In Their Words... 

President Michael D.Higgins

 Irish Humanitarian Summit , July 2015

President Michael D.Higgins

 Irish Humanitarian Summit , July 2015  (As Gaeilige)

  

Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, 21 May 2015, Dublin

Ban Ki-Moon quote

 

 Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association (October 2014) 

“Ireland’s long standing connection through aid and missionary work has established excellent relationships in Africa. This legacy, combined with Africa’s growing middle class and Ireland’s global reputation of producing quality goods and services, leads to export opportunities across a range of sectors including food and drink, technology, and infrastructure.”

President Michael D. Higgins

Gambella Refugee Camp, Ethiopia November 2014

Simon Anholt: author of Good Country Index

 

The Good Country Index rated Ireland as number 1 good country in the world

 

Simon Anholt of Good Country Index

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD 

At the National Famine Commemoration Ceremony,Strokestown, Co.Roscommon, 11 May 2014.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Irish Overseas aid

President Michael D. Higgins 

 

president michael d higgins quote on africa and growth

David Begg

General Secretary of Irish Congress of Trade Unions, 10 January 2013

"One of Ireland’s greatest assets is our universal reputation for solidarity with the world’s poorest.” 

http://www.ictu.ie/download/pdf/letter_re_gulf_trade_delegation.pdf

Eamon Gilmore 

Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, 30 October 2013

I left the UN last month with renewed confidence that there is an extraordinary global will to fulfil the promise of the MDGs and to adopt in 2015, a new ambitious integrated framework for global development.

This is one clear reason why I have worked hard to maintain Ireland's aid budget and our contribution to the fight to end poverty and hunger.

We have an obligation -  and an interest - to do all we can to achieve this. Let us take up the challenge.  

Joe Costello

Minister of State for Trade and Development, 16 October 2013

Our credibility internationally is built on our work in some of the poorest countries and communities in the world. The Government has reinforced our commitment to international development and its centrality to Irish foreign policy in its new policy document, One World, One Future, which we launched earlier this year. Our policy document reaffirms our commitment to reaching the United Nations target of providing 0.7% of GNP foroverseas development aid when our economic circumstances permit. On current estimates, our percentage should stand at 0.46% in 2013 and 0.43% in 2014. We can be proud of what we are achieving with this funding.  

Alhaji Mumuni

Secretary-General of the Africa-Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states, 18 September 2013

A commitment is a commitment and the commitment that 0.7% of GNP should be contributed is a Millennium Development Goal that ought to be met.  

Michael D. Higgins

President, speech honouring the work of Development NGOs, July 2013

Ireland’s official development aid programme, Irish Aid, and our NGO development agencies have earned a deserved international reputation for their transparency, their technical effectiveness and their human compassion. It is a reputation of which I, as President of Ireland, am extremely proud and for which I wish to thank you all.  

Michael D. Higgins

President, speaking at the National Famine Commemoration, Kilrush, Co. Clare, 2013

Contemplation of our Famine should encourage us to intervene in the contemporary everywhere that we find injustice, poverty and hunger.  

Jamie Drummond

Founder of the ONE Campaign, June 2013

Ireland plays a moral leadership role in fighting hunger and poverty in the poorest countries.  

EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs

October 2012 

"Although I am fully aware that we are facing difficult times, cutting aid is not the right answer… We have a duty of solidarity toward countries which have also been affected by the global crisis and toward the most vulnerable people."

Etharin Cousin, WFP Director

Dublin, March 2012

Etharin Cousin quote

President John F. Kennedy

Speaking in Dublin on 28 June 1963

No nation, large or small, can be indifferent to the fate of others, near or far. Modern economics, weaponry and communications have made us all realize more than ever that we are one human family and this one planet is our home.   

Martin O'Malley

Dublin, 19 June 2013

It is suggested by some that a small country can do little in a world that seems increasingly dominated by the very large few. But the reality is that Ireland is often the forerunner of truly democratic aspirations and realisations.  

Michael D. Higgins

President, on the 50th anniversary of the JFK visit to Ireland, June 2013

President Kennedy’s visit was the shared celebration of a common heritage but it was also a recognition of a shared inter-dependent and global future.  

Joe Costello

Minister of State for Trade and Development, June 2013

This generation has the means and tools to end extreme poverty. The question is, does it have the will?  

82 MEPs call for protection of development aid in EU budget

May 2013

Development cooperation is also crucial for implementing the Lisbon Treaty goals of strengthening the EU as a global actor, and eradication of poverty worldwide.

The EU itself is in economic crisis, but this does not justify cutting smart aid for the world's poorest.  

PMCA Economic Consulting

In PMCA Economic Commentaries, May 2013

Reducing [overseas] assistance, whether official or private, in the short-term may prove myopic and counter-productive when the bigger, longer-term picture of the changing world economic order suggests otherwise.  

