Ireland Leads ID2020 Agenda
at the Heart of ID2020 and
UN 2030 Agenda
Ireland appears to be a central driving force behind the ID2020 and UN "2030 Agenda" that will have huge repercussions for not only Ireland, its sovereignty and its cultural fabric, but the entire globe. The role that Ireland plays is laid out in full in this exposé.
12th April 2020
Dublin based company Accenture involved in developing ID2020
The Dock is one of the most connected buildings in the world. With 10,000+ sensors and 1m data points generated every day, this 60,000 square foot building is at the heart of technology innovation in Dublin City.
Accenture is one of the founding partners involved in the ID2020 Alliance. Accenture's Global Innovation Centre is based in Dublin, better-known as The Dock. The Dock has helped to develop ID2020, a ‘global alliance deploying biometric and blockchain technology’ for 1.2 billion people in the world ‘who live without documented proof of their existence’. The ID2020 captures ‘fingerprints, iris scans, voiceprints, and other individual data sources and stores them ‘on a secure, distributed database’.
In the book ‘Pivot to the Future’, co-authored by Accenture’s Paul Nunes, ‘every life event – health-care visit, job, education, marriage, and childbirth – will be recorded and added to the individual’s record. This will make it possible to verify citizenship, employment, and entitlement to vote, travel, and other government benefits.’ Accenture’s website states that ID2020 combines ‘the power of biometrics and blockchain to provide a global identity solution.’
The Dock is located in the heart of Dublin’s tech quarter known as Silicon Docks along with many other EMEA (European, Middle East and African) headquarters of high-tech companies such as Google and Twitter. The Dock is Accenture’s flagship R&D, multi-disciplinary research and incubation hub and Global Innovation Centre. The Dock is currently working at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and Internet of Things. It has a team of over 300 ‘terrifyingly bright people’ from over 34 nationalities. Since 2016 Accenture have been running CoderDojo classes at The Dock, equipping the next generation of Irish children with coding skills.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny opening Accenture's The Dock in Dublin’s Silicon Docks - 2017
In 2017 the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny opened The Dock’s doors along with their Chairman and CEO Pierre Nanterme. According to Paul Daugherty, Accenture's Group Chief Executive in New York, The Dock is a ‘magical place’ - it is seen as Accenture’s ‘jewel in the crown’. The Irish government want to develop Ireland as a global centre for testing new technologies and are delivering relevant policy initiatives such as the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
What Is The Infamous ID2020?
It is an alliance of founding partners - Accenture, GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation), The Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft and IDEO.ORG, public-private partners, including United Nations agencies, and civil society. It’s an electronic ID programme that uses generalised vaccination and biometrics as a platform for digital identity. The programme harnesses existing birth registration and vaccination operations to provide new-borns with a portable and persistent biometrically-linked digital identity. GAVI identifies itself on its website as a global health partnership of public and private sector organisations dedicated to 'immunisation for all'. As a founding partner of GAVI, the Gates Foundation has brought international attention to the cause of immunisation and has made several commitments to GAVI, totalling USD 4.1 billion to-date. GAVI is supported by WHO (the health agency of the United Nations). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the second highest financial contributor to the WHO only second to the United States. The WHO is the highest authority on health in the world. Some of its other partners and sponsors are the pharma-industry.
ID2020 Summit - United Nations Headquarters in New York – 2016
In May 2016, ID2020 ‘a strategic, global initiative’ was launched in response to the United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goal 16.9’ - ‘provide legal identity to all, including birth registration by 2030’, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships which hosted the ‘ID2020 Summit – Harnessing Digital Identity for the Global Community’ at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Since its inception, ID2020 Alliance has held an annual ID2020 Summit. The mission of the ID2020 Alliance is, 'accelerating technology to ensure that everyone in need has access to a unique digital identity as part of their basic human right’, and this must be achieved by the year 2030.
A Digital Identity Will Be Needed By 2030
According to Sustainable Development Goal ‘SDG 16’ of the United Nations ‘2030 Agenda’ we are going to need a digital identity. This high-minded goal simply describes itself as:
‘The promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.’
