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Launch of the European Year of Development

Aid Effectiveness, News/feature, Ireland, 2015
European Year of Development

Launch of the 2015 European Year of Development

2015 will be a turning point in the world’s development – Minister Sherlock

The Minister for Development, Trade Promotion, and North South Co-operation, Sherlock, TD, joined President Michael D. Higgins  to launch the European Year of Development in Ireland. 

2015 was designated as the European Year of Development to inform citizens about development cooperation and to encourage citizens to become more engaged in development issues, such as tackling poverty, inequality, social injustice and climate change.

The European Year of Development coincides with several important agreements on poverty, development, and climate change taking place in 2015.

Speaking at the launch in Dublin Castle, Minister Sherlock said:

“This year will mark a turning point in the world’s development, when we will make crucial decisions on how to tackle the biggest challenges facing us all: poverty and hunger, climate change, population growth, inequality and security.

“The European Year of Development is an important opportunity for us to reflect on our place in the world, and how we contribute to ensuring that world is a fairer and more sustainable place for us all to live.

“A new global framework to guide our global development efforts will be agreed by world leaders in New York in September; while in December in Paris, world leaders will meet to agree a new international agreement to curb carbon emissions. Both of these major international agreements will affect every citizen around the world. Ensuring that our development is sustainable is an investment in all our futures as major global challenges such as climate change, migration and disease do not respect borders.”

Negotiations will conclude in September on a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted by a summit of world leaders at the UN in New York. The Goals will be negotiated and agreed by the world’s 193 countries, and cover every area relevant to human well-being and development – including poverty and hunger, health and education, decent employment and environmental degradation.

In December, leaders will meet in Paris with the aim of adopting a legally-binding international agreement to tackle climate change, as a result of negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The agreement will outline targets and actions that nations will take to deal with the on-going effects of climate change.

Ireland is playing a key role in the SDG negotiations process, following our appointment with Kenya as co-chairs of the negotiations.

Commenting on Ireland’s important role in securing these agreements, Minister Sherlock said:

“Ireland can act as an honest broker and trusted partner in these talks. It is testament to Ireland’s standing internationally, to our proud record of development, promoting human rights, to our long-standing participation in peacekeeping across the world and to our diplomacy. We will work day and night to secure the best possible outcome for all.” 


Press Office

22 January 2015 

Notes to editors:

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie
  • 2015 was designated as the European Year for Development by the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in April 2014. It is the first time that the EU has dedicated a thematic year to an “external” policy area.
  • The aims of the EU Year of Development (EYD2015) are:

a. To inform European Union citizens about the EU’s and the Member States’ development cooperation.
b. To foster direct involvement, critical thinking and active interest of EU citizens and stakeholders in development cooperation.
c. To raise awareness of the benefits of EU development cooperation.

  • Dóchas – an umbrella group for Irish development NGOs - was nominated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to coordinate the Irish Action Plan for the European Year of Development.
  • The focus of the European Year of Development in Ireland is: “To establish a new development narrative in Ireland that shifts beyond aid and charity to address issues of universality, solidarity, engagement, individual and collective responsibility, and global solidarity”.