Support for a rules-based international order, with the UN at its centre, is a fundamental element of Ireland’s foreign policy. Ireland, at the UN, seeks to promote effective international action on a range of global issues such as disarmament, peacekeeping, human rights and development.
The Political Division is responsible for co-ordinating Ireland’s overall participation in the work of the United Nations and its constituent bodies, and on political matters, it seeks to ensure that Ireland’s interests and values are reflected at the UN. The Division also takes the lead on Ireland’s relations with other Member States on UN issues. It carries out this work in close cooperation with other Divisions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and with our Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York, Vienna and Geneva, as well as with the Department of Defence and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Irish Aid, the Government’s programme of assistance to developing countries, contributes substantially to the programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations. Information on Ireland’s relationship with these bodies is available on the Irish Aid website http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/
Ireland celebrated 50 years as a member of the United Nations in December 2005. Commemorative events included the publication of a collection of academic essays ‘Obligations and Responsibilities: Ireland and the UN 1955-2005’.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon paid an official visit to Ireland in July 2009, when he met with the President, the Taoiseach, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Environment, and members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs. He also gave a keynote address on the subject of peacekeeping to members and guests of the Institute for International and European Affairs, at Dublin Castle.
Ireland has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to international peace and security, not least through continuous participation in UN peacekeeping operations by the Defence Forces and the Gárdaí since 1958. Under the UN Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS), Ireland has agreed to maintain a total of 850 personnel available for service on UN or UN-authorised peacekeeping Missions.
At EU level, the Division, working with the Permanent Representation, Brussels, is responsible for Irish input into European Union policy in relation to the UN.