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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 167-183
 Header Item Ministerial Transport
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Consular Services Representations
 Header Item Labour Court Recommendations
 Header Item Passport Applications
 Header Item Departmental Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Election Monitoring Missions
 Header Item Foreign Conflicts
 Header Item Consular Services Representations
 Header Item Departmental Staff Training
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Diplomatic Representation Expenditure
 Header Item International Summits

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 167-183

Ministerial Transport

 167. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the amount spent by his Department on drivers and ministerial transport since February 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37591/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The following table provides the details of costs for drivers and ground transport for Ministers of State at my Department for the period in question. The sum includes severance payments that arose due to the change in Government in 2011. My Department currently employs two Civilian Drivers.

Ministerial transport costs, 1 February 2011 to September 2012
Driver salaries, including PRSI 190,343
Driver severance and redundancy payments 42,447
Driver subsistence 13,876
Mileage payments to Ministers of State 23,250
Total 269,917

Departmental Expenditure

 168. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the total amount spent since February 2011 on external reports commissioned by his Department, including payments from ministerial allowances, details of the consultants employed and costs of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37623/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for two Votes – Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs) and Vote 27 (International Cooperation). The following table sets out the details of external reports commissioned under Vote 27 since February 2011 and the costs in each case. No external reports were commissioned under Vote 28. The table has been prepared by reference to directly contracted engagements in respect of which professional fees were paid and Professional Services Withholding Tax (PSWT) was deducted, where appropriate. The Department is very conscious of the need to achieve value for money and is in full compliance with national and EU procurement regulations concerning tendering requirements.

   The Department commissions external expertise where highly specialised skills are not available within the Department and, particularly in the case of Irish Aid, where ongoing independent evaluation of programmes and projects is required. During the course of their engagements these consultants/experts may prepare reports and other documentation. In-depth analysis of issues by external experts has informed - and continues to inform - my Department’s policies, allowing for more targeted use of resources and greater accountability in the allocation of budgets. I consider that these reports have been necessary, strategically beneficial and cost-effective.

  External Reports commissioned under Vote 27 (International Cooperation)

Year Experts/Consultants Matter Reported On Cost (€)
2011 Kevin Moore Support to the Governments of Zambia and South Africa to develop Special Economic Zones for the promotion of inward investment and employment €13,581
2011 Paul Sheane Support to the Governments of Zambia and South Africa to develop Special Economic Zones for the promotion of inward investment and employment €9,965
2011 Stefanie Meredith Review of Irish Aid Support for Product Development Partnerships in developing countries. €10,100
2011 Samia Saad Review of Irish Aid Support for Product Development Partnerships in developing countries. €9,198
2011 Paud Murphy Development Education Reviews - to examine the current funding support and engagement in each of the priority areas identified in the Development Education strategy (primary, post primary, third level, adult, community and youth work). €9,064
2011
80:20 Development Education Reviews - to examine the current funding support and engagement in each of the priority areas identified in the Development Education strategy (primary, post primary, third level, adult, community and youth work). €9,870
2011
Eilis Murray Development Education Reviews - to examine the current funding support and engagement in each of the priority areas identified in the Development Education strategy (primary, post primary, third level, adult, community and youth work). €6,068
2011
ISOS Development Education Reviews - to examine the current funding support and engagement in each of the priority areas identified in the Development Education strategy (primary, post primary, third level, adult, community and youth work). €42,247
2011
Bernard McLoughlin Review of the Irish Aid Centre, Dublin €6,143
2011
Cathal Higgins Preparation of a report on the programme of education sector budget support towards school infrastructural development in Karamoja region and skills development in the oil sector (Uganda) €5,000
2011
Nata Duvvury, NUI Galway First draft of Ireland’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 €16,106
2011
Rodney Rice Scoping Irish Aid existing and potential for support for media development to improve governance and transparency in key African countries. €18,756
2012
Humanitarian Policy Ltd Review of Security Policy & Practice among Irish Aid Humanitarian Partners €33,930
2012
Channel Research Review of the Irish Aid Rapid Response Initiative €2,033
2012
Mike Williams Review of Humanitarian Programme Plan for Irish Aid €18,742
2012
Cathy Roche Review of the Our World Awards 2005-2011 €6,300
2012
Everywhere Consulting Feasibility Study on the Establishment of a Humanitarian Hub at Shannon Airport €40,584

