Minister Flanagan launches ‘UN60’ map & ‘Iveagh Scholars’17 September 2015
Minister Flanagan unveils ‘UN60’ map for all secondary schools, marking 60 years of Irish UN membership
- Launches ‘Iveagh Scholars’ all-Ireland competition for Transition Year/Year 12 students
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, today unveiled a special UN60 classroom map which will be distributed to every secondary school in Ireland to mark 60 years of Irish membership of the UN. He also launched the second ‘Iveagh Scholars’ competition which gives Transition Year and Year 12 students all over the island of Ireland the opportunity to enter a competition to spend a week in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade next April.
Speaking at the event at Muckross Park College in Dublin today (Thursday), Minister Flanagan stated:
“Ireland is a small country with a big voice at the UN. Last year, Ireland and Kenya, were chosen from among the 193 member countries to negotiate the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These Goals will require countries to aim to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve global sustainable development by 2030. Our own Great Famine in the 1840s has given us a passion to fight hunger in the developing world and our dedication to this task was recognised by our leading role in the historic SDG negotiations.”
“From our earliest days at the UN we campaigned against nuclear weapons and Ireland’s leading role was recognised when we were the first country invited to sign the UN’s Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1968.”
“Our peacekeeping troops have made a huge contribution to the UN, acknowledged by the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, on his visit to Ireland in May when he launched the UN60 programme of events.”
“This fantastic UN60 classroom map illustrates the major impact that Ireland has had throughout the world in peacekeeping, disarmament and fighting hunger. Through the UN, Ireland continues to make a major contribution to international peace, security and development”.
Minister Flanagan also introduced the first Irish UN Youth Delegates, Eoin Ó Liatháin and Orla Murphy, who will accompany the Minister and his team for part of the UN General Assembly later this month. Eoin and Orla will also be involved in the negotiation of a Youth Delegate Declaration.
Minister Flanagan today launched the second round of the Iveagh Scholars schools’ competition. This year’s theme is Honouring the past, Imagining the future and invites entrants to reflect on the important anniversaries taking place this year and next and show why Ireland’s foreign policy matters to them.
Minister Flanagan stated:
“In reality, the everyday business of foreign relations often takes place behind closed doors, in other countries, and often in foreign languages. Few people see what we do, or how we do it. I am passionate about achieving greater public engagement with my Department and with Irish foreign policy – I want to engage young people in particular and the Iveagh Scholars competition and, indeed, the UN60 classroom map, is part of that.”
“The Iveagh Scholars programme is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain a first-hand insight into the work of Irish diplomats. Last year’s inaugural programme was a great success and I know this internship programme, which has proven a positive experience for interns and diplomats alike, will continue to grow in popularity.”
“During one week next April the 30 successful applicants will have an insight into our work - this could include experiencing how to handle a consular crisis or negotiate an EU agreement on climate change targets or run a press conference on a major issue or many other challenges that diplomats face on a daily basis.”
“Having just returned from Belfast late last night, I am particularly pleased that the Iveagh Scholars competition operates on an all-island basis.”
17 September 2015
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
On 14 December 1955, Ireland joined the United Nations. 2015 marks both the UN’s 70th year in existence and Ireland’s 60th year of membership. The visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Ireland in May 2015 marked the launch of a programme of public events and projects to celebrate 60 years of active engagement in the UN, which has been organised to raise awareness and promote debate about our contribution to one of the most important and ambitious projects in world history.
The United Nations was set up after the horrors of World War II by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN - a total membership of 193 countries.
Though our membership of the UN, Ireland has played a significant role in the promotion of international peace and security. We have an unbroken record of service to blue-helmet peacekeeping since 1958, serving in such difficult and challenging places as the Middle East, the Congo and West and North Africa. As the threats to peace in the world are changing – conflict, terrorism, epidemics such as Ebola, climate change, hunger and the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War – we need to look at new ways of maintaining peace.
The Iveagh Scholars Transition Year programme is an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Global Horizons Programme aimed at engaging Irish students in international affairs and the work of the Department.
Global Horizons was launched in 2014 to bring the work of the Department to a younger audience. It has three distinct strands, targeted at three different groups: Iveagh Scholars is specifically for Transition Year/Year 12 in Northern Ireland students; Diplomats in the Classroom reaches other senior cycle students; International Careers targets third level students.
Following the Iveagh Scholars launch, every school on the island will receive information about the program and how to apply. Students are asked to submit a written or video composition, limited to 500 words or 2 minutes 30 seconds. Entries are limited to one per school. The entry deadline is 30th November 2015.
Photos of the event will issue to photo desks courtesy of Maxwell's Photography