The devil is in the details. Drilling down a level to ‘SDG 16.9’, the goal is ‘By 2030 to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.’
The World Bank states that birth registration alone is not enough. Health treatments need to be tracked, including vaccinations. It will be needed for banks and households where there’s ‘more than one family’. Providing legal identity for all is no small feat with their estimation of over 1 billion people living without identity. ID2020 is rolling out plans at an aggressively rapid pace, and their goals go beyond providing an official birth certificate to people in impoverished countries. They plan to provide a digital ID for everyone on an international scale.
According to their official site, ‘A unique convergence of trends provides an unprecedented opportunity to make a coordinated, concerted push to provide digital ID to everyone.’When you read further, these ‘trends’ include rising global connectivity, emerging technologies such as blockchain and biometrics and a global call for a ‘New model of ID’.
Leveraging Poverty-Stricken Areas To Launch ‘New Model of ID’
Up until now, an international digital identification system would have been unheard of with the amount of economically and technologically undeveloped corners of the world. With an equal drive to get everyone vaccinated, GAVI (Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunisations) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation play a pivotal role in the ID2020 Alliance’s mission.
During the 2019 summit, ID2020 announced its latest programme. ‘Recognising the opportunity for immunisation to serve as a platform for digital identity, this programme leverages existing vaccination and birth registration operations to offer new-borns a persistent and portable biometrically-linked digital identity.’ With an estimated 89% of children without identification supported by GAVI, these areas are the perfect targets to test the so-called ‘New model of ID’.
‘Thousands of children between the ages of one and five are due to be fingerprinted in Bangladesh and Tanzania in the largest biometric scheme of its kind ever attempted by the Geneva-based vaccine agency,’ GAVI announced recently.
Coming out of Rice University, there is new technology labelled the ‘Quantum Dot’ tattoo. This tag consists of tiny micro needles that deliver a vaccine, dissolves the sugar-based needles and leaves behind a mark or barcode-like tattoo. This mark leaves a record of the vaccine that had been received through an infrared-like dye pattern that can be read by a customised smartphone. It is interesting to note that this ‘Quantum Dot’ technology was requested by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to solve the issue of not knowing the vaccination record of each patient in these impoverished areas.
Digital Identity Linked With Buying & Selling
ID2020 has acquired strategic partnerships with organisations whose primary functions are digital financial services and applying solutions for a completely digital user-friendly wallet.
Everest, an organisation that began working with the Indonesian government in 2018 and recently announced at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as ID2020’s first ‘Certification Mark for digital identity solutions’, Kiva Protocol and Gravity Earth.
Everest, claims to be ‘The world’s first and only device-free globally accessible, digital transaction protocol with built-in identity.’
Everest defines itself as a decentralised platform incorporating a massively scalable payment solution, Everchain, with a multi-currency wallet, EverWallet, and a native biometric identity system, EverID. Everest delivers a complete solution for a ‘new economy’. They are the first platform that combines Biometric identity with a digital wallet.
Gravity Earth is a decentralised cloud platform in which individuals can receive, store, and share verifiable data in a secure wallet that ‘they’ control.
Other Drivers Of The ID2020 Mission
As organisations like these scale their technologies built for a ‘new economy’, other projects have been announced to expand the outreach of the ID2020 agenda into new areas.
These projects include the partnership with the city of Austin with ‘My Pass’, a blockchain-enabled digital identity platform for the homeless population within the city.
And the collaboration with iRespond, a partner working closely with the IRC (International Rescue Committee), aims to offer a digital identity platform to 35,000 Refugees of the Mae La Camp in Thailand.
We observe GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance, who have vaccinated 198 million children since 2016, making these immunisations a platform for providing digital identity profiles to every child.
We also witness organisations, like Everest, already in possession of the technology, actively working to remove the ‘barriers’ of devices and borders to buy, sell and verify your identity. More recently, ID2020 launched its first ‘Certification Mark’ certifying end-to-end digital identity solutions.
