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Ireland at the United Nations (UN)

Ireland is a strong supporter of the rules-based international system, with the United Nations at its centre, as the most effective means of addressing common threats and the maintenance of international peace and security, the pursuit of economic and social development and the protection and promotion of human rights.

At the United Nations, Ireland seeks to promote effective international action on a range of global issues such as peace and security, disarmament, development, humanitarian action, and human rights. The function of Ireland's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva is to serve as a liaison between the Government of Ireland and the various institutions of the UN in Geneva in pursuing these issues and priorities, in line with Ireland’s foreign policy interests and values.

The United Nations has been a cornerstone of Irish foreign policy since we joined the organisation on 14 December 1955. Ireland takes seriously its obligations under the Charter, and our foreign policy has been framed with these obligations in mind. During the plenary debate at the commencement of the UN General Assembly in New York each year the Minister for Foreign Affairs has traditionally taken the opportunity to outline the Government’s approach to global problems and to inform Member States of Ireland’s priorities for the year ahead.  

Ireland has been elected to serve as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2013-2015, and we are working during our membership to strengthen the Council and to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.  Current priorities in the Human Rights Council include two national initiatives – on civil society space; and on preventable mortality and morbidity of children under 5 years of age.

Ireland has served on three occasions as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (in 1962, in 1981-82 and in 2001-02), and we will seek election to a non-permanent seat for the term 2021-22.

Ireland plays an active role across the full range of United Nations institutions and is a strong supporter of the UN System of specialised agencies, funds and programmes. In addition, through the Irish Aid programme, the Government of Ireland provides significant ongoing support to the human rights, development and humanitarian work of the UN.