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Ireland co-hosts United Nations Zero Hunger event

Hunger, Aid Effectiveness, News/feature, Ireland, 2015
President Higgins speaking at the Global Goals Summit New York

President Michael D Higgins and Brazilian football star Kaka at the "Mobilizing Generation Zero Hunger" event at the UN, New York

As part of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in the United Nations in New York, a high level event was co-hosted by Ireland on the 26th of September, entitled “Mobilizing Generation Zero Hunger.” Irish President Michael D. Higgins gave the opening speech, in which he affirmed that “the Irish Government has placed the fight to end hunger and under-nutrition at the centre of our foreign policy.”

The event brought together young activists from around the world, along with global leaders, policy makers and celebrities such as Brazilian football star Kaka, to mobilise youth to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) - of ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. The event demonstrated how young people are central to achieving the goal.

World leaders have committed to 17 global goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will combine to achieve three main aims by 2030 - end extreme poverty, fight inequality and justice and fix climate change. Ireland, with Kenya, played a key role as co-facilitators in negotiating the new global development agenda. In a passionate speech, President Higgins commented that it was “unacceptable that 800 million people in the world are hungry, one of the greatest failures of contemporary life.”

President Higgins commented that it was “unacceptable that 800 million people in the world are hungry, one of the greatest failures of contemporary life.”

He went on to say that “the source of hunger is endemic poverty which is sourced in injustice, and sustained and deepened by inequality.” The President urged those present to champion the idea that hunger could be eliminated in our lifetimes, with the right political will.

Irish Aid’s work reflects Ireland’s foreign policy, with more than 20% of the Irish Aid budget directed to tackling hunger. In Ireland’s key partner countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Sierra Leone, there is a strong direct focus on tackling hunger. Furthermore, Ireland works at national, EU and wider international level to promote leadership and to help galvanise the political will to address the issue and make zero hunger a reality.

 Read more about the Sustainable Development Goals 

Read more about SDG 2

Read more about Irish Aid’s work on hunger