Prof Patrick Paul Walsh spoke at the UN Sustainable Development Transition Forum (SDTF) in  Incheon, Republic of Korea on 29th - 31st October, 2018. 

The focus of the event was "Accelerating Progress towards the SDGs: Enhancing the Role of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)".

Prof Walsh spoke in Session 1: How can HLPF provide the most useful policy
guidance for SDG implementation? and Session 6: Data, Indicators, and Science for Tracking Progress on the SDGs.

The HLPF has the potential to create government lead global partnerships in a new wave of multilateralism. The success of national/regional level SDG partnerships are central to this vision. The Communique that came from the deliberations of the meeting can be found amongst the summary documents of the forum here

The Centre for Sustainable Development Studies were part of a Geary Institute for Public Policy and Department of Children and Youth Affairs organised workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of the child on 9th November 2018. Prof Patrick Paul Walsh, Prof Enda Murphy, Dr Aparajita Banarjee, Caitriona Devery and Charlotte Thumser were part of the organising team.

The workshop was convened by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. It was attended by senior officials from the Department of the Taoiseach, the Economic and Social Research Institute, civil society and academia. Keynote speaker, Prof Jeffrey Sachs, special adviser to the UN secretary general on SDGs.

Almost one in every five children in Ireland lives below the poverty line and children carry a higher risk of poverty than any other age group. One in four children experiences enforced deprivation, and children carry a higher risk of deprivation than any other age group. One in every 10 children lives in consistent poverty – experiencing both income poverty and deprivation – and again the risk of consistent poverty is higher for children than any other age group. Minister Zappone called for a cross-departmental approach to the issue.

Prof Sachs reminds us “A market system produces wealth but it does not produce social justice . . . The the desire for wealth. It has to be tempered by the demands of morality, ethics.”

Read the Minister's speech here.

Prof. Olanrewaju Olaniyan, Director, Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), hosted the

Ninth annual Ibadan Sustainable Development summit (ISDS), August 2018, August 27 - 30, 2018.

The Theme of this year’s summit was “Megatrends that will shape National and Global Prosperity by 2030”.

The Summit was opened by  Prof. Labode Popoola, Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN-Nigeria),   Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director General, Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, Kigali Rwanda and  Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs.

Over the three days, the summit was attended by 1000 people.  SDSN Youth Nigeria had an important side event at the summit.

Amongst 150 excellent research papers  there were  four keynote addresses;

Dr. Ojijo Odhiambo, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nigeria
Prof Patrick Paul Walsh, University College, Dublin, Ireland
Prof. Foluso Okumadewa, World Bank, Abuja
Prof. Afeikhena Jerome, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa

Prof Patrick Paul Walsh focused on three megatrends that need urgent cooperation between nation states; Global Population Dynamics –Social, Approbation of Rents in Global Value Chains –Economic, and Ocean Health-Environmental.

All nations should drive  towards multilateralism.

Kofi Annan "Our futures, our prosperity and security, are wrapped up together more than ever before. No country, no matter how wealthy or powerful, can any longer stand on its own."

Prof Patrick Paul Walsh, Prof Enda Murphy and Dr David Horan of UCD are presenting at the UN High Level Political Form 2018 side event on Digital Governance and Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Development on July 18th in New York, alongside International Monetary Fund, UN SDSN and SDSN Youth, UN Library and UN DESA. The event will be opened by Minister Denis Naughten, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is hosted by Irish Mission.

The full title of the event is Combining Digital Governance and Stakeholder Knowledge to Promote Innovation and Transformative Actions in Support of the 2030 Agenda.

Outline of the event:

What are the opportunities for innovation and transformative solutions in digital governance that will  combine knowledge and expertise from academic science with the knowledge and experience from non-governmental stakeholders to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? From digital governance to a whole of society interface with the implementation of the SDGs, an open dialogue between key stakeholders, followed by an open discussion.

Read the event Agenda.


Ireland's first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on SDG implementation was approved by government in June this year.  The report will now be presented to the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York in July 2018. The VNR considers Ireland's performance against each of the 17 SDGs and, includes a statistical annex using Eurostat indicators.

