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Taoiseach | UN response to international threats

To ask the Taoiseach the extent to which the United Nations modus operandi appears to be in need of reform, with particular reference to a more dramatic and rapid response to emerging threatening situations globally, arising from his recent visit to the United Nations.

I visited New York for UN High Level Week from 21-23 September. In delivering Ireland’s National Statement to the General Assembly, I said that all countries, no matter how small, have a contribution to make to international peace and security, and to economic and social development; and that all people have the right to live in dignity; to have their human rights and fundamental freedoms respected. I spoke frankly also about the need for a strengthened and reformed United Nations, one that is not hamstrung by the veto power of a single member state.

I noted, however, that this is not the case for those currently facing hunger and food insecurity, nor for those in Ukraine being bombarded by Russian missiles, nor for many people in Syria, Afghanistan or Palestine. I spoke also of the devastating impacts of climate change, with those who bear least responsibility for its causes often most affected.

I cautioned that despite these challenges and their scale, we cannot lose faith in the United Nations, or in the protections that a rules-based international order provides, for all its shortcomings.  

At the UN, I highlighted, for instance, the successes that Ireland has achieved working with partners during our current term on the Security Council, for instance, in terms of humanitarian access to Syria, and on ensuring that the role of women as peacebuilders, and as agents of change, is at the heart of UN peacekeeping and political missions across the globe.

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