Michael Gaffey, Director General of the Development Cooperation and Africa Division (Irish Aid) visits Maynooth University

Michael Gaffey with MU DID staff and students during his visit
Friday, April 7, 2023 - 12:30

Michael Gaffey, Director General of the Development Cooperation and Africa Division (Irish Aid), visited the Maynooth University, Department of International Development on 22nd March 2023. During the visit, Michael discussed 'The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Global Development  - Lessons Learned and Future Directions', with a group of staff and students, including a mix of undergraduate and postgraduate international development students, and some students from the Department of Anthropology.
Michael drew on his varied experience in his discussions with staff and students, which resulted in a very grounded and engaging address.  This included a focus on how useful or effective the SDGs have been in terms of addressing the big global development challenges facing our world today, as well as some of the challenges to their implementation and insights from that for the future.  
This visit and focus on the SDGs is fitting given Irelands particular role in the development and adoption of the SDGs in 2015. At that time, Ireland co-lead the intergovernmental negotiations between UN member states with Kenya and successfully brokered an agreement on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. This year, Ireland will again give special attention to the SDGs, as Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Fergal Mythen will co-lead consultations and co-facilitate negotiations relating to the Political Declaration of the SDGs in a summit scheduled for September 2023 (IIEA, 2023).
Michael Gaffey has been the Director General, Development Cooperation and Africa Division (Irish Aid), DCAD since August 2022. Before his appointment to DCAD, he was the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva, following terms as Director General for Development, Middle East Director, Director for the Western Balkans and South East Europe. His previous postings with the Department of Foreign Affairs were in Tokyo, London, Cairo, Amman, Baghdad, Belfast and Chicago.

IIEA (2023) Transitions – Ireland at the UN [online] Available at: https://www.iiea.com/blog/transitions-ireland-at-the-un (accessed 05 April 2023)