Kristalina Georgieva

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, February 2013

The economics of resilience is very clear. For every €1 invested in resilience, up to €7 in emergency response spending can be saved. Similarly, with malnutrition. If we identify the threat of malnutrition early, it makes economic as well as humanitarian sense. Say it costs €10 to nourish a child, if we miss that window it can cost up to €200. You save suffering, you save lives, but you also save money.  

EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs

Dublin, February 2013 

 Eu Commissioner Andris Piebalgs

Bill Gates

Dublin, January 2013

We had 12 million kids a year dying back in 1990, now that’s down to 7 million.  So (it’s) pretty amazing to have that reduction and yet we know it could be far far less, it’s mostly poor kids who aren’t getting the medicine we take for granted in the rich world....I think if we could really tell people the impact this money has, for small amounts of money you can save lives and educate kids, I think they would choose to be more generous even than they are today.  

David Cameron

UK Prime Minister, November 2012

Thirty years ago, more than half the planet lived on the equivalent $1.25 a day or less. Today that's down to one-fifth. I believe this extraordinary story of human progress means we now have within our grasp a unique opportunity to become the generation that eradicates absolute poverty. But we will only achieve that by tackling the root causes of the problem. That is the greatest help we can offer. It is the way to eradicate absolute poverty in our lifetimes. And it is what our efforts are all about. 

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

November 2012

Ireland must continue to make progress towards the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income on overseas aid by 2015. It is in Ireland’s interest to strengthen the foundations of a stable and sustainable international economic order, by investing in overseas aid. Ireland can contribute to building a new global community and build partnerships that will benefit us now and into the future. 

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

July 2012

This country’s legacy is significant. We were one of the drivers of the non-proliferation treaty. We were a driver of the League of Nations. We have led in terms of human rights issues globally. We are a world leader in overseas aid. No country has given more per capita to overseas aid. For a small country we have a considerable legacy. What will be our leadership vision in terms of all of those key issues when we have the Presidency for those six months? 

Eamon Gilmore

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, June 2012

While Ireland’s economic reputation may have been tarnished in recent years, the fundamental values of our society represented by our aid programme have not been questioned and are contributing to our efforts to rebuild our reputation overseas. 

Enda Kenny

Taoiseach, May 2012

The legacy of the Famine is that we bear witness. When we see human suffering, we don’t linger behind the scenes and depend on anonymous process. We go to what we believe is our proper haunt…. as human beings and as Irishmen and Irishwomen: the front-line. For us, food security, humanitarian aid are not just political matters. We make them our personal business because they run so deep in the Irish heart, the Irish experience, the Irish psyche. It is that generational memory that supports Irish Aid and all aid agencies, to bring not just food but hope, self-reliance, compassion and dignity across the Developing World. 

Jamie Drummond

One Campaign’s Executive Director, May 2012

Ireland has some of the best targeted overseas aid in the world, and remains an inspiration to other EU countries. It is important that people in Ireland who are having a hard time know that Ireland’s aid money is among the best spent in the world. It is an enormous credit to the nation.

Anne Anderson

Ireland’s permanent representative to the UN, May 2012

Ireland’s historical experience informs our approach to human rights and our Constitution, through its recognition of fundamental rights, guarantees the individual citizen’s freedom, equality and justice”... “Ireland’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights is an underlying principle of our foreign policy. The pledges include commitments to a target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for overseas development aid, to the fight against global hunger, and to the allocation of 20 per cent of Irish Aid’s budget to hunger-related activities.“ about Ireland’s application to the UN Human Right Council.

Eamonn Gilmore

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, addressing the Labour Party Conference, Galway, April 2012

These are difficult times. Times that test us, but also times that tell us something about ourselves, about our character as a people.

We have not been found wanting. Even in our most difficult economic crisis since independence, we have not forgotten those who are immeasurably worse off than we are ourselves. We have kept faith with the world’s poorest people, during the worst famine in Africa in decades. We stood up for the people of Syria, as they were being slaughtered by their own rulers. And, as I told the United Nations last September, Ireland will stand by the Palestinian people in their quest for a state of their own, and the simple, equal dignity that comes with it.

Those who are denied the means to live and those who are denied their human rights. Theirs is our struggle too.

Bill Gates

Speaking at the European Parliament, January 2012

Even in these challenging economic times, there is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest. Europe has a choice to make.  

Barack Obama

Speaking at College Green in Dublin, May 2011

This is a nation that met its responsibilities by choosing to apply the lessons of your own past to assume a heavier burden of responsibility on the world stage. And today, a people who once knew the pain of an empty stomach now feed those who hunger abroad.

Ireland is working hand in hand with the United States to make sure that hungry mouths are fed around the world - because we remember those times. We know what crippling poverty can be like, and we want to make sure we're helping others.

You're a people who modernised and can now stand up for those who can't yet stand up for themselves. And this is a nation that met its responsibilities - and inspired the entire world – by choosing to see past the scars of violence and mistrust to forge a lasting peace on this island. 

Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

Speaking at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, November 2011

Cutting aid will not balance your budget, but it will hurt the poorest & most vulnerable on earth. 

Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

Speaking at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, November 2011

Assistance is not charity, it is a smart investment in security and prosperity. 

Salil Shetty

Head of the UN Millennium Campaign, speaking in Dublin in 2010

The quality of Irish aid is second to none; it is focused on the poorest countries, and the right issues. 

Bill Clinton

Former US President, speaking in Dublin, September 2010 

Those of us who keep up with these things are in awe that the Government and non-Governmental sector in Ireland have continued to care about the welfare of the truly dispossessed around the world while you're going through this horrible crisis ... That ought to make people feel good in this country - that you can know that you did that. 

Alan McQuaid

Chief Economist, Bloxham

I care because no matter how bad things are here at home, they pale into insignificance compared with the pain and suffering endured in these poor economic countries.

Dr Micheál Collins

Department of Economics,Trinity College Dublin

Ireland has a long and proud tradition of assisting the most vulnerable people on this planet.

(...) we remain a rich country, one with serious fiscal and economic problems, but not one that is poor enough to walk away from its commitment to the planet’s most deprived populations.

Fr Shay Cullen

Founder of the People's Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation (PREDA)

We still have a lot of people who look beyond their own selfish interests and want to help someone more down-and-out than themselves; that's the Irish spirit 

 

Jan O'Sullivan

Minister of State for Trade and Development

Irish Aid is Ireland’s official programme for overseas development - it is in effect the Irish people’s aid programme. It is based upon our experiences and values as a nation. These include a commitment to social justice; to solidarity and to equality.  Our programme is focused on the poorest people in the poorest countries.  And it serves our national interest as a small country in an interconnected world facing increasingly serious global challenges.

Jan O'Sullivan

Minister of State for Trade and Development

Irish Aid funds innovative programmes and partnerships to safeguard and improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable communities. More than 80% of our funding goes to the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

We target it rigorously to ensure that hundreds of thousands more people are properly nourished; their children survive and receive an education;  those who would otherwise die from HIV and AIDS and other communicable diseases get access to life-saving drugs.  And that Ireland is able to respond rapidly and effectively to the suffering caused by natural disasters.

Lorraine Keane

Broadcaster

Ireland needs to stop obsessing about its financial woes and be thankful for what we have... I know people in Ireland are struggling. They are worried about their mortgages and educating their children. But that doesn't compare to the suffering you see here [in Haiti].

Micheal O’Muircheartaigh

Sports Commentator, Teacher, Author and Patron of Just Forests

I care because it is always worth remembering that no matter how economic conditions may deteriorate temporarily here in Ireland they are infinitely worse in the areas where Dóchas members toil. That is why the aid given is so vital for progress.

Eamon Gilmore

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, addressing the UN General Assembly, September 2011

The global financial and economic crisis presents major challenges for all of us in our efforts to maintain solidarity with developing countries. Aid budgets are under significant pressure. But we will not turn our backs on the world’s poorest. In Ireland, despite the economic difficulties we are facing, and because we recognise our moral obligation and our interests, values and principles as a member of the international community, development will remain at the heart of our foreign policy.   We remain committed to the UN target of providing 0.7% of GNP to Official Development Assistance.   We will continue to work to achieve the target. 

John Kioli Kalua and Mrs. Cecilia Kibe Muthoni

Trócaire’s partners from the Kenya Climate Change Working Group

We have seen the impact of the Irish Aid Programme here in Kenya, through the work of Irish aid agencies and the Irish Embassy, we are being supported to achieve our development objectives.

Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State, Speaking with Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, March 2010

I want to commend Ireland for its commitment to devoting 20 percent of its assistance budget to meet the urgent challenge of global hunger. This is a priority for both of our governments, but it’s a historical passion and cause for Ireland.

Ireland is already helping to increase food security in Malawi, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and other places. They are targeting maternal and infant malnutrition. Ireland’s great famine looms large in the history of both of our countries, and we understand what a destabilizing and destructive force hunger still is in too many places around our globe. And I appreciate, particularly during these very difficult economic times, the commitment and generosity of the Irish people. 

Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State, Speaking at the launch of 1000 days: Change a Life, Change the Future, September 2010

The Irish people and the Irish Government knows what hunger means from their own history and, as a result, they have been really the world’s leader in working to harness public and private resources in the fight against hunger, and now undernutrition.

This is a nation that met its responsibilities by choosing to apply the lessons of your own past to assume a heavier burden of responsibility on the world stage. And today, a people who once knew the pain of an empty stomach now feed those who hunger abroad.

Ireland is working hand in hand with the United States to make sure that hungry mouths are fed around the world - because we remember those times. We know what crippling poverty can be like, and we want to make sure we're helping others.

You're a people who modernised and can now stand up for those who can't yet stand up for themselves. And this is a nation that met its responsibilities - and inspired the entire world – by choosing to see past the scars of violence and mistrust to forge a lasting peace on this island.