Origins Of ID2020 – SDG 16.9
‘17 Goals to Transform our World’
In 2015, countries adopted the United Nations '2030 Agenda' and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and within them the 169 targets. These goals are called SDGs, also known as Global Goals. Ireland played a unique and central role in creating and negotiating the '2030 Agenda' along with Kenya. Ireland’s UN Ambassador, David Donoghue, co-facilitated the intergovernmental negotiations with Kenya’s UN Ambassador, Macharia Kamau.
The goal of the ‘2030 Agenda’ is to ‘transform our world’. Ambassador David Donoghue helped to draft the ‘2030 Agenda’, he personally put ‘Leaving No One Behind’ in the 5th and final draft. At a 2015 press conference in Dublin's IIEA (Institute of International and European Affairs), of which David Donoghue's wife Jill Donoghue is the Director of Research, Mr. Donoghue said that this United Nations plan is 'a single global effort' and 'utopian', and that the 'entire world is moving forward in one step'.
President Michael D Higgins was present at the United Nations Summit in 2015 when the ‘2030 Agenda’ was adopted. For decades he has been an advocate for sustainable development, as is former President Mary Robinson, who presently sits on the board of The Elders, alongside Gro Harlem Brundtland who was responsible for the United Nations first iteration of sustainable development, namely ‘Our Common Future’, published in 1987. In 1992 President Higgins attended the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, otherwise known as the ‘Earth Summit’. At Rio's ‘Earth Summit’, more than 170 nations, including Ireland, agreed to work toward the sustainable development of the planet. At the summit, a global plan of action called ‘UN Agenda 21’ mapped out an action programme to tackle the ongoing ‘human assault’ on the environment. 'UN Agenda 21' is considered to be the inventory and control plan of all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all food, all energy, all information and all human beings in the world.
Pope Francis at the United Nations General Assembly - 2015
Pope Francis was also present, and he spoke before the United Nations General Assembly shortly before member states unanimously adopted the ‘2030 Agenda’. In 2019 the Pope said that the SDGs, ‘were a great step forward for global dialogue’, marking a ‘new and universal solidarity’. In June 2015 Pope Francis had published his encyclical ‘Laudato Si - On Care For Our Common Home’.
The Irish Government is determined to deliver this United Nations global plan, emphasising that we must be its global leader. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade states, ‘The agreement sets the course for the entire world to deliver a more sustainable, prosperous and peaceful future for all, in harmony with our planet…Ireland’s appointment to this role was a huge honour for the country, and a great responsibility. It was testament to Ireland’s standing internationally, particularly to the excellent reputation of our overseas aid programme, Irish Aid; our proud record of promoting human rights; and our long-standing participation in peacekeeping across the world.’ The government believes globalism has been good to Ireland, that 'Ireland is an island at the centre of the world', and in the words of Leo Varadkar, The United Nations is the ‘conscience of humanity'. Indeed, Mary Robinson wants every student in Ireland to learn the 17 SDGs off by heart.
Richard Bruton’s department DCCAE (Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment) has been tasked with rolling out the plan in Ireland. The Government (‘a whole-of-government approach’), the private sector, civil society, local government, academic institutions, businesses, charities, youth organisations, unions, non-profits, young and old have mobilised around this massive plan which will require ‘a completely new mentality’. Also, the Government’s ‘CSR National Plan and Forum’ has embraced the SDGs call to action for the business community and actively examines how to encourage more businesses to consider aligning their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) agenda with the goals.
Luke Holland, the brother of Irish Times journalist Kitty Holland and son of People Before Profit’s Eamonn McCann, who had been involved in the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the ‘2030 Agenda’, states that Ireland was very proactive and heavily involved in the processes leading up to its adoption in 2015. He believes that it really ‘behoves Ireland’ to deliver on this historic global plan.
