Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Questions (115)

Bernard Durkan


115. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which Ireland might utilise its position on the UN Security Council to encourage a rejuvenation of the structures of the UN in order to restore its influence in dealing with peacekeeping needs, natural disasters, famine and starvation, ethnic cleansing, international conflict and human rights abuses globally in order to have increased and positive impact on all such situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3971/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland is committed to the United Nations, which continues to play an indispensable role at the heart of the multilateral system. We believe that the UN system should be strengthened and revitalised so that it can continue to effectively address global challenges, and support reform where it is necessary.

Discussions on reform of the Security Council take place in the General Assembly, through the Intergovernmental Negotiations framework for Security Council reform, which last met on 4 May. Ireland actively engaged in these negotiations and has been consistently clear on the need to increase the size of the Security Council; to address geographic under-representation, in particular of Africa; and to see an end to the use of the veto, particularly in cases of actual or potential mass atrocity crimes. While I am aware of the challenges in securing progress, we will continue to support calls for change.

Ireland also remains actively engaged in seeking to make a positive impact on the work of the Security Council, in line with our core principles: Building Peace, Strengthening Conflict Prevention and Ensuring Accountability. We are working to improve peacekeeping mandates to ensure they are realistic, achievable and properly resourced, and can effectively act. Ireland is committed to actively promoting respect for human rights, accountability and compliance with international law in our work across the Council agenda and its subsidiary bodies.

Ireland has consistently supported and been actively involved in ongoing reform of the UN Development System, which aims to reposition the system to implement Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals more effectively. This has led to the restructuring of UN development accountability structures, with direct lines of responsibility from country leadership to the Secretary-General, and Resident Coordinators empowered to coordinate UN Country Teams to address development challenges in a more joined-up way.

The UN’s approach to the COVID-19 crisis, through a Global Humanitarian Response Plan and coordinated country-level needs assessments and response plans, demonstrate that the reform is having a positive impact and we will continue to support its implementation.

Question No. 116 answered with Question No. 93.