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Minister Coveney addresses UN Security Council meeting on Multilateralism

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., today addressed a UN Security Council meeting chaired by China on multilateralism and the United Nations.

The meeting focussed on the role of the United Nations and the multilateral system in addressing global challenges such as COVID 19, climate change and the maintenance of peace and security. 

The Minister emphasised that the COVID 19 pandemic has demonstrated the vital need for multilateral cooperation.

“We must uphold the multilateral system, promote respect for international law, and ensure that the United Nations is equipped to meet global challenges. Ireland takes this responsibility deeply seriously.”

Minister Coveney spoke of the the crucial role of international organisations and agreements, and of how multilateralism enhances national sovereignty. 

“Through the UN and regional organisations, we are working collectively to reduce poverty and hunger, promote and defend human rights, increase access to education and healthcare, protect migrants and refugees, advance gender equality and build sustainable peace.

Vital institutions, such as the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court, uphold international law and protect human rights, which apply equally to all.”

“Landmark agreements such as the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, seek to shape a sustainable and secure future for all of the inhabitants on this planet. Collective multilateral engagement enhances our sovereignty, rather than diminishes it.”

The Minister also emphasised Ireland’s continued support for Security Council reform, to make the Council more representative and more capable of acting in response to crises:

“A reformed and more representative Council, that better reflects global 21st century realities, would have an enhanced legitimacy. That legitimacy is essential to deliver on this Council’s mandate to maintain international peace and security.”


Press Office

7 May 2021


Note to Editors


The meeting, chaired by China, is one of the signature events of China’s Presidency of the Council in the month of May.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, Mr Wang Yi, will chair the meeting. 

Other participants include US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the foreign ministers of a number of other Security Council members. 

The meeting will begin with a briefing from Mr. Volkan Bozk─▒r, President of the United Nations General Assembly

The meeting is available to view on UN Web TV:

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