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Minister Flanagan Launches Ireland UN60 Exhibition in New York

Diplomatic Relations, Funding, Ireland, Minister Charles Flanagan, United Nations, Press Releases, North America, 2015


Latest in Series of Events Marking 60th Anniversary of Ireland’s Membership of the United Nations

Ahead of his attendance at this week’s United Nations General Assembly, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., has this evening launched a special exhibition in New York marking the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the United Nations.

Entitled ‘Ireland's First Years at the United Nations 1955-1957’, and assembled by the Royal Irish Academy from documents at Ireland’s National Archives, the exhibition covers major issues of the period and highlights challenges of the time such as the Cold War and the birth of UN Peacekeeping. It also highlights how the values and principles demonstrated by Ireland during early days of membership have been carried forward to the present day.

The exhibition will be displayed at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York and Geneva, before returning to Ireland.

Speaking at the launch event held in New York’s prestigious American Irish Historical Society, Minister Flanagan said:

“Through the United Nations, Ireland has played an important role as a small but powerful voice for peace and security, development and human rights over the past 60 years. Earlier this year the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Ireland and participated in the launch of 'UN60', our programme of events to celebrate Ireland’s 60 years membership of the UN.

“It is fitting that our UN60 exhibition will be on view in New York, the home of the United Nations. ‘Ireland's First Years at the United Nations 1955-1957’ paints a fascinating picture of how Ireland took its place among the nations of the world. During those early years, Ireland deployed its first ever UN peacekeepers to Lebanon and took a strong and principled stance in relation to nuclear non-proliferation. These early commitments continue to find expression in Irish foreign policy in 2015.

“60 years on, Ireland’s commitment to the foundational values and principles of the United Nations remains undimmed. As I will outline in my speech to the UN General Assembly later this week, Ireland will continue to put the UN at the heart of our foreign policy in the coming years.”

On Thursday Minister Flanagan will address the UN General Assembly and have a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.



Press Office

27 September 2015


Note to Editors:

  • Ireland joined the United Nations on 14 December 1955, along with Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sri Lanka.
  • Ireland has played a significant role in the promotion of international peace through its membership of the UN. Ireland has an unbroken record of service to blue-helmet peacekeeping since 1958, serving in often difficult and challenging locations in the Middle East and throughout Africa.
  • To celebrate 60 years of active engagement in the UN, Ireland has organised a programme of events and projects, both in Ireland and internationally, to raise awareness and promote debate about Ireland’s contribution to one of the most important and ambitious projects in world history. A full programme of “UN60” events can be accessed at Earlier this month, Minister Flanagan unveiled a special UN60 classroom map, which will be distributed to every secondary school in Ireland.
  • Minister Flanagan formally launched the UN60 Programme at a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Iveagh House Lecture in Dublin Castle on 25thMay 2015. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the keynote speaker at the lecture.
  • The UN60 Exhibition will be initially displayed at the UN Headquarters in New York from 5th October onwards and then proceed to the UN’s Palais des Nations in Geneva. It will be presented in Ireland at Iveagh House in Dublin on 14 December, exactly 60 years after Ireland’s accession to the UN, and will subsequently be displayed at Dublin Airport, the Royal Irish Academy and Cork Airport.
  • The Exhibition comprises 15 panels that tell the story of Ireland's application for UN membership, our accession with 15 other countries on 14th December 1955, and our handling of major issues from the 1955-1957 period, including the East-West Cold War tension, the Suez Crisis, the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and the birth of UN Peacekeeping.
  • The Exhibition was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and produced by the Royal Irish Academy on the basis of documents drawn from Ireland’s National Archives.