The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will this morning (Wednesday 23 January) host a breakfast meeting for Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates to discuss Development Aid priorities for Ireland’s EU Presidency.
Mr Gates is visiting a number of European countries ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
During breakfast the pair will focus on forthcoming negotiations to agree an EU budget for 2014 -2020, which will determine the size of the EU’s Emergency Aid Reserve and the European Development Fund.
The Tánaiste said:
“I am delighted to welcome Bill Gates to Dublin. The Irish people have a deep respect for his successes in business and innovation, and his personal commitment to ending poverty, hunger and disease in the world.
“In particular I welcome the prominence he is giving to development issues. We are determined that these vital issues will remain central to Ireland’s foreign policy. Our own experience of famine has shaped our national identity,” he added.
The Tánaiste and Mr Gates will also discuss Ireland’s top development priority for the Irish Presidency, which is to agree a common EU position for the United Nations Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in 2013.
At the Special Event, world leaders will discuss the progress made to date on the MDGs and will map out the direction of global development aid post-2015.
The post-2015 development framework will be the main focus of the meeting of EU Development Ministers in Dublin on 11/12 February which will be hosted by the Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D.. The Minister of State will also attend the breakfast which will take place in Iveagh House at 7.30 am.