Ireland Pavilion hosts thought-provoking show


Dignitaries pose for a group photo at the Ireland Pavilion.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

To mark Global Goal’s Week at Expo 2020, Irish thought-leaders and dignitaries, hosted and participated in a number of informative events, panels and discussions, and unveiled the specially curated Irish Aid Exhibition at the Ireland pavilion.

 The delegation comprised of Ireland’s former Irish ambassador to the UN, David Donoghue, a leader in the development of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Deputy Secretary General of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Sonja Hyland – who oversees Ireland’s position on the Security Council at the UN. The United Nations Sustainability Goals were the key focus of the highly anticipated week at Expo, which addressed the urgent issues that matter most to drive global progress for people and the planet.

 The Ireland Pavilion also hosted a thought-provoking exhibition titled ‘Objects that connect us’ from Irish Aid; a stirring visual representation of 25 items reflecting Ireland’s rich culture of empathy and compassion.  

 Ireland played a unique and central role in the process to agree the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ratified in 2015 in New York. Ireland’s then Ambassador to the UN, David Donoghue, was appointed co-chair with his Kenyan counterpart, Macharia Kamau in the final intergovernmental negotiations while Sonja Hyland has worked closely on the implementation of the SDGs. UN Global Goals Week represents a culturally and politically significant event for Ireland and the delegation’s presence at Expo culminated in a week-long programme of events to inspire, engage and celebrate.  

 Meeting with Charles Trumbo, Director of the Kenya Pavilion, Sonja Hyland and David O’Donoghue (photo attached)

On 16th January, Charles Trumbo, Director of the Kenya Pavilion convened with Sonja Hyland and David O’Donoghue at the Ireland Pavilion for a meeting to discuss the work of the two nations in negotiating the UN SDGs. The two nations played a pivotal role as Co-Chair of the committee overseeing the negotiations of the 17 SDGs that have already had a profound effect on global economic, environmental and social development.  

On 17th and 18th January 2022, the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) Coordination Group presented Europe’s pioneering work before a global audience during the Circular Europe Days at Expo 2020 Dubai. The Circular Europe Days represented two days of eight separate events across five pavilions including Ireland, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland and Finland. The hybrid events facilitated interactive discussions involving European Commissioners, members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European institutions’ highest levels around Europe’s vision for the circular economy.  

 At the closing ceremony of Circular Europe Days, which took place at the Ireland Pavilion, guests were welcomed by Pat Hennessy, Commissioner General of Ireland Pavilion and Sonja Hyland, Deputy Secretary General of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.. The event was led by Dr. Sarah Miller, CEO of the Rediscovery Centre, Ireland’s National Centre for the Circular Economy, who spoke about Ireland’s progress to date and future plans to advance the Circular Economy in Dublin and abroad.


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