UN Security Council: Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D.
"Ireland's successful election today to the UN Security Council for the 2001-2002 term is a major achievement for Irish diplomacy and our victory is a recognition of the esteem in which Ireland is held internationally. The international community has bestowed a tremendous honour on Ireland today and we deeply appreciate it. I wish to express our thanks to all of the States who voted for us and gave us every support and encouragement during the two year campaign.
"Ireland has always been committed to the UN Charter and its principles. The cornerstone of our campaign for election to the UN Security Council has been the distinctive role we have played in areas of the UN such as peace-keeping, disarmament, human rights and development cooperation. Our commitment to these crucial areas will be carried through in our work on the Council. Our success today is also a tremendous acknowledgement of the fine work and dedication of Ireland's unofficial Ambassadors around the world, the diaspora and Irish missionaries and aid workers.
"Today's result demonstrates that small States can be effective members of the United Nations. It is also a very positive signal for those who support the principle that all Member States should have an opportunity to serve on the Council on the basis of fair and reasonable rotation.
"I am looking forward to the challenges and responsibilities which membership of the Council will bring from next January. The Government intend to play a constructive role on the Council and in that regard I will be making arrangements in the coming weeks to strengthen our staffing for this task.
"The Taoiseach and my colleagues in Government were committed from the outset to securing membership and this contributed to the cohesive and effective nature of our campaign over the last two years.
"I would like to pay a special thanks to my predecessor, Mr. David Andrews T.D., for the part he played in the campaign until his retirement as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
"I would also like to acknowledge the assistance given by Minister of State Liz O'Donnell T.D. throughout.
"I wish to record the Government's appreciation of the dedicated work of the Department of Foreign Affairs campaign team coordinated by Ambassador Mary Whelan in Dublin and by Ambassador Richard Ryan in New York. Our thanks are also due to their dedicated staff and to the Special Envoys who lobbied on our behalf throughout the world.
"It is a tremendous honour and a huge responsibility for Ireland and I am confident that we will discharge our responsibilities on the Council in a manner in which the entire country can be proud."Top