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Sinn Féin MEP backs calls for Government to keep promises on aid for poorer nations

20 June, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today called upon the government to "hold to its original promise of meeting 0.7% of GDP by 2007".

Ms McDonald made her calls as representatives of Trócaire are due to hand 10,000 postcards to the Taoiseach today, urging the government to keep to its pledge to increase overseas development spending.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"Trócaire's campaign is a timely reminder of this government's responsibilities on overseas development aid for some of the poorest and impoverished nations of the world. In 1970 leading EU member states pledged to provide 0.7% of Gross National Income in aid to developing countries by 1980. Today, 25 years later only five of the original 15 member states have met this target.

"Pressure must be kept up to ensure that government meets its commitments and the UN target of 0.7 per cent of GNP. Government must hold to its original promise of meeting 0.7% of GDP by 2007. Furthermore, the government must look beyond this period by committing to 1% of GDP in future years. A number of European nations have since met this target.

"At a time of unprecedented growth in the southern economy, the opportunity exists to make a positive difference in other parts of the world. This government must follow the example of thousands of people across Ireland who want to see progress on this issue." ENDS

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