Luke Holland is part of ‘Coalition 2030 Ireland’, an alliance of over 100 civil society organisations, ‘numbering two and a half million people by affiliation’, working together to deliver the United Nations '2030 Agenda', the focus being to ‘push’ the government to deliver on its commitments – ‘We are comprised of international and domestic civil society organisations, including environmental, anti-poverty and social inclusion groups, academics, and trade unions - whose expertise ranges from children and youth rights to environmental sustainability and from humanitarian relief to long term sustainable development.'
The members of the Coalition support the shared vision ‘to transform our world through collaborative partnerships that will free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want, and to heal and secure our planet. In embarking on this collective journey to implement Agenda 2030 - the plan of action for people, planet and prosperity – the members of Coalition 2030 pledge that no one will be left behind’, and in December 2018 the United Nations formally adopted the resolution on ‘Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Sarah Franklyn is the coordinator of ‘Coalition 2030 Ireland’.
Members of Coalition 2030 include:
Action Aid, Age Action Ireland, Aidlink, Airfield, Akidwa, Alcohol Forum, All Together in Dignity (ATD), ASTI, Baby Feeding Law Group Ireland, Bat Conservation Ireland, Carrig Conservation, Cork Environmental Forum, Childfund Ireland, Children’s Rights Alliance, Centre for Youth Research and Development, Maynooth University, Christian Aid, Christian Blind Mission, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Concern, Development Perspectives, Disability Federation of Ireland, Dóchas (membership of 60 members and associate member organisations), Eco-Unesco, Environmental Pillar (membership of 29 member organisations), FAIRTRADE Ireland, Foodture, Forest Friends Ireland, Forsa, Friends of the Earth, Future Earth Ireland, Global Action Plan, Global Schoolroom, Global Citizenship Schools, GOAL, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Green Foundation Ireland, Irish Family Planning Association, Irish Forum for Global Education, Irish Forum for Global Health, Irish Rural Link, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (consisting of 44 unions affiliated to Congress and representing over 800,000 workers), Irish Wildlife Trust, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), Maynooth – Centre for Youth Research and Development, Maynooth University, Mercy International Association, National Adult Literacy Agency, National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Pavee Point, Self Help Africa, Sightsavers, Social Justice Ireland, Services Industrial Professional Technical Union (SIPTU), Spun Out, The Wheel (membership of over 50 member organisations), The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice, Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI), Trinity College Dublin, Trócaire, UNICEF, VOICE Ireland, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Zero Waste Alliance Ireland.
Ireland ‘strongly supports stakeholder participation in the 2030 Agenda process at both a national and global level’. Some of these stakeholders are:
Scouting Ireland, UCD, Cork Equal and Sustainable Communities Alliance, Social Innovation Fund Ireland, Electricity Association of Ireland, European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland, World Vision Ireland, IDEA, Misean Cara, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, ESC Rights Initiative, Children in Crossfire, A Partnership with Africa, 80 Max, Permaculture Network of Ireland, The Global Goals Gals, Environment Education Unit of An Taisce, International Presentation Association, Sustainable Ireland Cooperative Society Ltd TA Cultivate, The Rediscovery Centre, National Adult Literacy Agency, Irish Environmental Network, 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, Christian Aid Ireland, Dawn Meats, Cultivate, FLAC, An Taisce: the National Trust for Ireland, Early Childhood Ireland, Killybegs Fishermen’s organisation Ltd.
September 2019, at the Ploughing Championship in Fenagh Co. Carlow, Minister Richard Bruton announced the Sustainable Development Goal Champions, ‘SDG Champions’ – ‘12 leaders from across society chosen to drive forward Sustainable Development Goals. The chosen champions are organisations who are leading by example in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. They will raise public awareness of the Goals and illustrate practical ways in which organisations and individuals can contribute to achieving the Goals.’ Here is a list of the 12 SDG Champions for 2019/2020:
An Post, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Carlow County Council, Eco-Unesco, The GAA, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Irish Men’s Sheds, Musgrave, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Smart Farming, Union of Students of Ireland, Vodaphone.