The Department of Communications, Climate Actions and the Environment is responsible for both Ireland's first SDG National Implementation Plan and the Voluntary National Review. The Implementation Plan was published in early 2018. The Plan  sets out arrangements for interdepartmental coordination, stakeholder engagement and periodic progress reporting at national and global levels.

The VNR features a Compendium of contributions from national stakeholders in Ireland. 

The UCD contribution was as follows:

What is UCD doing to support the SDGs?

Undergraduate: A discovery module on the Global Goals can be taken by any first year student in UCD as an elective. There are many disciplinary Modules on the SDGs on offer across Social Science, Economics and Politics, Business, Veterinary Science, Law and Agricultural degrees. UCD SDG Awareness Week is organised annually, where there are talks, poster exhibits on campus, social media campaign, all with the aspirations of raising  awareness and implementing the SDG’s on the UCD Campus. UCD Volunteers Overseas has extended its activities to projects in India, Haiti, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Uganda, and employs two full-time staff to co-ordinate its activities. To date, approximately 1,500 volunteers have engaged in environmental, educational, healthcare, construction and computer training projects in disadvantaged communities overseas. Postgraduate: MPA in Development Practice (MDP) to train young professionals to implement the SDGs in government and in stakeholder partnerships. Ph.D. in Global Human Development, to train academic staff in mainly African countries up to the level of a Ph.D. in any area relating to the SDGs Research: The Irish EPA and the IRC/EC have commissioned University College Dublin’s Centre for Sustainable Development Studies to research governance, data needs and a follow-up and review framework for achieving the SDGs in Ireland. At the core of our research focus is government enabled multi-stakeholder partnerships for SDG implementation in Ireland. Outreach: UCD is an active ember of the UN SDSN, operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.

SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. UCD has Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC consultative status for an organization enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in a number of important ways. One aspect is to be an active member of the UN Major Group for Science and Technology during UN HLPF meetings.

UCD's key observations on Ireland's SDG implementation?

Ireland's VNR provides a strong framework for governance arrangements that can facilitate a whole of government approach to SDG implementation. We welcome the: Updating of  national sustainable development strategy to directly reflect the SDGs; The high levels of political engagement, including cabinet oversight and ministerial responsibilities of SDG implementation; The clear assignment of SDGs responsibilities across all departments, including the mainstreaming and mapping of policies; The development of mechanisms for interdepartmental coordination on the SDGs, e.g. the SDG Interdepartmental Working Group; The development of a SDG Stakeholder Forum. HLPF 2018 – Compendium of Irish Stakeholder Inputs 5

How would UCD further enhance SDG implementation?

The Irish Government need a better framework for a whole-of-society approach to SDG implementation. The period 2018-2020 is stated as the government period for defining a
baseline, taking stock of policy gaps and defining roles and responsibilities of government departments and agencies. The whole of Government committee and the Stakeholder Forum, over the next two years, have in their terms of reference the need to formalize the role of stakeholders in setting policy agendas, SDG implementation and follow up and review. Our research in UCD over the next two years will explore ways that government can engage stakeholders and ways that stakeholders can be enabled to work together in pursuit of the SDGs. The Irish SDG plan during 2020 to 2030 should have best practice and smart innovations in terms of engaging all stakeholders in achieving the SDGs in Ireland and beyond.


Competition and Welfare Effects of Differentiated Taxation: Evidence from the Irish Automobile Market

Anna Bennato, Franco Mariuzzo and  Patrick Paul Walsh (2018)

Centre for Competition Policy,  University of East Anglia,  Working paper 18-5.


In recent years, policy makers in developed countries have adopted taxation systems that attempt to curb consumers’ behavior away from a harmful lifestyle such as a tax on sugar content.


The papers develops a theoretical model to disentangle the effects on competition and welfare of the adoption of an ad valorem tax that varies according to product characteristics (quality) in an imperfectly competitive market. As an example of a market where taxation varies by product attributes, taxes increased with engines size, we use product-level yearly data on the Irish automobile market between 2004-2008 to explore the impact on competition and welfare of differentiated taxation by product characteristic.