Consular Services Representations

 169. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he has made any inquiries in relation to the murder of New Zealand - Irish photojournalist Trent Keegan in Nairobi in 2008; and if his attention has been drawn to the allegations that have been made that the murder was linked to a story that he was investigating at the time.  [37692/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Notwithstanding his connections with Ireland, Mr. Trent Keegan was a citizen of New Zealand travelling on a New Zealand passport. While I am aware that the circumstances of Mr. Keegan’s death in Kenya remain unresolved, Ireland has no consular role or standing in this matter. I understand that the Honorary Consul of New Zealand has provided consular assistance to Mr. Keegan’s family.

  Question No. 170 answered with Question No. 162.

Labour Court Recommendations

 171. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will supply a list of all Labour Court recommendations that have been issued in respect of his Department and organisations under his aegis that have not been complied with in full; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37754/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore There are no outstanding Labour Court recommendations relating to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. There are no State agencies under the Department’s aegis.

Passport Applications

 172. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore when a new passport will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37797/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore A passport was issued to the person in question on 14 August, 2012. This was delivered to him by An Post on the next day.

Departmental Staff Recruitment

 173. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the position regarding recruiting persons with a disability; the number of persons currently employed in his Department; the number of persons with a disability who have been employed since 1 January 2011 to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37838/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Although the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has its own recruitment licence issued by the Commission on Public Service Appointments, most recruitment to the Department is handled centrally by the Public Appointments Service using open competitions. The Deputy will appreciate that the number of new recruits to the Department in 2011 and 2012 to-date has been negligible. No officer with a disability was recruited during that time. The Department carefully monitors its staffing complement to ensure that it exceeds the Government target of 3% of staff with a disability, which is applicable across the Public Service. The position is reviewed annually on the basis of self-declaration, in line with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines. The review conducted in December 2011 indicated that 52 of the Department’s staff had a disability, representing some 3.7%.

Departmental Expenditure

 174. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the amount spent in relation to foreign embassies (details supplied) in 2010 and 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37924/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore My Department operates a network that includes 56 Embassies, 7 multilateral Missions and 10 Consulates General and other offices overseas. In addition to their country of primary accreditation, many Ambassadors are also accredited to additional countries on a non-resident basis. Ireland’s missions abroad perform a wide range of functions in pursuit of Ireland’s foreign policy interests. These include representing and advancing government policies with other States and in international organisations, in particular the EU and the UN; economic and cultural promotion; frontline consular and passport services to Irish citizens overseas; engaging with Irish communities and harnessing the resource they offer in assisting economic recovery; and programme management, particularly in Irish Aid priority countries.

  The annual costs as set out in the following table for 2010 and 2011 are the administrative costs of operating the overseas Missions under the two Votes of my Department – Vote 27 (International Cooperation) and Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs). The figures do not include the salaries of the Irish based staff as these are a charge on the overall salaries budget of the Department rather than on a specific Mission. The budgets of missions that manage significant programmes on behalf of Irish Aid (Vote 27) reflect the additional management and oversight required for the effective implementation of those important programmes.