The Ploughing Championship – 2019
Then there is the ‘SDG Accord’ – ‘The University and College Sector’s Collective Response to the Global Goals. First it is to inspire, celebrate and advance the critical role that education has in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the value it brings to governments, business and wider society. Secondly, the Accord is a commitment learning institutions are making to one another to do more to deliver the goals, to annually report on each signatory's progress, and to do so in ways which share the learning with each other both nationally and internationally. An objective is that sector SDG reporting metrics will be presented at the annual UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF)’. NUIG recently signed up.
John Concannon – VP NUIG, managing Irish Government’s COVID19 information campaign & working with David Donoghue to secure a seat on the United Nations Security Council. In his NUIG inaugural speech last October Concannon set out the university’s strategy to align themselves with United Nations strategies and the university’s plan to produce global citizens who will create global solutions, emphasising that the world is in a state of peril and needs a university like NUIG that has an understanding of the interconnectedness of ‘social and ecological systems’. Previously Concannon was Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s head of the ‘Strategic Communications Unit’ & managed the Project Ireland 2040 campaign and oversaw the 1916 Commemorations.
David Donoghue ‘Father of the SDGs’ & Trócaire
Trócaire, the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland, is a member of ‘Coalition 2030 Ireland’ which supports the United Nations ‘2030 Agenda’. David Donoghue sits on Trócaire’s Board. Other Trócaire Board members are Bishop William Crean and Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly. Trócaire trustees are Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, Archbishop Michael Neary, Bishop William Crean, Bishop Noel Treanor, and Bishop Dermot Farrell.
As previously mentioned, ‘Coalition 2030 Ireland’ is an ‘alliance of over 100 civil society organisations working together to ensure Ireland keeps its promise to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both at home and abroad.’ Mary Robinson insists the 17 SDGs are interconnected and interdependent, so ‘a holistic and comprehensive approach with coherent policies is essential to their success.’
Currently Pope Francis is embroiled in controversy regarding his support of the United Nations ‘2030 Agenda’, in particular SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) embedded in SDG3/SDG4/SDG5 which call for ‘comprehensive sex education’ and ‘universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights,’ terms that pro-life leaders say have been used consistently by the United Nations for years to push access to abortion, contraception, and sterilisation. Shortly after the adoption of the ‘2030 Agenda’ the 53 member states of the UN’s WHO Regional Committee for Europe, which includes Ireland, decided on a course of action for delivering SRHR SDGs ‘leaving no one behind’.
Two controversial United Nations sex education manuals were chosen for the 53 member states – ‘Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe’ which proposes that by age four, children should be taught about the ‘enjoyment and pleasure when touching one’s own body’ - ‘early childhood masturbation’; ‘International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education’ recommends that children from age five should have an understanding of gender identities and should have the ‘skill’ to ‘reflect on how they feel about their biological sex and gender’.
Despite the protestations of Irish parents throughout the country over the last several months to proposed radical changes to Relationships & Sexuality Education (RSE), the Irish Catholic Church has refused to comment. There is speculation that the Irish Bishops and Pope Francis are fully aligned with the United Nations’ SRHR SDGs.
A Trócaire member of staff sits on the Board of the Irish ‘Lifes2good Foundation’ which has donated €1,000,000 to a sex education programme called ‘Active Consent Programme’ created by academics in NUIG. In April 2019, Irish parents were shocked when one of the key figures of the ‘Active Consent Programme’, Dr Kate Dawson, published on twitter a whiteboard image of a secondary level ‘Porn Literacy’ class.
To date the aforementioned academic, the Lifes2good Foundation, the Department of Education and Skills, NUIG and the Irish Catholic Church have not released a statement.
December 2019, Trócaire became embroiled in a controversy when several members of its staff attended a ‘Free Speech Rally’ in front of The Dáil in support of Minister Charlie Flanagan's efforts to stop free speech. These Trócaire workers stood with masked Antifa members - ‘They’re standing with Antifa, masked thugs who’d happily burn down every church in the country,’ Julie Byrne, a free speech advocate from Wicklow said.
