Ireland takes up seat on UN Security Council

Ireland took up its seat as an elected member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term starting from January 1, 2021, said the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

“Support for the UN is a corner stone of Irish foreign policy,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Department as saying in a statement posted on its website on Friday.

“Over the coming two years, Ireland will have the opportunity to make a contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.

“Ireland is ready to take this opportunity to engage the Council membership and wider international community on critical aspects of international peace and security, in line with
Ireland’s principled, consistent and independent foreign policy,” it added.

In a statement earlier in the day, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said: “It is an enormous responsibility and honour to serve (the UNSC) for the next two years.

“When we stood for election we promised to bring the values of empathy, partnership and independence to bear. They will guide our work now.”

He also said that Ireland will act fairly and independently in the task of supporting and promoting international peace and security.

Commenting on the development, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Ireland takes its seat on the UNSC at “a very challenging time” but it is determined to play its part to build the trust and political will necessary to achieve progress in even the most intractable conflicts.

The UNSC has five permanent members, namely China, France, Russia, the UK and the US.

The Council also has 10 non-permanent members which are elected by the UN General Assembly for two-year terms starting on January 1, with five replaces each year.

The main difference between a permanent member and a non-permanent member is that the former has a veto power while the latter does not.

Since joining the UN in 1955, Ireland has previously served on the UNSC three times.

Ireland will serve as Presidency of the UNSC in September 2021, according to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.

To mark Ireland’s new role, the UN flag was flown at Leinster House, the seat of the two houses of the Irish Parliament in Dublin, alongside the Irish national flag.