Key findings

In the  Irish automobile market taxes increased with engines size but  did not lead to a significant shift in sales structure, as was its objective  Rather, it shifted profits and consumer surplus away from bigger and towards smaller engines, as a result of a tax-induced strategic change in the nature of short run price competition. Our analysis provides an understanding on the changes in short run price competition, sub-market sales and welfare structure, in a way that one can expect from taxing an environmentally unfriendly aspect of a product.  In the short-run, due to strategic price responses to the different levels of taxation, one sees dirty engines becoming cheaper and clean engines more expensive with no change in market share.  In the medium to long run, the tax structure may induce R&D that makes big engines clean pushing rents back up to big cars.  In the short run, the tax structure did not reduce harmful CO2 emissions in terms of global warming.

The Centre for Competition Policy (CCP), at the University of East Anglia, undertakes competition policy research, incorporating economic, legal, management and political science perspectives, that has real-world policy relevance without compromising academic rigour.

Full Paper and Policy brief attached.

Seréna Pilkington, a former student of SPIRe, has had a paper published by Cornell University's Cornell Cosmic journal. The paper is called A Space Oddity: The Impact of Emerging Space Nations on International Security
Seréna Pilkington is a recent graduate from the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe) at the University College Dublin, Rep. of Ireland. She completed her bachelors thesis on modern space relations with a focus on international security. She later won the UCD Tom Garvin award for highest graded thesis. She plans to pursue a Masters in International Security in 2018, with a special focus on space relations.

Ms Tahulela Aifani Confidence is a Masters graduate from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town South Africa, She was awarded an Erasmus Mundus (AESOP) scholarship to visit UCD to explore PhD opportunities in UCD, and currently she is accepted to pursue Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences & Law) under the supervision of Patrick Paul Walsh. Her research interests are on Household Waste minimization initiatives, poverty reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals.

While she was in Dublin, she attended the Launch of The Sustainable Development Goals: National Implementation Plan 2018-2020 presented by Minister Denis Naughten.

She worked on her proposal with Prof Patrick Paul Walsh (Supervisor) where the research topic was provisionally accepted, Ms Tahulela Aifani’s future plan in terms of PhD is to pursue a UCD PhD won a joint program of work with North West University in South Africa, the PhD will be based on a three paper model. She will do six months of coursework and research in UCD and 6 months NWU till the completion of the program.

Provisional Thesis Title: Sustainable solid waste management in South Africa Cities: The potential of turning household waste into a resource for poverty alleviation in all its forms.


The Central Statistics Office (CSO) are currently recruiting  for the Graduate Placement Programme 2018/2019.

The CSO have a number of  opportunities in the following areas

  • Statistics/Data Analysis/Economics
  • Information Technology
  • Multimedia/Graphic Design/Digital Marketing
  • Environmental Science including Geographical Information Systems
  • HR/Legal/Finance/Business Process Improvement

Please see the link below to the competition:

Please note that the closing date for applications is 5pm, Tuesday 8th of May 2018

For further information regarding the competition, please contact Maria Looney at (+353) 21 4535158 or alternatively email

Apply here

A two-year full-time programme (or four years part time) that offers professional training in Sustainable Development Practice at graduate level. It is part of an internationally recognised affiliation of programmes working in line with Columbia University and the MDP (Master of Development Practice) Global Association (

It prepares students to better identify and address the challenges of extreme poverty and sustainable development through excellent course offerings and placements.

Master of Public Administration in Development Practice brochure.

This is an ideal programme for recent graduates who plan to make a meaningful contribution to global poverty reduction and sustainable development practice. It also appeals to those already working in the sector of development who want to enhance their skill set and bolster their career.

Our central aim is to produce professionally trained graduates with both the theoretical insight and practical skills that will enable them to successfully pursue a career in international development practice to work in government, civil society or the private sector.