17 Oct

A short « To Do List » for all candidates to the next General Election

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« Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – Preamble – This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. »

These are the first words of the 2030 Agenda, prepared with the support of the Irish Mission at the United Nations and adopted by the Irish State, as one of the Member States of the UN, on the 25 September 2015 in New York.

As we mark the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty, this 17 October 2015, ATD Ireland (www.atdireland.ie) takes this Agenda on board. It calls on all candidates to the 2016 General Election to prepare themselves to work towards the realisation of the 2030 Agenda and to play their part in combatting poverty and deprivation, both in Ireland and abroad.

As part of this preparation, we suggest here a « To Do List » ahead of next general election:

1 – Think Global Goals: We invite future candidates to study the content of the 2030 Agenda and the commentary of Irish Ambassador Michael Donoghue about the spirit that guided its elaboration. If they are elected, we expect Dáil representatives to help put in place a national strategy for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Ireland and abroad.

2 – Think Human Rights: We invite future candidates to acquaint themselves with the ambitious Human Rights framework adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in September 2012and inspired, among others, by the report on Ireland of UN Special Rapporteur Magdalena Sepulveda. This framework is « The UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights». If candidates are elected, we recommend they use this framework as one of the key documents for the design of a long-term multi-dimensional consistent national anti-poverty strategy.

3 – Keep Promises: In February 2014, the Irish Constitutional Convention requested with a massive majority the strengthening of the protection of

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Irish Constitution. Having in mind the current dramatic housing crisis, and in support of the work of the Irish ESC Rights initiative, we invite future candidates to remember the 2014 decision and to ensure the new Government looks favourably on the Constitutional Convention’s request.

In September 2015, Taoiseach Enda Kenny reiterated the Irish promise to achieve the UN 0.7% GDP target for development assistance. But no timelines were given to the commitment. We invite future candidates to suggest timelines and to keep promises.

4 – Look for Innovation: If eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions is indeed the greatest global challenge, we must use all available expertise. For centuries a specific knowledge has been forgotten or under-estimated : the expertise of people who themselves face long-term and often generational poverty. We invite candidates to be creative and ambitious. Inclusion on all fronts is necessary for development, especially design and decision-making inclusion. Pilot projects should be supported that value, listen, empower people from the margins and that give them a genuine leading role in designing, implementing and assessing anti-poverty strategies.

5 – Go to Paris: The first people to suffer from climate change will be members of the world’s poorest communities. We invite election candidates to take time in a few weeks go to Paris to the Climate Summit and to be informed by Irish and foreign leaders of the Climate Justice movements. We know it is of paramount importance for our common future that we take action on climate issues in a fair way that defends the world’s most disadvantaged people. All election candidates should accept to be trained about these complex issues.

6 – Think ’17’: Could 17 October become an annual « check-up » appointment for the 17 Goals ? As  « eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge » in the 2030 agenda, why not decide that the UN Day for Eradication of Poverty becomes an annual date when Ireland looks at its progress regarding the implementation of this agenda ! The ’17’ October for the ’17’ Goals. The new Dáil and new Government would certainly remember it!

7 – Stay Vigilant to the guiding principle ‘Leave No One Behind’: Many Irish and international NGOs and CSOs, and among them ATD, invested much time and effort to influence the dratf of the 2030 agenda. Their voices have been heard. Heads of State accepted “leave no one behind” as a guidin principle for the 2030 agenda. However, we know that to “leave no one behind” is as difficult a challenge in the fight against poverty, as in the fight against climate change or when facing growing migration issues. It requires that the dignity of people living in poverty be respected and that their life experiences and unique knowledge be recognised.

We invite all future candidates to remain vigilant. They should let themselves be nourished by the thinking and lives of people and families living at the margins and especially in persistent and severe poverty.

The “To Do List” in PDF

13 Oct

Four and a half tests for Budget 2016


As a point of reference for of Budget 2016, ATD Ireland with all Community Platform members present ‘four tests for Budget 2016’. These tests build on the proposals in The Future Perspective of the Community Platform published in June 2015.

People on low incomes, women and minorities, who gained least in the boom years, have suffered most in the recession.  Over a quarter of the population are now officially counted as experiencing deprivation, including many who are working, because of unemployment and service and welfare cuts. Budget 2016 must urgently address the widespread suffering reported by our members and the people they represent and work with and signal a medium term strategy to build a more equal and inclusive Ireland.
ATD Ireland with all Community Platform members will judge Budget 2016 particularly in terms of four tests presented here.

