Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (269)

Seán Haughey


269. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will outline Ireland's priorities in respect of the United Nations Security Council for the next two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2821/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland assumed its seat on the UN Security Council on 1 January 2021. We are committed to being an active and constructive Council member and are engaging across the full Council agenda, which includes some 30 country and regional files and 20 thematic files.

Three core principles will frame our approach: building peace, strengthening conflict prevention and ensuring accountability.

In line with these principles, Ireland has identified specific priorities, including: improving peacekeeping mandates, linking peacekeeping with peacebuilding, highlighting the drivers of conflict such as climate change and grave violations of human rights, advancing inclusive approaches to peacebuilding involving women, youth and civil society, and promoting respect for international law and accountability.

Elected Security Council members take on a number of leadership roles during their terms, including chairing Sanctions Committees and thematic Working Groups and acting as primary drafters (Penholders) of some Security Council Resolutions.

Ireland has assumed the role of Facilitator for UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which deals with the Iran nuclear deal; chair of the Somalia Sanctions Committee; co-chair, alongside Mexico, of the Council’s Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security; and co-chair, along with Niger, of the Informal Expert Group on Climate and Security. Ireland will also act as co-penholder, with Niger, on the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS); and co-penholder, with Norway, on humanitarian issues in Syria. Each of these roles reflect aspects of Ireland’s existing foreign policy priorities and strengths.

Ireland will hold the Presidency of the Security Council in September 2021, and will chair all meetings of the Council during that month.

This is a Government-wide effort, and the Department of Foreign Affairs is working closely with other Departments, including through a recently established inter-departmental working group. We are engaging with academic and civil society partners, including a stakeholder forum, in conjunction with the IIEA.

I look forward to keeping the Oireachtas informed of our work on the Council.