Currently David Donoghue is working resolutely to implement the United Nations ‘2030 Agenda’, and for Ireland to secure a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Born in Dublin in 1952, David Donoghue has had a long and varied career in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He is married to Jill Donoghue, Director of Research of the IIEA, an Irish think-tank in Dublin City. His overseas postings have taken him at different times to Rome, Bonn, Paris, Moscow, Vienna and Berlin.
He worked for many years on Anglo-Irish relations and the Northern Ireland peace process. He was involved in the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985), the Downing Street Declaration (1993) and the Good Friday Agreement (1998). David Donoghue is an admirer of the late Peter Sutherland who too had a long and varied career, serving as Ireland’s Attorney General and as Chairman of Goldman Sachs.
During a Carnegie Council 2016 talk on the Refugee/Migrant Crisis between David Donoghue and Peter Sutherland, who at that time held the position of UN special representative of the secretary general for international migration, Mr Sutherland spoke of the post-World War II world – ‘I believe that in the post-World War II world that there were a number of things that happened which were the direct result of the appalling events which had preceded that time in the late 1940s. They were attempts which have defined in many ways, I would like to think, my own life. They were based upon a belief in the integration of people and regions. Therefore, I believe, for an example, that the European integration process, which is challenged by the migration issue, as we all know, and which was created by a small group of men after the Second World War, was based upon a concept which a British politician described as "the taming of nationalism." I believe in the taming of nationalism. I've seen too much of it in my own country and I've seen it elsewhere.’
David Donoghue and Peter Sutherland - 2016
Indeed, several years previously Sutherland had stated that the European Union should be doing its best to ‘undermine’ national ‘homogeneity’ and argued for the development of ‘multicultural states’. This speech had its echoes in the speech of Jamie Drummond, the Executive Director of ONE, the charity of the ‘2030 Agenda advocate’ Bono who several weeks previous was working alongside Mary Robinson and John Concannon at the United Nations promoting SDG5 ‘Gender Equality’. SDG5 being the key goal to deliver the ‘2030 Agenda’ according to President Michael D Higgins. Jamie Drummond stated the Irish will be ‘senile’, will need a big influx of migrants, will need their ‘youthful energy’ to ‘do stuff’, asserts ‘demography is destiny’, and that ‘Europe and Africa are going to have a very close 21st century.’
Ireland has seen a significant increase in the numbers of migrants over the last few years, and Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea stated that, ‘now we haven’t done badly in relation to immigration, we’ve avoided a lot of the problems, you know, with the help of the media’.
Former President Mary McAleese said, during a discussion as part of the Jonathan Swift Festival at St. Patrick’s Cathedral last year, ‘today, 17 per cent of our population comes from somewhere else. The last time that happened was probably the Plantation [of Ulster]. But this has been a different kind of absorption, and I think in general we have done a really, really wonderful job.’
Many figures on immigration into Ireland are being bandied about, with the United Nations estimating that the island could hold 65 million residents, while Green Party TD Eamon Ryan believes that Ireland could comfortably accommodate a population of around 10 million. Given these speculations, and the fact that Tánaiste Simon Coveney asserts that as part of ‘Project Ireland 2040’ Ireland will be taking in another 500,000 migrants, there are many Irish people expressing deep concerns. These concerns are not being aired in the public arena, especially since Minister Charlie Flanagan intends to bring in Hate Speech Laws to disallow these conversations.
David Donoghue served as co-facilitator (with Jordan) for the negotiations which produced the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted at a special UN summit in September 2016. Minister Charlie Flanagan stated, ‘This is also a landmark achievement of Irish diplomacy and follows our role last year in brokering the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ireland’s role in driving this agreement demonstrates once again our profound commitment to the UN and the contribution we can make in responding to the greatest challenges facing the world. I congratulate Ambassador David Donoghue, Ireland's Permanent Representative to the UN, and his team in New York on this outstanding success. I also congratulate Peter Sutherland, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration, for his tireless work on behalf of migrants for many years. Peter will be playing an important role in support of negotiations to deliver a Global Compact on migration in 2018, and I know his experience and skill will be both necessary and timely.’
