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Tánaiste Calls For Better Nutrition For Mothers and Children

Hunger, News/feature, Global, Ireland, 2011

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., accompanied by the Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., today delivered a key-note address to a special UN high-level meeting on Nutrition (click on link for full text of speech).

The meeting marked the anniversary of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement which was launched at the ‘1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future’ event hosted jointly by Ireland and the United States in New York last September.  The high-level meeting today brought together over 400 representatives of government, civil society and private sector leaders including the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and President Kikwete of Tanzania. 

Ireland is playing a leading role in the fight against under-nutrition, which is one of the world’s most serious but least addressed health problems. Since the initiative was launched, Ireland has been working with international partners to galvanise international action on tackling such malnutrition.  These efforts are linked to the first Millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, an objective to which the Tánaiste and other leaders are re-committing at the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Speaking at the high-level meeting the Tánaiste said:

“Last year Ireland committed to ‘1,000 Days of Action to Scale Up Nutrition’.  We committed to lead by influence and example.  We committed to support national governments in their own efforts to scale up nutrition.”

“...in our aid programme we have aligned our structures, our programmes and our budgets to ensuring delivering on SUN remains a core priority of the Government.”

“I am delighted that we have witnessed such progress in getting the SUN movement off the ground.  Over the next year we must focus on delivering better nutrition for mothers and children at household level – which if replicated across countries and regions will support the growth and development of a new next generation which will drive their nations’ progress and well-being.  Working together we, as a Movement, have the ability to make this a reality.”