Department of the Taoiseach

09/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/01/2021 04:05

Ireland’s Presidency of the UN Security Council

Today, 1 September 2021, Ireland takes on the role of President of the United Nations Security Council for the month of September.

During September, Ireland will manage the programme of Council business and chair the Council's meetings. This is an important responsibility for Ireland and is the only time Ireland will hold the Presidency during our two-year term on the Security Council from 2021-2022.

Speaking earlier, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said:

As President of the Security Council, we will be dealing with some of the key immediate challenges facing the international community, including the evolving situation in Afghanistan, and an ongoing concerning situation in the Middle East.

We sought a seat on the UN Security Council to make a difference; to bring a principled, constructive and open approach to its vital work of promoting international peace and security, including at critical and challenging times such as this.

I look forward also to chairing a meeting of the Security Council on 23 September on the critical issue of Climate and Security. The effects of climate change are a contributory factor in a range of the crises on the Council's agenda.

As leaders we need to recognise this, and to explore what tangible actions can be taken to address these factors specifically in our work.'

Issues on the agenda of the Security Council in September include the evolving situation in Afghanistan, the UN-led peace process in Libya, the Council's monthly meeting on the Middle East Peace Process, and the situations in Syria, in Yemen, in Sudan and in South Sudan.

In addition to these meetings, Ireland will host a number of meetings linked to key priorities for our term on the Council: on peacekeeping, on climate and security, and on the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., said:

As President of the Security Council, we have the responsibility of stewarding the Council's important work at a critical moment. I look forward to Council discussions on a number of key issues on the international agenda.

Next week I will be in New York to chair a Council meeting on how we can better manage the transition of UN Peacekeeping Operations to a more comprehensive UN engagement on peacebuilding in countries coming out of conflict. We need to ensure that hard-won peace gains are not lost when the peacekeepers leave. I am proud of the history of Defence Forces' participation in UN peacekeeping which informs Ireland's work on this issue.

The Minister voiced his concerns regarding the situation in Afghanistan and welcomed the adoption of a Security Council resolution on 30 August condemning the attacks at Kabul airport, calling for unhindered humanitarian access, and noting the Taliban commitment that Afghans will not be prevented from travelling abroad.

The Council's discussion on the Middle East Peace Process this month comes at a challenging time for the two state solution, set against the backdrop of an increasingly fragile ceasefire, continued blockade of Gaza, underlining the urgent need to address the root causes of this conflict.

Ireland will also closely follow the situation in Ethiopia and efforts to bring about a cessation of hostilities to allow urgent humanitarian assistance to be provided to those affected.

In line with Ireland's commitment to civil society engagement, we will bring civil society and grassroots voices to the Security Council table, particularly the voices of women peacebuilders.

In summary, Minister Coveney added:

Being a member of the Security Council brings with it an important responsibility to help prevent and resolve conflicts around the world. I am proud of the role Ireland has played on a wide range of issues since taking up our seat in January 2021, including extending the mandate for Syrian cross border humanitarian operations, leading the Council's response to the crisis in Ethiopia and our facilitation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). I am confident we can continue to make a difference as we approach the task of chairing the Security Council this month.


Notes for editors

  • Ireland is an elected member of the United Nations Security Council for a two year term which began on 1 January 2021. Ireland will hold the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of September 2021.
  • The role rotates each month in English alphabetical order, and this is the only time we will hold the presidency during our two-year term. This is the fifth time Ireland has held the Presidency of the Security Council since we joined the UN in 1955.
  • Ireland's approach during the Presidency will be underpinned by the three core principles of our Security Council term: Building peace, strengthening conflict prevention and ensuring accountability, and will be in line with Ireland's principled, consistent and independent foreign policy.
  • Ireland will host meetings of the Council on peacekeeping on 8 September, on Climate and Security on 23 September, and on the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on 27 September.
  • The Council Presidency can select briefers for Council meetings. In keeping with Ireland's commitment to facilitate civil society and grass roots voices being heard by the Council, we plan to have a civil society briefer at many meetings in September. In line with Ireland's commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda, we are prioritising the voices of women peacebuilders.

* Ireland's Presidency coincides with the annual United Nations General Assembly High Level Week. This year, High Level Week will take place in a hybrid format due to evolving public health guidance in New York.

* Further information about Ireland's Security Council term can be found on [external-link and | here]