Research News

Ireland Day @ Science Summit at the 78 United Nation General Assembly

  • 05 September, 2023


On 13th September 2023, ‘Ireland Day’ led by UCD as part of the Science Summit at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) will bring international experts together at the Irish Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York, to discuss the important role of research and collaboration in attaining the UN SDGs and examine how Ireland is contributing to these global objectives. 

UCD staff, students and friends are welcome to attend the event livestreaming from New York. Please see the registration details below.

Session 1: Ireland Day: Achieving Sustainable and Equitable Food Systems by 2030

13 September, 9.30am-11am EST

Our current food systems fall short in meeting the necessary economic, social, and environmental requirements for ensuring food security and nutrition for everyone. Our food supplies are constantly disrupted by extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, floods, droughts, and conflicts. World leaders participating in the UN Food System Summit in October 2021, reached a consensus: a radical transformation of our food system is necessary to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and effectively tackle the interconnected challenges of climate change, malnutrition, and obesity. Two years later and two years closer to the 2030 deadline, where are we on the sustainable food systems transformation journey? What’s working, what’s not and what can we learn from each other? How can answering the question about how we transform our own system and the difficulties we face help us and help others globally facing similar challenges? Our panel of leading experts will address how we find a sustainable, equitable food system that can feed people and the planet.


  • Triona McCormack, Director of Research, University College Dublin
  • Fergal Mythen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN (TBC)
  • Tom Arnold, Chair of Food Vision 2030, Ireland’s agri-food strategy and Ireland’s Special Envoy for Food Systems, 2021-2022
  • Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, African Union Special Envoy for Food Systems
  • Prof Jessica Fanzo, Professor of Climate, Food for Humanity Initiative Director, Columbia University
  • John Clarke, Director for International Relations at DG Agriculture in the European Commission

REGISTER HERE for Session 1

Session 2: Deliberative Democracies- Key Learnings from Ireland

13 September, 11.15am-12noon EST

In Ireland the Citizens’ Assembly is an effective tool bringing the public into debates surrounding constitutional and political reform. When used correctly, they can be a powerful tool for change. Ireland is seen as a trailblazer in this space underpinning referenda linked to significant constitutional change such as marriage equality as well as a national policy on biodiversity. In a conversation with Tom Arnold, Prof David Farrell will share insights from the genesis of this project in Ireland, moderated by Triona McCormack. They will also highlight learnings from other models of deliberative democracies taking shape internationally and reflect on the significance for democracy of processes like this.


  • Prof. David Farrell, Chair of Politics, University College Dublin and Chair of the European Consortium for Political Research 
  • Tom Arnold, Chair of the Convention on the Constitution in Ireland
  • Triona McCormack, Director of Research, University College Dublin

REGISTER HERE for Session 2

Session 3: Health Collaboration in a Post Conflict Era – the Island of Ireland Story

13 September, 12.15pm to 1pm EST

The Good Friday Agreement, 25 years ago, ended decades of conflict that caused thousands to lose their lives and embedded deep divisions among the people of Northern Ireland. Resulting from the Agreement a partnership was signed between the Departments of Health for Northern Ireland, Ireland and the US National Cancer Institute giving rise to the Ireland-Northern Ireland - National Cancer Institute Cancer Consortium with the aim of reducing cancer incidence and mortality on the island of Ireland through cross-border and transatlantic collaborations in cancer research and education. The panel will discuss how this collaboration has opened up other health partnerships across the island of Ireland. 


  • Brian O’Connor, Chair, European Connected Health Alliance
  • Prof Mark Lawler, Professor of Digital Health and Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics at Queen’s University Belfast
  • Sir Michael McBride, Former Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland
  • Triona McCormack, Director of Research, University College Dublin
  • Professor Jim McLaughlin, Professor of Bioengineering at Ulster University, Northern Ireland
  • Dr Tony Holohan, Adjunct Full Professor of Public Health at University College Dublin & Former Chief Medical Officer of Ireland (pre-recorded remarks)

REGISTER HERE for Session 3