Foreign Affairs | Using Ireland’s membership on the UN Security Council to foster greater awareness of the hardships suffered by women and children in various war zones
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs how Ireland’s membership on the UN Security Council has/is being used to foster a greater awareness of hardships suffered by women and children in the various war zones including the Ukraine and all other war torn regions; the extent to which particular steps can be taken in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ireland’s two-year term on the UN Security Council, which ended on 31 December, was underpinned by three core principles: building peace; strengthening conflict prevention; and ensuring accountability.
Working in line with those principles, we consistently used our voice on the Council to call out violations and abuses of international humanitarian and human rights law, and demand justice for victims. This includes our work on the broad range of country situations, including Ukraine, and on thematic issues, such as Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC).
We used our seat on the Council to deliver consistent, principled and powerful criticism of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. We continue to do everything we can, at the UN and elsewhere, to support Ukraine and to promote accountability for international crimes, including war crimes, in Ukraine.
Ireland has been a longstanding champion of the WPS Agenda at the UN and it was a key priority for Ireland’s membership of the Security Council. Ireland co-chaired the Security Council’s Informal Expert Group on WPS, engaging with the senior leadership of UN missions on the implementation of the WPS Agenda on the ground. Ireland also promoted the inclusion of provisions on the prevention of sexual violence in the mandates of peace operations agreed by the Council.
At Ireland’s initiative, Ireland, Mexico and Kenya formed a WPS Presidency Trio, committing to using our respective Council Presidencies to integrate WPS fully into all discussions of the Council, and to mainstream WPS across all thematic and country files. The WPS Presidency Trio’s commitment to prioritise WPS was commended in the UN Secretary-General’s Annual Report, and described as a significant development which contributed to positive trends. Ireland continues to prioritise the WPS in our engagement at the UN, working to ensure that the progress made during our time on the Security Council is maintained.
Ireland was also an active member of the Security Council’s Working Group on CAAC, and we continue to promote the rights of the child in other UN fora, such as at the Commission on the Status of Women, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, and the UN Human Rights Council.
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