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Celtic Tiger Ireland must honour its commitment to worlds poor - Mary Lou McDonald

29 September, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today called upon the international community, and in particular, the Irish government to honour its commitments made under the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Ms McDonald made her comments after she voted to support a joint resolution on the outcomes of the UN World Summit held in New York between 14 - 16th September.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms McDonald said:

"The United Nations is at a crucial juncture in its 60 year history. As the UN seeks to reform itself, it must effectively respond to new challenges in a rapidly changing world. For many years, the UN has been consistently under funded and undermined from a number of different quarters. However, the organisation remains the only truly multi-national body with the potential to deal with global issues and crises.

"The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) remain an important and realistic strategy for dealing with global poverty, child mortality, access to safe drinking water and education provision throughout the developing world. The UN is the only organisation which can ensure that such targets are reached and that the international community honours its obligations.

"The outcomes of the UN World Summit were mixed. Whilst support for the aims and objectives of the organisation were reaffirmed, it is disappointing that a precise timetable on committing developed countries to the intermediate and final MDG targets were not forthcoming. Nor did the Summit challenge those countries that have yet to commit themselves to ensuring 0.7% of GNP is earmarked for assisting the world's poorest people.

"Unfortunately, the Irish Government continues to renege on its international promises on Overseas Development Aid (ODA). It is an absolute scandal that wealthy Ireland contributes less than half a percent of its GNP to the world's most impoverished nations and will not meet the target of 0.7% of GNP by 2007. This Government must seriously re-examine its priorities. Whilst Celtic Tiger Ireland is obsessed with making money, it is not too keen on parting with it, even for such worthy goals as the eradication of world poverty." ENDS

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