  Mission Expenditure 2010 & 2011

Mission 2010 2011
ABU DHABI 545,048 385,694
ABUJA 278,241 252,983
ADDIS ABABA 1,377,121 1,210,495
ANKARA 394,114 379,651
ATHENS 489,042 471,858
ATLANTA - CONSULATE 35,380 132,798
BEIJING 728,852 720,028
BERLIN 907,409 926,903
BERNE 429,447 499,593
BOSTON 377,114 359,624
BRASILIA 554,554 529,305
BRATISLAVA 358,004 356,754
BRUSSELS (EMBASSY) 564,559 533,158
BRUSSELS (P.F.P.) 251,942 266,504
BRUSSELS (PR-EU) 3,322,071 3,358,265
BUCHAREST 433,408 472,071
BUDAPEST 453,678 486,420
BUENOS AIRES 438,541 415,840
CAIRO 382,190 423,531
CANBERRA 760,935 746,570
CHICAGO 345,200 341,645
COPENHAGEN 400,517 383,102
DAR-ES-SALAAM 1,469,025 1,484,699
DILI 376,513 352,102
EDINBURGH 229,941 198,844
FREETOWN 384,925 490,561
GENEVA 1,158,745 1,262,958
HANOI 911,489 1,107,770
HELSINKI 526,400 508,919
HOLY SEE 435,726 413,623
KAMPALA 1,773,989 1,397,728
KUALA LUMPUR 362,896 351,349
LILONGWE 1,106,494 1,017,499
LISBON 347,406 427,883
LJUBLJANA 421,396 400,385
LONDON 3,448,547 3,064,169
LUSAKA 1,637,032 1,626,605
LUXEMBOURG 687,546 387,042
MADRID 1,073,062 971,018
MAPUTO 1,797,011 1,722,414
MASERU 724,974 759,799
MEXICO 441,289 437,906
MOSCOW 758,895 731,157
NEW DELHI 743,338 668,436
NEW YORK - C.G. 1,798,093 1,669,443
NEW YORK - PMUN 1,773,546 1,956,879
NICOSIA 397,820 366,537
OSCE - VIENNA 482,715 406,167
OSLO 551,146 643,122
OTTAWA 555,300 561,303
PARIS 1,698,403 1,647,082
PRAGUE 566,321 570,991
PRETORIA 1,324,415 1,296,472
RAMALLAH 348,085 241,485
RIGA 341,547 183,604
RIYADH 344,037 325,653
ROME 1,187,410 1,146,284
SAN FRANCISCO 427,629 339,433
SEOUL 677,583 357,767
SHANGHAI 552,387 555,166
SINGAPORE 821,066 814,117
SOFIA 367,570 360,831
STOCKHOLM 474,031 614,346
STRASBOURG 415,027 409,611
SYDNEY 565,349 624,044
TALLINN 412,343 378,515
TEHRAN 449,698 321,704
TEL AVIV 585,185 548,468
THE HAGUE 741,184 652,113
TOKYO 1,581,230 2,284,440
VALLETTA 324,574 324,249
VIENNA 654,487 655,547
VILNIUS 426,413 414,957
WARSAW 782,993 737,398
WASHINGTON DC 1,236,780 1,072,065

Election Monitoring Missions

 175. Deputy Eoghan Murphy Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the position regarding the outcome of the recent Mexican presidential elections, following reports of vote-rigging, vote-buying and unfair media coverage during the campaign.  [38030/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The Presidential election in Mexico took place on 1st July 2012. Enrique Peña Nieto, the candidate of the PRI - the Institutional Revolutionary Party - has been confirmed by the Mexican electoral authorities as the winner of the election and will take office on 1 December. Mexico’s legislative framework for elections is highly detailed and provides for independent and non-partisan electoral bodies and dispute mechanisms. Reforms in this area in recent years have strengthened further the framework and the transparency of the electoral process. Some 30,000 Mexican and 500 foreign observers were registered as observers for Election Day, including the officers of the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico City. The European Union and the Organisation of American States, amongst others, conducted specialist oversight of the election.

