Taoiseach to use New York summit address to urge progress on development goals

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA).
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA). Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA).

World leaders need to make up for lost time and strive to meet 2030 targets for sustainable development, the Taoiseach has said.

Leo Varadkar will address a summit in New York on Monday on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The goals cover 17 interlinked areas for action agreed by world leaders in 2015.

They are designed to increase global prosperity, tackle inequalities and protect the environment.

Ahead of his visit to the US, Mr Varadkar said countries needed to redouble efforts to achieve the 2030 goals, with progress currently behind schedule.

Ireland Tanaiste Micheal Martin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan are all travelling to New York (Liam McBurney/PA)

“My visit to the United Nations comes at a time of critical challenge for the world,” he said.

“Ireland has been centrally involved in developing and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals which were adopted in 2015.

“Progress towards achieving them has been set back by the pandemic, the consequences of conflict, including in Ukraine, and by the increasing pace and ferocity of extreme weather events.

“I will be urging leaders to make maximum use of the time ahead to make up this lost ground, and to really focus on ensuring we reach the targets we have set ourselves by 2030.

“The world’s most vulnerable people in particular, are depending on us.”

Tanaiste Micheal Martin and Environment Minister and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan are also attending the UN in New York.

On Tuesday Mr Varadkar will be at the opening of the UN’s 78th General Assembly, at which he will have a number of meetings, formal and informal, with counterparts from around the world in the margins.

He will deliver Ireland’s National Statement to the Assembly on Friday.

He will also meet young Irish people involved in the tech sector; make an address to the Council on Foreign Relations on Irish foreign policy priorities; and attend a lunch for the Ireland Funds organisation.

He will also visit the Irish Arts Centre, which is hosting an exhibition of work by artist Colin Davidson.

“I am also greatly looking forward to renewing contacts with the Irish community in New York, including young people working in tech, and board members of the Irish Funds who have done so much to promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland,” he said.

The Taoiseach will also travel to Miami, where he will officially open Ireland’s ninth consulate general in the US and meet representatives of the Irish community there.

“I am also pleased to have the opportunity to officially open Ireland’s new consulate general in Miami, our ninth in the United States, and a further signal of the Government’s commitment to continuing to deepen our diplomatic presence in the Americas,” he said.