A Limavady man has described as “an incredible honour” his role in the Irish Government’s core team during intensive negotiations at the United Nations where member states agreed on a “bold, ambitious and transformative” sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years.
Last Sunday at the UN, following the final two intensive weeks of negotiations in a three year process, all 193 member states agreed on a new global agenda for poverty eradication and sustainable development, Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ireland, along with Kenya, led the final phase of the negotiations at the United Nations
Niall Tierney, aged 41, who works for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was part of the Irish team that led the final phase of negotiations.
“It has been an incredible honour and experience to work in Ireland’s core team at the United Nations in delivering this outcome last Sunday, an opportunity made possible by Ireland’s central role in the final nine months of this global process, a role which illustrates Ireland’s historic commitment to the UN,” said Niall.
“Indeed, as Minister Flanagan noted in welcoming the agreement along with Minister Sherlock, it is a very fitting way to mark the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the organization.”
Explaining his role in the team during negotiations, Niall explained: “My function in this has been to support consensus building among countries and groups through these many months of negotiations and support the finalisation of the outcome document”.
Whilst the Agenda and its goals are now agreed, the outcome will be formally adopted by all Heads of State and Government when they travel to the UN in September.
“It has been fascinating and demanding in equal measure and, with its successful conclusion, gives hope that the climate agreement in December will bring the determination required to build upon the two outcomes so far and ensure that actions stemming from these agreements will be what is required to eliminate extreme poverty in a generation and shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path.”
Niall, a past pupil of Termoncanice PS in Limavady, previously worked with the internationally-known Irish charity Concern for 12 years and has a wealth of experience in international development and humanitarian aid.
“The Secretary General to the UN, Ban Ki Moon has called agenda ‘a roadmap to ending global poverty, building a life of dignity for all and leaving no one behind; a clarion call to intensify efforts to heal our planet for the benefit of this and future generations’,” said Niall. “Whilst it will take forward the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals, which were focused on actions in the poorest countries, this new agenda is universal and will apply to all countries.
“In that, as well as in others senses, it is truly transformative.”