And a new test should be soon included: Is Budget 2016 matching the new 17 Goals of the universal 2030 Agenda prepared, acccepted and supported by Ireland at the UN on 25 September 2016?


05 Oct

Join us on 17 October, with 17 Dreams, 17 Goals and 7 billion Roles to Play!

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Ahead of next UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Saturday 17 October 2015, ATD Ireland invites you to a series of events:

– A photos and video Exhibition “The Roles We Play, Here and There” in chq Building from 1st to 17th October

– From Shame to Dignity – Let’s make it possible for everyone to play a role! – An Audience with Professor Robert Walker, author of the book “The Shame of Poverty” – event co-organised with Trinity College Dublin and the Trinity International Development Initiative – on World Food Day or #ZeroHunger Day, Friday 16th October 2015 – registration from 12pm

A Candlelight Vigil at the Famine Memorial and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone in Dublin “#LightTheWay for #GlobalGoals – we all have a role to play”, to mark #ZeroHunger Day and #EndPoverty Day, Friday 16th October 2015 at 7pm

– A cross-community gathering “Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future – Leave No One Behind and Tell Everyone the Roles We Play” prepared by the Irish 17 October Committee and taking place at the Human Rights and Poverty Stone Dublin to mark #EndPoverty Day, Saturday 17th October 2015 from 11am to 3pm (Draft programme here)

More about the project “The Roles We Play, Here and There”

On 1st August 2015 ATD Ireland on behalf of the 17 October Committee (www.17october.ie) launched the project “The Roles We Play, Here and There”. Project will promote the new Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals) adopted by the UN in September 2015 during the “European Year for Development”.  “The Roles We Play, Here and There” will also celebrate the contribution of people in poverty in their communities and for the implementation of the Global Goals!

Project is funded by the ATD Foundation (Paris) and by the EU through the European Year for Development Sub-Granting Scheme. The scheme is operated by the Civil Society Alliance and Concord.

The project “The Roles We Play, Here and There” aims:

– to promote the new Sustainable Development Goals and to invite citizens worldwide to share via Twitter what “roles” they will play to help implement and achieve these new goals.
– to foster among citizens and stake holders of the Island of Ireland a sense of joint responsibility, solidarity and opportunity in the context of the post 2015 agenda.
– to recognise, celebrate the contribution of people from very poor communities in development and peace building, here and there.
– to question and modify the “othering” narratives: “us” and “them”, “North” and “South”, “we” and “the poor” in “development” and “poverty” discourses.
-To challenge the conventional thinking that separates discussion of poverty found in the Global North from that prevalent in the Global South by tackling the similar emotional experience of the “shame of poverty”.
– to contribute to the observance on the Island of Ireland of the World Food Day (16 October) and the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October) and promote on these days the messages and spirit of the “European Year for Development”

03 Oct

From Shame To Dignity – An Audience with the author of “The Shame of Poverty”

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Book now here!

To mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI), in partnership with the School of Social Work & Social Policy, TCD  & All Together in Dignity will host eminent Oxford Professor of Social Policy, Robert Walker, to give a keynote address on his recently titled book ‘The Shame of Poverty’.

This will be followed by a conversational-style interview with RTE’s Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent, Joe Little and will feature short films along this theme.

Prof. Robert Walker’s research challenges conventional thinking on poverty and finds that the emotional experiences of poverty worldwide tends to be similar across cultural traditions, political landscapes and material well-being.

His research examines the experiences of living in poverty in a range of countries: in Norway and Uganda, Britain and India, China, South Korea and Pakistan.

His research explores Amartya Sen’s concept of ‘shame’, which Sen contends is the core common experience worldwide for those living in poverty. This concept of shame can have negative consequences which go far beyond material and physical well-being and can lead to mental health difficulties and even extreme consequences for some; it may in fact contribute to the continuing cycle of poverty.

How can this cycle be broken? Do current public policies work? How can they be less focused on stigmatisation and more on agency, which would promote the dignity of those living in poverty? If the global experiences of poverty are the same, how can we change the global conversation around poverty to be more respectful and considerate?

These are some of the questions, which Prof. Walker will address in his presentation and which he will explore further in conversation with Joe Little.

Venue: The Innovation Academy, 3 Foster Place, Dublin 2.

Date: Friday 16 October 2015

Time: Registration and coffee: 12noon – start 12.30pm to 2pm – coffee and sandwiches to 2.30pm

Book now here!