Official Visit to the the United States

Official Visit to the the United States

Published: Tue 22nd Sep, 2015 | 17:14

President Higgins departs Dublin for New York on Thursday 24th September on an official visit to the United States.  The visit will include his participation in the ‘UN Sustainable Development Summit’ which is set to agree the ‘Agenda 2030 Goals’ as the successors to the Millennium Development Goals.  The President and Sabina Higgins will be met on arrival by Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Mr David Donoghue.

Ireland has co-chaired the negotiation process leading up to this Summit.  

The President’s programme includes participation at three sessions at the United Nations and the delivery of a keynote address at New York University, entitled, “The European Union - Towards a Discourse of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope.”   

The issue of development has been a major theme of President Higgins’ Presidency.  Last year, during his visit to Africa, the President delivered a keynote address on the theme of sustainable development to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and earlier this year he marked the European Year of Development with an address at Dochas’s conference in Dublin Castle.

Friday 25th September
On Friday morning the President has a private meeting with Mr George Soros and Mr Chris Stone, President of Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundation - at their invitation. Later he meets with representatives of the Irish NGO sector, who are in New York for the ‘Agenda 2030 Summit’. In the evening he meets with Irish staff working at the United Nations, at the residence of our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr David Donoghue. Finally on Friday the President and Mrs Higgins visit and view the Sightsavers ‘Framing Perceptions’ Exhibition at the Alexandria Centre.

Saturday 26th September
On Saturday morning the President participates in an interactive dialogue at the United Nations on: “Fostering Sustainable economic Growth, Transformation and Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production” 

This high level dialogue will also involve other Heads of State and Government. 

In the afternoon (remaining at the United Nations) the President participates and delivers a keynote message at a session on, ‘Mobilising Generation Zero Hunger’. 

This session will involves participation from Representatives of UN member states, Graziano Da Silva, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organisation, Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agriculture Development, Etharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme and invited Youth Leaders.
Later in the evening the President and Sabina Higgins will go on to attend the 59E59 Theatre and View a performance of ‘Little Thing Big Thing’: written by Donal O’Kelly; directed by Jim Culleton; produced by Fishamble; featuring Sorcha Fox and Donal O’Kelly. After the performance the President and Sabina meet with the cast of ‘Little Thing Big Thing’ and ‘Pondling’ together with  Board Members of ‘Origin 1st  Irish Festival’. (see

Sunday 27th September
On Sunday morning, again at the UN, the President participates in a Global Leaders’ Meeting on ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – A Commitment to Action’. This event is hosted by UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon and President Xi Jinping of China on occasion of the 20th anniversary of the ‘Beijing Platform on Gender Equality’.
President and Sabina Higgins then attend a lunch hosted by Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr David Donoghue and Jill Donoghue, which will be attended by a number of senior UN Representatives. Later in the afternoon the President will have a private meeting with Mr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist of the World Bank. On Sunday evening the President and Sabina Higgins are guests of honour at an Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival reception hosted by Consul General to New York, Ms’ Barbara Jones.                   
Monday 28 September  
President and Sabina Higgins will attend a lunch, hosted by the Consul General Ms. Barbara Jones, attended by key members of the Irish community based in the United States. (Further detail issued on 28th).

Later in the evening the President delivers the Annual Emile Noël Lecture, entitled,  “The European Union - Towards a Discourse of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope”, at New York University. On arrival at the university the President and Sabina Higgins will be greeted by Professor John Sexton, President, New York University and Professor Gráinne de Búrca, Director, Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice. The President and Sabina attend a reception for the invited audience after the address and question and answer session. 

The President and Sabina depart New York for Dublin on Tuesday 29th September.

This is the President’s sixth official visit in 2015. In January he delivered an address to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg; in April he attended commemorative events in Gallipoli and visited Irish troops in Lebanon; in June he visited the Irish Expo in Milan and met with Italian President, Mr Sergio Mattarella – and in July his official visit to the UK included events in Liverpool and Warrington.