Ambassador Byrne Nason's Remarks at the UN Security Council Flag Installation Ceremony
Speech04 January 2021
Excellencies, Dear Magzhan, Dear Tarek, thank you for the kind words and warm welcome.
I am sure that, like me, for each of the other incoming members this is a moment we will never forget.
It is a moment hoped for and anticipated over many years. However, now that the moment has arrived, I come here along with a sense of great gratitude and pride, with another sentiment.
As my country Ireland’s flag joins the flags of other Security Council Members for just the fourth time in my country’s history, I have a deep and profound sense of humility and responsibility.
The challenges that face every new group of elected members are different. Unique in their own way. However, can there ever have been a group that faces such momentous times? The challenges related to COVID-19 are unique. We have watched the Council struggle over the last year, and it will undoubtedly shape our time on the Council.
Across the world today, we know that there are millions of people living in fragile contexts that risk being pushed over the edge by the knock on effects of the COVID pandemic.
Economic collapse, food insecurity, the opportunism of terrorists and non-state actors all risk the hard fought for gains of people already suffering in unstable situations.
Those women, those men, those young girls and boys are looking to us, to the Council, with hope and expectation.
So it is with these people in mind, and those trapped in protracted crises such as Syria or Yemen, that Ireland is coming to the table, with hope and expectation too.
My government is clear. We are here to make a difference, not to make up the numbers.
On the Council, we are determined to work every day to ensure that the Security Council itself meets its responsibility not only to alleviate, but hopefully, to resolve conflict. In my own language, in the Irish language we say:
“Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”
That means we rely on each other for shelter. People need each other. That’s the Irish spirit we will bring to the Security Council. As we log-on each morning now for our virtual Security Council meetings, hopefully soon in person, I wish that we all remember the hope of others for a safe and peaceful future, and that it rests with us.
I certainly will.