Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (37)

Bernard Durkan


37. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he has identified support for Ireland's case for nomination to the UN Security Council, further to his recent address to the UN General Assembly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40898/18]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland is seeking election to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in June 2020 for the 2021-2022 term. Ireland’s candidacy was announced in 2005.

The campaign leading up to 2020 is already well under way. I am using every opportunity during bi-lateral contacts and meetings to press the value of Ireland playing a strong and independent role on the Council. In addition, my Department’s diplomatic staff in Ireland, our Permanent Representation to the UN in New York, and our entire Embassy network have been actively presenting our case and seeking support.

Each year, Ireland attends the United Nations General Assembly held at UN Headquarters in New York. This is the largest gathering of Heads of State and Government and Ministers in the UN calendar.

The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly got underway in early September.

The theme for this year’s General Debate was "Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”.

I delivered Ireland’s National Statement to the General Debate in which I emphasised Ireland’s strong support for multilateralism as the best way to address global problems. It is my firm view, which I believe is shared across the Oireachtas, that a collective effort is the only way to address global challenges such as conflict, migration and climate change, which are often linked.

The statement offered the opportunity to highlight Ireland’s role in UN peacekeeping, disarmament and humanitarian assistance, and to highlight Ireland’s concerns regarding the situation in the Middle East.

While attending the UN General Assembly, An Taoiseach, Minister of State Cannon and I met with a large number of Heads of State and Government and Ministers from all regions. During these constructive bilateral engagements, we received a strong hearing. Ireland’s track record at the UN is widely respected as is our sense of Empathy, Partnership and Independence which are hallmarks of our Security Council campaign. We face strong competition in the election for two non-permanent seats on the Security Council from Canada and Norway, two States which we highly respect and with which we work closely at the UN.

Through all of our interactions in recent days, and the extensive range of meetings which will take place over the coming 20 months, UN Member States will be very aware that Ireland will continue our strong efforts for election to the Security Council.