Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D. to the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs
Opening statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D. to the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Tuesday, 6 July, 2004. Estimates for Public Services, 2004. Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs
Mr Chairman, I welcome this opportunity to meet the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs to consider Vote 28. Before I proceed, however, I would like to make a few brief comments in relation to Vote 29, which Minister Tom Kitt will be dealing with in more detail following the discussion on Vote 28.
Overseas development aid is an integral part of our foreign policy and represents one of the Government’s priorities. Ireland has a proud record in the field of development cooperation. Down through the years thousands of Irish missionaries and lay people have served overseas in a voluntary capacity and have made an immeasurable contribution to the well-being of the poorest of the poor in some of the world’s most disadvantaged countries. Our own history of colonisation, famine and emigration has enabled us to identify with the plight of those most in need. The generosity of the Irish people in contributing to NGOs and to international relief efforts is well known. Full Press Release available here. Top