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Minister Sherlock launches Ireland’s UN Youth Delegate Programme


Programme launched with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at special youth event on the Sustainable Development Goals

The Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today launched the United Nations’ Youth Delegate Programme of Ireland at a special event in Iveagh House.

The Minister was joined by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and over 100 young people from around Ireland to discuss a new set of international Sustainable Development Goals and their vision for the world in 2030.

UNICEF Ireland Ambassador, Donncha O’Callaghan and UNICEF Ireland High Profile Supporter, Evanna Lynch also joined the discussion to share their insights.

Launching the programme, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to launch the UN Youth Delegate Programme of Ireland today, together with the National Youth Council of Ireland. Under this programme, Irish Aid will support two young people - aged 18 to 25 - to join Ireland’s delegation to the United Nations in New York in September 2015. This is a unique and very exciting opportunity for any young person.”

Minister Sherlock also held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary-General, where their discussions focused on the final phase of negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals, which Ireland is co-chairing.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are set to be agreed at a UN Summit of world leaders in September 2015.

Speaking about the new Goals, Minister Sherlock said:

“The Sustainable Development Goals and are aimed at eradicating poverty, addressing environmental degradation and climate change, and building a more peaceful, fair and sustainable world, and provide us with a collective vision of how we can achieve it.

“They offer us an ambitious framework to tackle the most pressing social, economic and environmental problems facing the world today – to the benefit of us all.

“We are fully committed to ensuring the SDGs are achieved. Through our aid programme, Irish Aid, we will continue to tackle the root causes of inequality, poverty and hunger.

“I am immensely proud that Ireland has had a unique role in this process to date. As co-facilitators with Kenya of the final phase of negotiations, we have been entrusted with a huge responsibility to guide agreement on these Goals. The appointment puts Ireland at the centre of the most important and ambitious global development agenda that the world has ever undertaken. We take this responsibility very seriously, and our teams in New York, and here in Ireland are working hard on this important role.”


Press Office
26 May 2015

Notes to Editors:

• Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see the Irish Aid website.

• The full list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals are available here. They cover such diverse areas as poverty, climate change, agriculture, education, gender equality, health, justice, employment and environmental degradation. The Sustainable Development Goals are universally applicable – meaning they apply to Irish domestic and international policy. The target date to achieve the goals is 2030.

• Ireland was appointed as co-facilitator of the final phase of negotiations of the post-2015 development agenda/Sustainable Development Goals by the President of the UN General Assembly in 2014. The other co-facilitator is the Kenya.

• The co-facilitation role involves the final stage of negotiations – beginning in January 2015. There have been five negotiating sessions since January – each lasting three to five days. During each session, the Irish and Kenyan co-facilitators propose the agenda, invite statements from Member States and key non-governmental stakeholders, and consolidate all views to a consensus or summary position.

• There will be two more negotiating sessions in the coming months to agree the new sustainable development agenda, with a final UN Summit to take place from 25-27thSeptember. At this Summit, the leaders of the world’s 193 countries will commit to the new development agenda, including a set of Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030.

• The UN Youth Delegate Programme is an international programme, where young people are included in a country's official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and various functional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council. 2015 is the first year that Ireland has participated in the programme.

• The UN Youth Delegate Programme for Ireland has been established with the National Youth Council of Ireland, with the support of Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Irish Aid will support two young people (one male and one female) aged between 18-25 years to join Ireland’s delegation to the United Nations in New York in September/October 2015. Applications are now being open – the closing date is June 5th. Application forms are available on the Irish Aid and NYCI website.