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Tánaiste to address UN General Assembly

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., is travelling to New York tomorrow (19 September) to address the 66th UN General Assembly (UNGA) which takes place from 19-26 September.

Alongside a busy programme of engagements at the UN the Tánaiste will promote Irish trade and investment and will be undertaking a number of media interviews to outline to an American business audience the steps being taken by the new Government to address Ireland’s economic challenges. 

The Tánaiste will also have discussions with representatives of the main Irish community support centres in the New York area. Shortly after his arrival he will be presenting the first Certificate of Irish Heritage to the family of Joseph Hunter, a New York fireman, who lost his life when responding in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.  

The UNGA Ministerial Week is a key annual gathering of leaders from around the world to discuss the range of issues addressed within the United Nations multilateral framework.  An important feature of the week will be the statements to the UN General Assembly by the assembled leaders, including by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US President Barack Obama.   

Speaking in advance of his visit the Tánaiste said:

“This year’s General Assembly comes  at a critical time in international affairs.  The global economic crisis, the Arab Spring, the question of Palestinian Statehood as well as the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa are all issues of major international concern that will be addressed in New York.  I look forward to setting out Ireland’s foreign policy priorities and our views on these issues in my speech to the General Assembly.”

“ I will also be participating with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, in a High Level Summit on Nutrition, which is a follow-up event to the Hunger Summit which Ireland and the US co-hosted last September.  My colleague the Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, will also participate at this important event.”