Ireland shows the way on one big issue

FOREIGN Minister Micheál Martin recently co-chaired a high-profile event with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the margin of the UN Millennium Development Goals review summit in New York.

The event, marking the launch of an advocacy initiative to mobilise political action on hunger, shows how a small country like Ireland can leverage enormous political influence by focusing its efforts on a particular theme and by using the expertise in its development cooperation programme to influence the larger countries.

The ‘1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future’ initiative was the culmination of a determined international advocacy effort by the Government following the adoption of the recommendations by the Irish Hunger Task Force two years ago.

It is wonderful to see Ireland leading the world in this way on an issue that is so close to people’s hearts. Recent opinion polls, commissioned by the EU and Dóchas respectively, showed that four out of five people in Ireland feel we must keep our promise on overseas aid.

For this reason, it is heartening to see the Government build an international leadership reputation on our core values as a nation.

Hans Zomer

Dóchas

Harcourt Street

Dublin 2

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