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Minister Costello discusses EU Presidency with NGO groups

Governance, News/feature, Ireland, Europe, 2012

Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, today discussed Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU with representatives of Irish Non-Government Organisations which are focused on global development.


Minister Costello discussed plans for the Informal meeting of EU Development Ministers which takes place in Dublin in February.  He said: 


“The Irish Presidency comes at a critical juncture in international development as we approach the deadline for achievement of the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. A global discussion has already begun on what will replace the MDGs.


“Ireland holds the Presidency in the lead-up to a UN Special Event on the MDGs in autumn 2013, where the international community will begin to shape the post-2015 global development framework.  During this time, Ireland will work tirelessly with our European partners to ensure that the EU, which is world’s largest provider of development assistance, engages effectively in this process.” 


Minister Costello also spoke about the important role that Irish NGOs will play in developing a new set of goals to tackle poverty and under-development after 2015.


“Civil Society will have an important role to play in the post-2015 process, both through working to engage Irish society on the substance of this important debate, and also by actively contributing to the global dialogue.”


The Presidency comes on the fortieth anniversary of Ireland’s accession to the EU.  Accession to the EU prompted the establishment of Ireland’s development cooperation programme – now Irish Aid.




  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas assistance. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Ireland assumes Presidency of the Council of the EU on January 1, 2012.
  • The Millennium Development Goals are a set of eight goals agreed by 189 nations in 2000 to free people from poverty and deprivation. The goals include reducing maternal and child mortality, eradicating extreme hunger and poverty and achieving universal primary education. The deadline for achievement of the goals is 2015.