Statement at UNSC Briefing on 'Maintenance of International Peace and Security'
Statement22 August 2022
Thank you, President and thank you to the Chinese Presidency for organising this very timely debate today. I’d also like to thank the Secretary General and Ambassador Zlauvinen for their very thought provoking statements.
The UN was born from the trauma of the Second World War, and a desire to ensure that we would never again go down the path of isolation, nationalism, global division, and conflict.
Multilateralism has long been central to Ireland’s foreign policy.
We believe that rules based international order, with the United Nations at its core, remains essential if we are to achieve the promise of the UN Charter: to maintain international peace and security and to respect the sovereignty of states.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in global and regional instability, exacerbated, this year, by Russia’s unjustified and illegal military aggression against Ukraine.
No country can tackle the root causes of conflict and the complex global challenges - alone. Addressing climate change, inequality, poverty, cybercrime or terrorism, require effective collective effort if we are ever to achieve sustainable peace.
But the basic global consensus, embodied in key regional and international institutions, is being eroded. We must push back on such attempts while undertaking the institutional reforms that are necessary to maximize the continued legitimacy, relevance and effectiveness of multilateral bodies.
To collectively address these complex and interconnected challenges we must have a holistic and inclusive response, coordinated across all three pillars of the UN’s work - peace and security, human rights, and development. I would like to highlight three areas where we see opportunity for cooperation in order to support peace.
Firstly, we must move away from a default position of responding after a crisis has happened, and be more proactive on prevention. Ireland joins the call, outlined in Our Common Agenda, spoken to by the Secretary General this morning, to enhance our support for the Peacebuilding Commission and ensure that peacebuilding is adequately and sustainably financed.
The Peacebuilding Commission continues to advance its civil society engagement, increasing its advice to the Council, and, as part of the wider UN peacebuilding architecture, has contributed to discussions on peacebuilding financing.
Ireland calls on others to support the entirety of the Commission’s work, and to engage constructively in the upcoming negotiations in the General Assembly.
Secondly, we must recognise that disarmament and effective arms control is more vital than ever. During the Cold War era, the world too frequently stood on the brink of nuclear catastrophe. But today, we are faced with an elevated nuclear risk. As we have heard from the Secretary General, by adopting the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the international community took a decisive step back from that abyss.
The NPT, as the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture reminds us that even in the most dangerous of times, progress is achievable.
As we meet today, the Tenth Review Conference of the NPT is ongoing under the leadership of Ambassador Zlauvinen.
It is our collective responsibility to bring urgency and action to nuclear disarmament, to address proliferation challenges and agree how we can move forward together, to honour and implement our existing commitments. Our shared objective of a world without nuclear weapons demands that we act with courage and vision.
Finally, and thirdly, we must ensure that our approach to peace and security takes a human rights based approach that is inclusive, particularly of the most vulnerable. It is vital that we pay heed to women leaders, youth, human rights defenders, and civil society in this Chamber. It is essential that they can speak freely about the stark realities of conflict, without any fear of reprisal or intimidation. Support to local peacebuilders, particularly women and youth, is key in finding local, sustainable solutions to conflict.
By implementing the international frameworks we have collectively agreed to - be it the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the NPT, Peace and Security Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals - we can shape and build the world that was imagined when the United Nations was born.