David Donoghue’s Trócaire colleagues, the Irish Bishops, are supporting the ‘Community Sponsorship Programme’ initiative which has its origins in David Donoghue's 2016 UN New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
The Irish Bishops have urged Catholics to lead by example and to ‘welcome the stranger’ by participating in this Government-supported refugee sponsorship programme as a practical expression of Catholic Social Teaching and as a response to Pope Francis’ call for every parish to receive and welcome a refugee family.
In November 2019, the Irish Bishops’ Conference’s Archbishops, Eamon Martin, Diarmuid Martin, Michael Neary and Kieran O’Reilly met with the Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan, and Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, to discuss the community sponsorship model for welcoming refugees. The Bishops announced that the ‘Council for Justice and Peace’ would hold an information session for parishes and communities wishing to become involved in this programme in Spring 2020.
The ‘Community Sponsorship Programme’ requires a small group to form in each parish who then liaise with the Department of Justice & Equality and with the Irish Refugee Council. The members of the group are Garda-vetted, go through a training course and are required to raise circa €10,000 to provide for expenses not covered by state support. The group then source a house and sort out a full range of essential services for the family.
In 2017, a ‘Coalition 2030’ stakeholder, Dóchas - the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations and meeting place and a leading voice for organisations that want Ireland to be a world leader in efforts to bring about global justice – awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to David Donoghue. The aim of the Dóchas ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ is to highlight and honour the important work of an individual who has been a champion of international development and global justice throughout their lives.
Given that most of the world is in lockdown due to the COVID19, it is interesting to note that David Donoghue's sister Emma Donoghue, the international bestselling author, has just completed her latest book called ‘The Pull of the Stars’, inspired by Ireland's last great pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918, which claimed 23,000 lives and infected some 800,000 people in Ireland in a 12 month period.
David Donoghue and his sister Emma are the children of the eminent literary critic and author Denis Donoghue who was born in Co. Carlow in 1928. In Denis Donoghue's book ‘Warrenpoint’, Denis Donoghue explores his childhood and the experiences of his family as they moved from Tullow, Co. Carlow to Warrenpoint in Co. Down.
His father Denis Donoghue Snr had worked as a RIC man throughout the period of the 1916 Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War. He left the RIC on disbandment of the force on 11th April 1922, ‘My father, having seen enough of Ireland and of police work in a violent time, spent two months trying to find an alternative job.’
In September 1922 he joined the RUC stationed at Warrenpoint. The Donoghues felt a sense of alienation living in Warrenpoint, ‘It was simply a fact that Catholics and Protestants were different: how it became a fact is another matter. The short answer is that even if the Protestants were in the North since the Plantation of Ulster in the seventeenth century, the Catholics had to be displaced and otherwise persecuted to make room for the new arrivals.’
Pictured (L-R): Shane McCarthy, chairperson of the Law Society’s human rights and equality committee; Hilkka Becker, chairperson of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal; Mr Justice Bryan McMahon; Ambassador David Donoghue; Gráinne O’Hara; and Ellie Kisyombe
October 2019, at the Law Society of Ireland’s annual human rights and equality conference at Blackhall Place in Dublin City, David Donoghue participated in a talk exploring experiences of Direct Provision. The conference aimed to bring together legal practitioners, members of the public, policy makers, human rights and civil society organisations to explore the impact of direct provision on asylum seekers.
The conference was informed of the international developments for asylum seekers and migrants by David Donoghue, ‘special envoy for the UN Security Council Campaign’. He informed the attendees that the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and subsequent Global Compact frameworks, have given further focus to human rights and entitlements for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and the responsibilities of nations to ensure these groups are treated with dignity and compassion – ‘The key to this is that a government like ours here must decide our policy towards asylum seekers or refugees or migrants within the framework of the global commitments it has entered into,’ he said.
By Kathleen agus Roisin
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