Michael D Higgins to address United Nations during US visit

He will undertake a five-day visit to New York later this month

Michael D Higgins to address United Nations during US visit

Michael D Higgins addresses the 2015 International Debt Management Conference, organised by the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland | Image: UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

President Michael D Higgins has accepted an invitation, at the suggestion of the Government, to address the United Nations.

President Higgins will also meet with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York.

The president will travel to the UN headquarters to reaffirm, and discuss the future role of, Ireland's commitment to peace-building and sustaining peace.

He will highlight Ireland's contribution to the United Nations - and in particular the role played by Ireland in the negotiation and ratification process for the international Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement to address climate change.

Mr Higgins will also meet with organisations supporting Irish immigrants in the United States, and organisations promoting Irish talent and expertise in areas such as business, sports and the arts.

He will be accompanied by his wife, Sabina Higgins, and by the Children's Minister Katherine Zappone.

US visit

His visit to the USA begins on Tuesday April 24th with his keynote address at UN headquarters.

On Wednesday April 25th, President Higgins will have a special meeting with António Guterres, and also meet with the President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcák.

This will be followed by a series of bilateral meetings with other heads of state and senior UN officials.

That evening, the President and Sabina Higgins will meet members of the Irish community in New York.

They will visit the site of the new Irish Arts Centre, meet with its supporters and community partners, and attend a gala concert in support of the Irish Arts Centre.

On Thursday April 26th, President Higgins will address an event highlighting the achievements of Irish women in business, politics and philanthropy, taking place in the context of the Ireland Funds' 'Women In Leadership’ series.

A view of the United Nations Secretariat building in 2001 with member states' flags | Image: UN Photo/Andrea Brizzi

He has been invited to deliver an address to the staff and students at Columbia University.

On Friday April 27th, he will meet with invitees of Irish State agencies Enterprise Ireland, Tourism Ireland, IDA Ireland and Culture Ireland.

He will then view the Berg Collection of literary artefacts at the New York Public Library, and also visit the Tenement Museum - which documents the lives of immigrants who lived in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 19th and early 20th century.

On the final day of his visit on Saturday, he will meet representatives of immigration and community centres working in the Greater New York area - followed by a visit to Rockland GAA, the largest GAA club outside Ireland.