Availing of the legislative provisions open to him, the candidate who came second requested the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute to conduct a recount, claiming widespread voting irregularities. He lodged also a detailed law-suit with the Federal Electoral Tribunal alleging vote buying, media bias and other abuses in favour of the PRI candidate. The Federal Electoral Institute recounted close to 55% of the presidential ballot. It confirmed the result in favour of Mr Peña Nieto by a significant margin. The Federal Electoral Tribunal endorsed this result, confirming that the election was carried out in line with legislation and rejecting the various claims made as grounds to nullify the election. This outcome is consistent with the views of respected international observers. I warmly congratulate Mr Peña Nieto and wish him every success in fulfilling his mandate. I look forward to the enhancement of our bilateral relations with Mexico in the period ahead.

Foreign Conflicts

 176. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will provide the maximum support to the evolving peace process in Colombia.  [38201/12]

 177. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will work closely with the Parliamentary Friends of Columbia Group in the British House of Commons on developing a peace process in Colombia.  [38355/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 and 177 together.

The agreement by the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to engage in official peace negotiations is a positive development that I warmly welcome. The launch next month of peace talks in Norway represents an important opportunity to bring an end to the long conflict that has caused much suffering in Colombia and to provide the people of that country with the peace and stability that they deserve.

We in Ireland understand very well the challenges, the opportunities and the imperative of peace building. We appreciate the responsibility that rests on the parties to these negotiations and wish them success in their important work. We also support the Governments of Cuba and Norway that are, on the request of both parties, acting as facilitators to this process. If invited, we are ready within available means to assist the parties to the talks and the facilitators, particularly as regards advice on the lessons learned from our own peace process.

Consular Services Representations

 178. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will provide an update on an Irish citizen (details supplied) detained in Sri Lanka.  [38442/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore As I confirmed to the Deputy in previous replies in relation to this Irish citizen, my officials remain in close and direct contact with the wife and family of the person mentioned by him and they liaise directly with her on any request for assistance or on any development on his case. The Ambassador and officers in the Embassy in New Delhi, which is accredited to Sri Lanka, have also been very active in pursuit of progress in this difficult case. I met with the wife, daughter and other family representatives of the person mentioned by the Deputy on 29 February 2012. The person’s wife and other family representatives also met with the Head of the Consular Division on 28 May 2012. As a result of these meetings I once again wrote to the Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs on 18 June 2012, urging on behalf of the Government of Ireland, that the person mentioned by the Deputy, either be released or charged at the earliest opportunity. I also informed the Minister of External Affairs that I would like to personally meet with him in the margins of any international meeting at which we are both present, to discuss the case, should the opportunity arise. A response to my letter is awaited.

I am informed that at a fundamental rights hearing of the case before the local Sri Lankan Courts on 10 September 2012, the case was postponed to 8 November 2012, much to the distress of his family, as these hearings have been repeatedly postponed. I am most conscious and concerned about the fact that the person mentioned by the Deputy has now spent 5 years in detention without charge. I can assure the Deputy that all possible consideration will be given to any requests that the family may raise and that I and my officials will continue to seek to raise this case at every opportunity.

Departmental Staff Training

 179. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the amount of money spent on an annual basis on education and training of staff in 2011 and to date in 2012; the number of staff that availed of each course; if he will provide a list of the courses staff undertook and the cost of each course per person.  [38486/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade places a high priority on staff professional development and provides essential training programmes for staff in key areas such as management, communication and language skills, including Irish, and customer service. The Department also provides a comprehensive pre-posting training programme for officers in advance of taking up duty at Missions abroad. This includes modules on economic issues, trade promotion, public diplomacy and consular services. A contribution may also be made by the Department towards the cost of tuition fees incurred by staff members studying in their own time for certain qualifications relevant to the Department’s activities and objectives.

The achievement of value for money is a priority for the Department’s Training and Development Unit. Working within substantially reduced budgetary allocations since 2008, the Unit maximises the use of internal resources and limits to the greatest possible extent expenditure on professional external trainers. Video conferencing technology is also now widely used to include posted and locally employed staff at Missions in training courses. Little or no costs arise in the case of many training courses provided. This is also the case with regard to our Mentoring Programme which, launched on a pilot basis in 2010, is now being reviewed with a view to a wider roll-out.

