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Aid and Trade Policies Examined in Ireland

13 May 2015

From left to right: Ms. Lorna Gold, Ms. Nora Owen, Ms. Maureen O’Sullivan TD and Ms. Hannah Grene.

From left to right: Ms. Lorna Gold, Ms. Nora Owen, Ms. Maureen O’Sullivan TD and Ms. Hannah Grene.

Dublin, Ireland – On 13 May 2015, the Irish AWEPA Section teamed up with Irish NGO, Trócaire, to launch an excellent new report: “Where Aid Meets Trade: Ireland’s role in a changing development landscape.”

This independently written report is the first clear statement of how Ireland’s trade and aid policies complement and contradict one another.  It is set against the context of rapid international changes which sees far greater private sector involvement in development policies. Issues such as business and human rights, “de facto tied aid” and the G8’s “New Alliance for Food Security” feature prominently in the report.

The Dublin launch was chaired by Head of the Irish AWEPA Section, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, and featured an all-woman panel of Hannah Grene, the report’s author, Lorna Gold of Trócaire and Nora Owen, a long-standing AWEPA member who chairs Irish Aid’s Expert Advisory Group. An audience representing NGOs, government, universities and business attended and the report was featured The Irish Times newspaper’s business section.

Both Ms. O’Sullivan TD and Ms. Owen spoke passionately about the need for strong, enforceable mechanisms to protect livelihoods, human rights and the environment, amid rapid economic growth in Africa. Both also called for real and effective development aid policies to be maintained post-2015 and for countries to reach their targets of 0.7% GNI, notwithstanding any new financing initiatives.

Speaking from the floor, Irish AWEPA Member Tony Lawlor TD emphasised the need for “added value” for African agricultural products, which is seen as the key to distributing wealth by initiatives such as “Proudly Made in Africa”. 

Irish AWEPA Council Member, Denis Naughten TD, called for a combined “one stop shop” where Irish companies investing in Africa could integrate human rights due diligence into their investment strategies.

More tweets and photos of the event