Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin and Overseas Development Minister Peter Power will represent Ireland at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York today.
Speaking ahead of the two-day talks, Mr Power said they would press for an urgent focus on the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.
“With just five years to the target date for achievement of the goals, this summit is an important test of our commitment to the world’s poorest people,” he said.
“It is crucial that we candidly examine the uneven nature of our progress and the challenges we have yet to overcome.”
Mr Power said statistics show that almost one billion people in the world go hungry every day.
World leaders are gathering at the summit to review the progress of eight Millennium Development Goals, agreed in 2000 and to be achieved by 2015.
They include wiping out extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, ensuring environmental sustainability, gender equality, cutting child mortality and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
On Tuesday, Mr Martin and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will co-host a high-level political event on fighting world hunger.