It would be inordinately time-consuming to compile the requested detailed information for 2011 and 2012 to date. However, in order to be helpful to the Deputy I can advise that the Department’s total expenditure on training and development in 2011 was €483,435, representing a 55% reduction on the outturn for 2007. Expenditure totalling €294,892 has been incurred to date in the current year, from an overall budget of €547,500. The higher 2012 budget reflects the need for additional training relating to Ireland’s forthcoming EU Presidency, such as in foreign languages and in meeting chairmanship skills and negotiating skills.

Appointments to State Boards

 180. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will outline, in tabular form, both the number and the percentage of women and men on State boards under the aegis of his Department in each of the past ten years; if he will provide the most up-to-date figures available regarding the number and percentage of women and men on State boards under the aegis of his Department in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38858/12]

 182. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the steps he is taking to ensure that State boards have at least 40% of each gender, as provided for in the programme for Government; the percentage at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39154/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 182 together.

  There are no state boards and no state agencies operating under the aegis of my Department.

Diplomatic Representation Expenditure

 181. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore when he expects to reopen the embassy to the Holy See; the number of times Ireland's representative to the Vatican has met with the Vatican since his appointment; the number of times he has stayed in Rome since his appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39136/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore As I have stated consistently, the decision to close the resident Embassy to the Holy See will not be reversed in the immediate term. However, in the context of the budgetary situation, I will continue to review the deployment of our diplomatic resources overseas. Any discussions with the Holy See on arrangements whereby it might be possible to re-establish a resident Embassy at a future date are best conducted in confidence and I do not intend to comment further on the matter. Our Ambassador to the Holy See has maintained ongoing diplomatic contact with the Holy See and visits the Vatican regularly. He has had meetings there within the past week.

  Question No. 182 answered with Question No. 180.

International Summits

 183. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the reason the Rio Summit failed to consider private sector initiatives as part of environmental solutions, and if private sector initiatives will be considered and promoted as part of next year's Irish EU Presidency; the reason it was a feature of Rio+20 that EU countries were required to co-ordinate their preparations only through the Ministries of the Environment and not alongside foreign Ministries; his views that foreign Ministries would have better linked the MDGs, Sustainable Development Goals and developing countries' environmental issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39281/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): Information on Joe Costello Zoom on Joe Costello The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which took place in Rio de Janeiro in June, marked the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development and the tenth anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. The goal of the Summit was to secure renewed international political commitment for sustainable development, with a focus on the promotion of a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The Minister for the Environment took the lead in coordinating Ireland’s approach to the Summit, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was also actively engaged in the national consultation process before the Summit and through Irish Aid remains closely involved in the follow up to Rio+20. In line with our priorities in international development, and Ireland’s strong focus on the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, we ensured that effective responses to hunger and poor nutrition in developing countries were prioritised at the Rio meeting. The private sector was actively involved in the preparations of the Rio Summit and the Summit itself and its key role in achieving sustainable development is highlighted throughout the outcome document, “The Future We Want” which, inter alia, states that:

We acknowledge that the implementation of sustainable development will depend on the active engagement of both the public and the private sectors. We recognize that the active participation of the private sector can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, including through the important tool of public-private partnerships  ”

  With regard to the follow up to the Rio Summit, Ireland is working closely with the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the Cypriot Presidency of the EU and other Member States and through the UN to ensure the outcomes of Rio such as the process to develop Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are addressed in the context of the upcoming 2013 UN General Assembly Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in a coherent and integrated manner. In this context the Irish Presidency of the EU will be centrally engaged in agreeing a common EU position for the 2013 UN General Assembly Event on the MDGs and in seeking to develop an EU position on the Post-2015 development framework, taking into account both MDGs and SDGs.


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