NGOs Welcome Government’s Reaffirmation To Ensuring Stable and Fairer World

Irish Development NGOs have welcomed the Government’s recently launched Irish Aid Policy Paper, One World, One Future, which forms the basis of the Government's engagement with development cooperation. 

Commenting on the launch of the Paper (launched 2 May), Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas, the network of 49 Irish Development NGOs, said: “Seven years ago, the Government first set out explicitly in the White Paper on Irish Aid why Ireland invests in development cooperation. The White Paper was an expression of Irish people’s sense of moral purpose to ensure that every person in the world could have a fair chance at living a full and dignified life”.
 
“We have a document that renews and reaffirms Ireland’s vision for a better world and our role in helping to create it. This document celebrates who we are as a people – the values we hold dear and the changes we, as a county, want to bring about”. 
 
Dóchas pointed out that last month at a major event in the RDS, people from across Ireland voted on the priorities for a better Ireland and a fairer world. They said loud and clear that a more equal, democratic and environmentally sustainable world is essential for creating a better Ireland. This view has been echoed by people in developing countries around the world. These must be the priorities of the Government as it sets out to deliver on the new policies commitments.
 

"Our future is interwoven with the future and prosperity of everyone else on this planet"

“Ireland’s place in the world is defined by our shared belief in peaceful cooperation among nations for the betterment of all people. This belief has led to us taking a prominent role in the EU and UN. Our past has taught us only through international cooperation can we reduce human suffering”.
 
“Ireland is changing. We are facing huge challenges in our society with inequality, poverty and powerlessness increasing. The Development Policy reminds us that to overcome these challenges, we need to treat them as global and not only local challenges. Our future is interwoven with the future and prosperity of everyone else on this planet,” said Zomer.
 
Dóchas members in particular welcomed the Government’s focus on the need for joined up thinking in the fight against poverty. 
 
“The Government acknowledged today that aid is crucial for poor and marginalised people, but that aid alone cannot end poverty. The new Policy on International Development brings greater clarity on how we bring about positive and lasting change for the poorest of the poor. It is willing to make difficult choices in the protection of vulnerable people’s human rights,” noted Hans Zomer. 
 
The new Policy has a strong focus on fragility and assisting countries and communities to increase their resilience to disasters and setbacks. Particular emphasis will be placed on equality, disability and the role of civil organisations in furthering the interest of, and giving a voice to, the world’s poorest people. 
 
Dóchas members particularly praised the renewed focus on hunger as the core development challenge to be addressed by Ireland but emphasised the need to address poverty’s root causes.
 
“98% of hungry people live in developing countries, where almost 15% of the 
population is undernourished. We welcome the fact that Ireland has become a strong advocate for greater policy focus on hunger and nutrition. Yet, we need to see this complemented by more emphasis on the drivers of hunger, such as land grabs, biofuels and climate chaos,” concluded Hans Zomer.