Minister Peter Power shares Ireland’s lessons and experiences in overseas development with new and accession EU states
Representatives of Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia are in Dublin to participate in the Irish Aid Mentoring Programme. Over three days, officials from these countries will learn about Irish Aid, the government’s official overseas development programme and how it has evolved and grown since it was established in 1974. As part of EU membership, new Member States are required to develop Overseas Development Assistance programmes. Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD, met the group and spoke of the importance of partnership on this issue among countries at EU level. He said:
“The mentoring programme reflects our commitment to working with our partners in the EU as well as EU accession states, sharing lessons and experiences in the field of overseas development cooperation.
I strongly believe that despite the challenges you may envisage in developing your aid programmes, it is through a spirit of common humanity and genuine desire to assist those most in need throughout the world, that development cooperation programmes grow. In Ireland, even in the most difficult of times, there has always been an empathetic and generous response to the needs of those suffering.”
Note for editors:
The Irish Aid Mentoring Programme was established in 2005. New EU Member States are obliged to develop Overseas Development Assistance programmes of their own, and to increase their Overseas Development Assistance spending to 0.17 per cent of GNI by 2010 and to 0.33 per cent by 2015.
The mentoring visits are designed to impart the lessons which Irish Aid has learned throughout the past thirty four years. In turn, Irish Aid builds closer relations with the new and accession Member States and learns about their perspectives on development cooperation.
Each visit consists of an intensive 2½-day series of talks on different aspects of Irish Aid’s activities. Over the twelve-month period September 2005 to September 2006 delegations from the ten Member States which acceded to the EU in May 2004 visited as part of the programme.
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