The millennium development goals, MDGs, were adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in 2000. They set out specific targets for reducing global poverty, hunger, disease and inequality, and provide the framework for international development up to 2015. The planned MDG special event in 2013 is part of an ongoing process of review and assessment of their implementation. It will build on the MDG review summit held last year in New York.
The millennium development goals are at the heart of Ireland's aid programme and our development policy. We have been working internationally to ensure international development policy remains focused on their achievement. Last month in New York I met the heads of the main UN agencies and reviewed progress, looking ahead to the UN events in 2013 and 2015. Ireland has played a strong role throughout the MDG process to ensure the focus has remained on the poorest and most vulnerable populations, and especially on the continuing global hunger crisis. This will continue to be our priority in the run-up to the 2015 deadline and beyond.
The United Nations conference on sustainable development will take place in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. The key objectives will be to secure a renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assess progress on the implementation of the outcomes of previous summits, and address new and emerging global challenges. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is co-ordinating Ireland's preparations for the conference and Irish Aid is engaging actively on the international development dimension. The Department has begun a stakeholder consultation process and will organise a public seminar in October. It is also preparing a revised national sustainable development strategy which is expected to be published for public consultation later this year.