Strengthening Financial, Trade and Health Systems

October 29, 2010

Ireland and Global Development: Strengthening Financial, Trade and Health Systems Conference, July 5 th – 6 th 2006, Trinity College Dublin. Presented by the Institute for International Integration Studies and the Centre for Global Health. Supported by the Advisory Board for Irish Aid.

The global development agenda is being re-invigorated by events in Ireland and around the world. Later this year, the Irish Government will publish its White Paper on Development, which has been shaped by wide-ranging consultation with academia, civil society, business and members of the public. The debate and the eventual final Bill will shape Ireland ’s development policy for years to come.

Internationally, a successful outcome to the World Trade Organisation Doha Development Round of trade negotiations is not assured, and its real development impact remains in doubt. Following the major review in 2005, global progress on the Millennium Development Goals continues to be slow and inconsistent, yet success on these global benchmarks is needed more than ever. The threat of new disease epidemics highlights the weaknesses of health systems worldwide, driven by a human resources crisis of migration and shortage of trained health workers in developing countries.

In this context, there is a growing need for more coherent, integrative strategies of global development that will address the multiple facets of complex socio-economic issues in a systematic way. This high-level conference aims to highlight innovative work and provoke critical debate on three inter-related areas that are central to global development – finance, trade and health systems. Irish and international speakers will provide insight and challenges to our thinking on these topics and the connections between them, with an overview provided by Jeffrey Sachs.

The conference will highlight two research projects funded by the Advisory Board for Irish Aid that are currently being undertaken by Trinity researchers: a project headed by Alan Matthews on “Coherence between Ireland’s Official Development Cooperation Activities and other Policy Areas, in particular Agricultural Trade and Support Policies”, and new research headed by Eilish McAuliffe entitled “Maximising Human Resource Capacity in Rural District Health Systems”.

Regarding financing for development, the conference will cover topics such as new perspectives on the external debt of developing countries; reform of African financial systems; the role of development banks and the potential for financial innovations to accelerate the development process. Confirmed speakers include: Patrick Honohan (World Bank), Gavin McGillivray (DFID) and Colm Kearney (IIIS, TCD).

On international trade and migration, the conference will examine issues such as coherence between Ireland ’s agricultural policy and its overseas aid and cooperation program; the role of multi-national companies in the developing world; and changes in the WTO. Confirmed speakers include: Peter Sutherland (BP), James Markusen ( University of Colorado ) and Alan Matthews (IIIS, TCD).

On global health, the conference will address the development of appropriate human resources policies to deliver quality healthcare in resource poor settings, the role of health professionals in the promotion and protection of the right to health and how countries can work together to integrate the right to health into their policies, enabling them to meet their global obligations in the provision of accessible quality healthcare. Confirmed speakers include: Paul Farmer ( Harvard University ), Mary Robinson (Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative), and Eilish McAuliffe (Centre for Global Health, TCD).

There will also be a panel discussion on strategies that have been adopted by governments to strengthen human resources capacity in public health systems. The panel, ‘Delivering on the Right to Health in Resource Poor Settings’ will include input from health ministries in Malawi and Lesotho as well as Irish Aid.

Cross-cutting themes between topics will look at the multi-faceted changes needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; coherence between trade and aid policies; inter-dependence; health economics; migrant diasporas and their impact on trade flows and cross-border financial dependencies.

Audience: With this event, the IIIS and the Centre for Global Health continue their strong involvement with policy and research on international development cooperation issues. Wide participation is anticipated from relevant stakeholders within the academic, government, business and non-governmental sectors.


  • Session 1: afternoon of Weds 5 th July : Financing for Development
  • Conference reception: 6-7.30pm Weds 5 th July, Ussher Library, TCD
  • Session 2: morning of Thurs 6 th July: Trade and Migration
  • Session 3: afternoon of Thurs 6 th July: Global Health
  • Closing address: afternoon of Thurs 6 th July: Jeffrey Sachs

Venue: Trinity College Dublin School of Midwifery and Nursing, 24 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2.


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