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Ireland's Special Role

Ireland has played a very unique and central role in the process to agree the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2014, the President of the UN General Assembly appointed Ireland’s UN Ambassador, David Donoghue, to facilitate the final intergovernmental negotiations. He shared the role with Kenya’s UN Ambassador, Macharia Kamau.

This appointment placed Ireland at the centre of intergovernmental negotiations on the Sustainable Development Agenda. Throughout 2015, Ireland and Kenya brought together all UN member states, civil society, the private sector and others in a series of formal negotiating sessions and informal consultations.

On 2nd August 2015, agreement was finally reached. In an historic moment, Ambassador Donoghue and Ambassador Kamau informed the gathering of all UN Member States that agreement had been reached, and presented the final text: Transforming Our World:  the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  


The agreement sets the course for the entire world to deliver a more sustainable, prosperous and peaceful future for all, in harmony with our planet. It will be adopted by world leaders at a special UN Summit from 25-27 September 2015.

Ireland’s appointment to this role was a huge honour for the country, and a great responsibility.  It was testament to Ireland’s standing internationally, particularly to the excellent reputation of our overseas aid programme, Irish Aid; our proud record of promoting human rights; and our long-standing participation in peacekeeping across the world.

The ultimate success of our role is a tremendous way to mark both the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the organisation.

More information on the inter-governmental negotiations is available from the UN's Sustainable Development Platform.