Simon Coveney to address the UN General Assembly

He will attend a meeting on UN reform hosted by Donald Trump

Simon Coveney to address the UN General Assembly

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney talking to the media at Iveagh House in response to the UK Brexit position paper on Northern Ireland | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney is to address the United Nations General Assembly next week.

During his visit to New York, he will also meet with UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says Mr Coveney will undertake a wide range of bilateral meetings with foreign ministers from around the world - as well as participating in an IDA event.

He will begin his visit to New York on Monday by attending a meeting on reform of the United Nations, which is being hosted by US President Donald Trump.

He will later meet with supporters of the Ireland Funds, and attend a meeting of EU foreign ministers - who will discuss the situation in Libya.

Speaking ahead of his departure, Minister Coveney said: "The UN lies at the heart of Ireland’s foreign policy and it has done so for more than six decades.

"We see very clearly the advantages of a rules-based order in international affairs which the UN provides for.

"It is in our interests to pursue an active foreign policy because Ireland is a small, outward looking country which is heavily dependent on external trade for our well-being."

A general view of the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations in New York | Image: UN Photo/Sophia Paris

"We are a committed member of the UN and we continue to make our mark on human rights, disarmament, sustainable development and peacekeeping.

"Our contribution to peacekeeping has been long and sustained.

"Irish troops have given unbroken service to the UN since 1958 and today we are the EU’s largest per capita contributor to UN peacekeeping operations".

On Wednesday the minister will, on behalf of Ireland, sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which was adopted in July.

Ireland, as one of the core group which put forward the UN resolution which led to the adoption of the treaty, will be among the first States to sign it.

Minister Coveney's programme will also include meetings with senior US officials and a number of Irish-American community engagements.

He will also meet with Irish community and business leaders for discussions - including on US immigration reform.

He will also brief them on developments in Northern Ireland, and the implications for Ireland of the UK decision to leave the EU.