Ireland should lead way for better world - says new Project US report

LtoR Liam Reynolds, Jessica Maguire, Claire Williams, Lauren Wright at the Concern tent at the Electric Picnic Festival in Stradbally, Co. Laois in 2019.
LtoR Liam Reynolds, Jessica Maguire, Claire Williams, Lauren Wright at the Concern tent at the Electric Picnic Festival in Stradbally, Co. Laois in 2019.

As the United Nations marks the fifth anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals today, over one thousand Irish people are calling for these planet-saving objectives to be at the heart of Ireland’s national and local government plans.

The Project Us report, supported by Irish Aid and co-authored by Concern Worldwide and the University of Limerick, captures the views and recommendations of 1,000 Irish people on issues like climate-change, gender equality, poverty and hunger. 

Since 2017, funded by Irish Aid, Concern has been running café style consultations with community groups and organisations across the island of Ireland, briefing them on the United Nations Sustainable Goals (SDGs) and getting their views on how they might be achieved.

Participants included the Cork Life Centre, the Limerick Youth Service, Age Action, Chefs Network Ireland, Galway Comhairle na nÓg, Greystones Tidy Towns, Loreto Secondary Schools in Mullingar and in Fermoy, Pavee Point, the Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty and St Colmcille’s Primary School in Knocklyon, Dublin.

It is hoped the Project Us report – which has been sent to Taoiseach Micheál Martin – will help kick-start a “decade of action” led by Ireland showing other countries what must be done to achieve the United Nations’ 17 goals to create a safer and more peaceful world by their own deadline of 2030.

One of the key recommendations in the report is that Ireland become a global leader in tackling the climate crisis by going beyond “short sighted political cycles” and introducing progressive laws and policy measures.

“The time to act is now,” said Michael Doorly, the Head of Active Citizenship in Ireland’s largest humanitarian organisation, Concern Worldwide.

“Our children need us, the grown-ups, to step-up and protect their tomorrow.

“Ireland now has an opportunity, especially as it prepares to take its seat at the UN Security Council in January, to lead the way for the rest of the planet.”

Concern’s Communications Director, Sarah Martin, said it is hoped that the suggestions from the public in the report will be considered for enactment by the government with support in the private sector and across society.

“The hope of all those who participated in Project Us is that Ireland and the world will apply the same focus we have on eradicating COVID-19 to also achieving the SDGs,” said Ms Martin.

The report calls for the UN’s goals to be placed “at the heart” of all Irish government departments and for political leaders to make Ireland a model of best practice globally in integrating and reporting on them.

The Project US report can be found on the Concern website at www.concern.net/ProjectUs2020.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Kevin Jenkinson at kevin.jenkinson@concern.net or on 0863582886.

About the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030, are part of a UN Resolution called "The 2030 Agenda". 

About Project Us

Project Us is a movement for change in Ireland, facilitated by Concern Worldwide and funded by Irish Aid, that began in 2017 and ends in 2021. It is a space (online and off) for communities to gather to discuss the global and local issues that matter to them, that distress them, that enrage them. More especially, the project explores how issues at local level connect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 

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