Ireland builds influence, through its overseas aid programme
Earlier this month, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin had the honour of addressing the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of all of us in Ireland.
And in so doing, he ushered in what may well be a new era in Irish foreign policy: one where Ireland plays a global leadership role, and where our overseas aid programme provides us with a degree of influence well beyond what can be expected of a small country.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton expressed this clearly when she said that “the Irish people and the Irish Government know what hunger means from their own history and, as a result, they have been really the world’s leader in working to harness public and private resources in the fight against hunger, and undernutrition.”
150 years ago, when millions of Irish people starved to death, the world turned its back on the poor, and did not respond. We should be immensely proud that the Irish Government ensures that the 21st century world does not make the same mistake.
Ireland is able to lead the world in this way because global hunger is an issue that is close to people’s hearts: Recent opinion polls, commissioned by the EU and Dóchas respectively, showed that 4 out of 5 people in Ireland feel that we must keep our promise on overseas aid.
For this reason, it is heartening to see the Government build an international leadership reputation on our core values as a nation.
Entry filed under: Government, MDGs, Overseas aid. Tags: Aid, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Effectiveness, Foreign Policy, global poverty, Government, MDGs, Overseas aid, Partnership, policy coherence, Smart Aid, UN.