Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has said figures on child poverty in Ireland cannot be ignored.

She said that if Ireland misses its United Nations goals it could have profound implications for children and their development.

Ms Zappone was speaking at an event in Dublin about how UN Sustainable Development Goals could help end child poverty and hunger in Ireland.

She said the recent decision to repeal the Eight Amendment, which will give women the choice on whether to stay pregnant and the additional plan to make contraceptives increasingly available, could reduce incidents of child poverty and child hunger.

She said her Department is also examining ways to provide more kitchens in early years and childcare centres to provide three meals a days for those in the most disadvantaged areas, which she said could cost an estimated €8.2m a year.

But she said achieving the UN 'no hunger' goal would not be possible without a national, cross-government programme.

The minister also said there needs to be other ways of measuring the impact of policy developments on child poverty.

Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on the Sustainable Development Goals Professor Jeffrey Sachs, told the conference that shared ideas and shared goals were the only way to escape a world that he described as "lost in hatred".

He said that's the world is in the hands of a few dangerous people and described US President Donald Trump as "foolish", "venomous" and "deluded".

Prof Sachs said achieving the UN goals was not technically impossible or even expensive.

But he said our cruelty and neglect are the only reasons why children are living in poverty and deprivation. 

He said the UN goals could take the world's mind off the self-destruction and the politics of 'hunger for power'.

But he said we need the attention span of the world in order to achieve these things.

Prof Sachs said the market system produces wealth but it does not produce social justice. 

He said the world was not on track to achieve these goals even though they're not hard to achieve.

Prof Sachs said the world was "lost in a haze" and he said he doesn't even mention the goals in Washington in case they try and get rid of them.

He said that in a 'time of perversity in global politics" he was calling on Ireland to help take the lead on these issues globally.