Ireland’s EU Presidency is an opportunity to shape the thinking on how to end world poverty

03/01/2013 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

On New Year’s Day, Ireland’s six-month presidency of the EU began.

The EU Presidency isn’t what it used to be since the Lisbon Treaty: unlike before, when the rotating Presidency allowed individual Member States to set the agenda, the real power now rests with the EU’s President of the Council Herman van Rompuy (and in areas of foreign policy with the High Representative, Ms. Catherine Ashton).

But the rotating Presidency still provides a unique opportunity to ‘flavour’, rather than ‘set’, the EU’s work programme.

Irish NGOs feel that the Presidency gives Ireland an opportunity to press for a strong, European vision for a fairer and more sustainable world.

The year 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s entry into the EU, and the Tánaiste in this article makes the case that EU membership has transformed Ireland. Ireland’s experience as a member of the European community is a good reminder of the value and importance of international cooperation and facing challenges together. In today’s global community, promoting a safer, more secure world is not just good in itself, but good for Ireland and Europe, too.

Irish NGOs also highlight the fact that our prosperity depends on global stability and international cooperation. Dóchas calls on the Government to make it its new year’s resolution to champion progress towards a more equitable and sustainable Ireland, Europe and wider world during the EU presidency.

It is worth noting that the Irish Government is trying to give its Presidency a real development flavour by hosting the Informal Development Ministers meeting in February, by organising a high-level conference on Climate Justice and Nutrition and by focusing strongly on the ‘post-2015 development framework’.

Irish NGOs have initiated the ‘World We Want’ campaign to lobby for a strong EU negotiating position going September’s UN summit to replace the Millennium Development Goals.

This year is European Year of the Citizen, a year to celebrate the vital role that people working together play in shaping a better Europe. The World We Want campaign is bringing together the voices of Irish civil society organisations working on issues both at home and abroad in order that the new UN deal in September will an ambitious, truly global deal that puts human rights of all and the participation of those living in poverty at its centre.

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The World We Want: Equality and Equity? Money talks: February summit will set EU priorities for the long term

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One of the most important graphs. Ever.

http://ourworldindata.org/data/health/maternal-mortality/ Today is World Food Day.

A day to celebrate that the days of truly enormous famines are over: http://blog.concern.net/global-hunger-index-2015-mapping-the-worlds-hunger Meet "Chocolate Mamas", producers of chocolate in #Tanzania, creating Tanzanian jobs. 
While #cocoa is grown in West Africa and Asia,
most #chocolate (the finished product) is made in Europe or the USA.

Meet Jaki Kweka, who is trying to change that. By creating protected areas and national parks and by limiting the spread of soy bean cultivation, Brazil has managed to drastically reduce the amount of rain forest being cleared.

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/deforestation-in-the-amazon-has-plummeted-almost-90pt/ Costa Rica, #Afghanistan, China, #India and Albania are all embracing renewable energy sources.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/sep/15/five-developing-countries-ditching-fossil-fuels-china-india-costa-rica-afghanistan-albania?CMP=share_btn_tw Social change needs empowered citizens, and empowered citizens need occasional encouragement.

Great to hear that we're not the only ones who believe in the power of positive news! 50,000 rice farmers in #IvoryCoast are now working with better seeds, improving food security in the West African country.

As a result, harvests have increased.

Source: World Bank, photo: Jbdodane / CC BY Sub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system starts operations. 
As Ethiopians celebrate their New Year, they also prepare to mark the beginning of operations of a tram system in the #Ethiopian capital #AddisAbaba. 
Read more: http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-09-20-sub-saharan-africas-first-light-rail-system-starts-operationsyou-guessed-it-in-ethiopia Going Mobile in #Malawi”. A mobile phone information service established last year to provide timely information to rural poor farmers in a southern African country, has been used nearly half a million times since its launch.

Established in Malawi by Gorta-Self Help Africa last year, the ‘321’ voice-activated service provides subscribers to the country’s largest mobile phone network with farm information and advice that they can access at the push of a button. And it’s all free. Read more at http://dochas.ie/sites/default/files/The-Worlds-Best-News-2015_0.pdf 10,000 copies of "The World's Best News" were distributed all over #ireland today!

See how The Irish Times described our newspaper, and click the link to read all the articles online!

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/inside-out/have-you-read-the-world-s-best-news-1.2355806

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