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Tánaiste to meet Bill Gates in Dublin today

They’ll discuss EU budget and size of Emergency Aid Reserve and European Development Fund.

Image: John Minchillo/AP/Press Association Images

THE TÁNAISTE EAMON Gilmore will meet with Microsoft founders and philanthropist Bill Gates this morning to discuss development aid priorities for Ireland’s EU Presidency.

During breakfast the pair will focus on forthcoming negotiations to agree an EU budget for 2014 -2020, which will determine the size of the EU’s Emergency Aid Reserve and the European Development Fund.

“I am delighted to welcome Bill Gates to Dublin. The Irish people have a deep respect for his successes in business and innovation, and his personal commitment to ending poverty, hunger and disease in the world,” said Gilmore.

In particular I welcome the prominence he is giving to development issues. We are determined that these vital issues will remain central to Ireland’s foreign policy. Our own experience of famine has shaped our national identity.

They will discuss Ireland’s top development priority for the Irish Presidency, which is to agree a common EU position for the United Nations Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in 2013 – when world leaders will discuss the progress made to date on the MDGs and map out the direction of global development aid post-2015.

A meeting of EU Development Ministers in Dublin on 11 and 12 February will mainly focus on the post-2015 development framework.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, founded in 2000, has spent $25 billion to date on development initiatives in over 100 programme countries. A statement by the Department of Foreign Affairs said that Ireland and the Gates Foundation have “strong shared interests in the areas of hunger, nutrition, health and HIV”.

Gates is visiting a number of European countries ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Read: 20 quotes that reveal how Bill Gates became world’s richest man

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