Written Answers. - UN Security Council.

Ivor Callely

Question:

202 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of countries he visited and the individuals he met in connection with Ireland's proposed membership of the Security Council of the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1650/99]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

207 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the action, if any, he has taken within his Department and the international contacts made to advance Ireland's campaign to win a seat on the Security Council of the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1974/99]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

208 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps, if any, he has taken to mobilise support amongst the Irish diaspora to lobby in support of Ireland's objective to win a seat on the Security Council of the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2008/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 202, 207 and 208 together.

Ireland is seeking election to one of the two non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council which are designated for the Western Europe and Others Group of States for the two-year term 2001-2002. The election will take place in the 185-member UN General Assembly in the autumn of 2000, probably in October. The election is being contested by two other candidates, Norway and Turkey. Successful candidates will require the support of two-thirds of those States present and voting. In effect, this means that the support of around 120 States will be needed to secure election. The election is by secret ballot.

Since the electorate consists of governments it is the administrations of other countries which are the object of Ireland's lobbying effort. At the same time, the Government will be mindful of the possibility of raising the matter through any of a variety of channels where it is of the considered view that that would be of benefit.
As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have sought support for Ireland's candidacy on all appropriate occasions, including on official visits abroad. Since September last, I have personally discussed Ireland's candidacy with representatives of over forty United Nations member states.
All other members of the Government, including most particularly the Taoiseach, are alert to utilizing and will continue to utilize every appropriate opportunity to raise the matter of Ireland's candidacy with other Governments.