Welcome to the website of the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the
United Nations. We hope you will find it useful and
informative regarding Ireland and its work at the United Nations.
For more than half a century since we joined the Organisation on 14
December 1955, a strong and active commitment to the UN has been a
cornerstone of Ireland’s foreign policy in promoting peace and
security, disarmament, development, humanitarian action and human
rights. If you have any comments or require further information on
Ireland and the United Nations, please do not hesitate to contact
the Permanent Mission. You will also find easy links here to a
number of closely related websites.
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February Newsletter: Ireland at the UN
Intergovernmental discussions are underway at the UN as part of a
process which will culminate in the announcement of a new global
development framework at a summit likely to be held in September
2015. This post-2015 development agenda will be the successor to
the existing eight Millennium Development Goals and will include
new sustainable developments goals. Ireland is participating in the
current process in a team alongside Denmark and Norway.
Minister of State Joe Costello led for Ireland-Denmark-Norway in a
discussion on promoting gender equality and women’s
empowerment which was held on 5 February as part of this
process. In his
statement Minister Costello called for “an ambitious goal on
gender equality as well as its effective mainstreaming across all
other goals, targets and indicators to reflect the renewed
commitment to dismantle the structural underpinnings of gender
inequality, transform gender relations and effect positive change
in the lives of all women and girls”. The Minister also
participated in a side event and engaged in outreach to women-led
civil society groups.
Separately, Ireland was recently elected to the five-member Bureau
of UNDP’s Executive Board for 2014. UNDP is the
UN’s $7 billion global development programme, working in 177
countries to reduce poverty and promote social development. At a
recent Board meeting, Ambassador Donoghue said that a focus of
UNDP’s energies should be supporting member states to achieve the
MDGs and to sustain progress beyond 2015.
And at a recent meeting of UNICEF’s Executive Board, Ireland
intervened on behalf of a group including Estonia, Luxembourg,
Switzerland and New Zealand to highlight the unacceptable gap that
has left two-thirds of children living with HIV without treatment,
and to urge the UN to do more to ensure that children have access
to the services they need.
Peace and security
In January Ambassador Donoghue chaired an important peacekeeping
body, steering difficult negotiations to a successful conclusion.
In a policy breakthrough at the working group on Contingent-Owned
Equipment, agreement was reached under which the UN for the first
time accepts some responsibility for assisting troop contributors
in rotating their equipment. Ireland is the fifth largest EU troop
contributor to the UN, with 359 peacekeepers deployed on UN
missions (347 troops and 12 police).
Ireland made two statements at the Security Council in the
past couple of weeks. Ireland’s statement
at the debate on enhancing post-conflict reconciliation
efforts described the progress in the peace process in Northern
Ireland and called for the UN to take a more integrated approach to
reconciliation – involving peacebuilding, development, human rights
and governance – and to make a more concerted effort to capture and
share lessons and best practice from different conflict settings.
statement at the open debate on enhancing the protection of
civilians in conflict highlighted how more credible UN missions
- with peacekeepers not only able but willing to perform their
duties – can more effectively protect civilians, as we saw in
eastern DRC last year. With small arms the weapon of choice in many
conflicts, early entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty should
help to staunch the flow of arms, while the weapons and ammunition
decommissioning work of the UN mine action service UNMAS was also acknowledged.
Ireland has been actively engaged in the two-year-long
intergovernmental negotiations process to strengthen the UN
human rights treaty body system, negotiations that were brought
to a successful conclusion recently. The workload on the ten UN
human rights treaty bodies - which monitor implementation by States
of their human rights obligations such as eliminating racial
discrimination, eliminating discrimination against women, or
upholding the rights of persons with disabilities - has grown
exponentially over the past decade. The recent agreement should
help to find efficiencies in documentation and translation, provide
significant additional meeting time for bodies and help OHCHR to
increase its capacity-building assistance to member states to
enable them to meet their obligations under the treaties. Ireland
contributed to the positive outcome through its engagement within
the EU and more broadly across the UN, with civil society and with
the treaty bodies themselves, including on core elements of the
text such as the sustainable resourcing model.
Ambassador David Donoghue speaks at the General
Assembly, calling for more engagement and transparency on the part
of the Security Council with the broader UN
President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins with United Nations
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on World Press Freedom Day, United
Nations, New York, 3 May, 2012.
Mr. Eamon Gilmore T.D., Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE,
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland with
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, New York, 9 February