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Marking 60 Years of Ireland's UN membership

Celebrating UN60

In 2015, we marked 60 years of Ireland's UN membership and celebrated our country's role as a small but powerful voice for democracy, equality, peace, security and development.

Since our earliest days at the UN, Ireland has pursued a series of policy priorities which remain central to our foreign policy today. These include peacekeeping, non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, developing assistance, promoting peace and security, and advancing gender equality around the world. In 2015, over 370 Irish peacekeeping troops served across seven different UN missions around the world.

The UN60 anniversary programme provided an excellent opportunity to raise awareness on the range of contributions that Ireland makes to the work of  the United Nations. The programme was launched by Minister Flanagan in May with an Iveagh House Lecture delivered in Dublin Castle by UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

"Ireland shows the ability of small states to make a big difference." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, delivering the Iveagh House Lecture

UN Secretary-General since 2007, Mr. Ban had travelled to Ireland to accept the Tipperary International Peace Award, recognising his contribution to global peace. Other elements of his programme included a visit to the United Nations Training School Ireland (UNTSI) at the Curragh, Co. Kildare, and a meeting with serving Irish peacekeepers, an event for resettled refugees and members of the Syrian community in Ireland and discussions with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton.

Secretary-General Ban also participated in  a 'Youth and the Sustainable Development Goals' event at Iveagh House that marked the selection of Ireland as a co-facilitator of  negotiations on a  set of targets  to define the global sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years.

Another key UN60 event was the Irish Humanitarian Summit in July, which brought together more than 230 senior leaders from Ireland's humanitarian community to discuss our responses to global crises. The Department also sponsored Ireland's first UN Youth Delegate Programme, selecting two young Irish people to join Ireland's official delegation to the UN General Assembly in September, and engaged with second-level students on UN issues through the launch of a Classroom Map illustrating Ireland's participation at the UN.

Other notable events included a high level symposium on the UN’s past achievements and future challenges at which former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, UN Special Representative for International Migration Peter Sutherland, and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan were among the participants. An exhibition of photographs and texts from Ireland's first years at the UN was developed in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy and Iveagh House was illuminated in "UN blue" to celebrate UN Day on 24th October.

Full details of all events are on our UN 60 website: The Iveagh House Lecture delivered in Dublin Castle by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon can be read at's-iveagh-house-lecture/