
The three day event, which is taking place in Busan, is designed to achieve global agreement on improving the quality of international assistance in order to increase progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Speaking ahead of the Forum, Minister O’Sullivan said:
“Ireland is renowned internationally as a leader at making aid more effective. We are recognised for our sharp focus on ensuring that aid delivers clear results in the fight against poverty and hunger. Given the difficult global economic climate, it is now more important than ever that donors, together with our partners, redouble our efforts to ensure that every cent we spend on our aid programmes delivers value for money.”
“During the Forum, I will also stress the importance of putting results and accountability at the heart of the development agenda. We must at all times strive to deliver tangible improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest communities, while remaining accountable to the Irish public, our international partners and the communities with whom we work in developing countries.”
Minister O’Sullivan also said she looked forward to the discussions on progress since the Paris Declaration of 2005, which set international targets to improve the quality of aid provided by donors and the results achieved in partnership with developing countries.
Minister O’Sullivan will also meet representatives from Irish Aid’s partner countries to discuss the ongoing review of the White Paper on Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Africa Strategy. She will also meet representatives of Irish NGOs who are participating at the meeting. The Irish delegation will also include Deputy Pat Breen, T.D., Chairman of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Minister O’Sullivan travelled to Busan after her first visit to Vietnam, one of Ireland’s nine partner countries. During her four-day visit to Vietnam, she met a number of high level partners in the Vietnamese Government, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Hoang Trung Hai.
In addition to discussing opportunities to expand bilateral trade between Ireland and Vietnam, the Minister launched the programme of development co-operation between Ireland and Vietnam for the next five years.
Note for Editors:
• The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will run in Busan, Korea from November 29 until December 1. Approximately 2,000 delegates will review global progress in improving the impact and value for money of development aid and make new commitments to further ensure that aid helps reduce poverty and supports progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
• The 2006 White Paper on Irish Aid sets out Ireland’s vision for development, and outlines how the Irish Aid programme will work to reduce poverty and hunger in the developing world. Minister O’Sullivan announced a review of the paper earlier this year. It is due to be completed by July 2012. For further information: http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/latest_newsb1a0.html.
• The Africa Strategy sets out a comprehensive framework for Ireland’s business, political and development relations with Africa over the coming years. For further information: http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/latest_news.html?article=1853.
• Minister O’Sullivan visited Vietnam from 25 to 29 November.
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