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Joining Mary Robinson on UN group

I’m very pleased to announce that the secretary general of the United Nations has appointed me to a high-level international working group aimed at tackling child hunger in the world’s poorest countries. 

I will join former president Mary Robinson on the group, which also includes the prime ministers of Bangladesh, Nepal and Namibia, and the presidents of Mozambique and Tanzania. It will be chaired by Tony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF

1,000 days

This working group will provide leadership to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. Initiated in 2010, SUN was created to enable sustained and demonstrable reductions in the number of people, especially children, affected by poor nutrition.

At this point, 27 countries have committed to follow the principles of the SUN movement, which focuses particularly on improving nutrition during the vulnerable period of 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. Read more about SUN.

Fight against poverty

The SUN movement represents one of the most positive and potentially most impactful developments in the fight against poverty over the past decade. I am honoured to accept this invitation from Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general.

International leadership

In September 2010, the Irish and US governments agreed to provide international leadership in promoting the SUN movement.  

Over the past year, that leadership has been given clear expression through the meetings of the tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Recognition for Ireland

I am particularly pleased that the Irish government and Irish charities have played a critical role in generating this positive momentum. 

In addition, the fact that two Irish people, Mary Robinson and myself, have been invited to join the lead group should be seen as reflecting the acknowledged leadership role of Ireland in the fight against global hunger.