Ireland’s UN Security Council seat offers an opportunity to build new relationships with countries all over the world, according to our Ambassador to the UN.
Ireland beat off the challenge of Canada to take the seat in a hotly contested vote last week.
On The Hard Shoulder this evening, Ireland's Ambassador to the UN Geraldine Byrne Nason said the seat will change the way the country is perceived on the international stage.
She said the position brings the country into a “new register” in terms of our relationship with the five permanent members of the council – the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.
“Those five countries regard the Security Council really as the global hub,” she said. “The power hub for international cooperation – you rank once you sit at the UN Security Council.
“By definition, the telephones will ring. The conversations our Taoiseach, our Foreign Minister and our President have had in recent weeks with leaders right across the world have been very different to the conversations we have had in the last decade let’s say, so we are moving into a new series of relationships.
“I don’t know if would be as crass as to say we will leverage that, but I think the value of having Ireland at that table is already registered.”
She said Ireland can become an “effective member” of the council if we prove ourselves to be a “constructive goodwill player” on the international stage.
“We are one of the most globally traded economies in the world and, without an internationally calm and secure environment, we simply can’t do our business internationally,” she said. “We can’t trade.
“So, every job in Ireland that depends on exports has skin in the game in terms of Ireland’s role at the international table.”
Ambassador Byrne Nason said Ireland’s relationships with all five permanent members of the council helped make the bid successful.
“Ireland can speak to every single one of those,” she said.
“We are not a country that has a history of not being able to speak to any one of them – some of them are our closest friends and neighbours, so I think we will reinforce our situation globally rather than anything else.”
She said the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the need for international cooperation to solve the big crises the world is facing – with the Security council seat putting Ireland, “right at the heart of global decision-making on the big international peace and security issues.”
“Of course, it gives us an elevated profile. It really reinforces Ireland’s reputation internationally,” she said.
“It also helps us to influence and shape decisions, I think that is the key issue we should look to here.
“For 60 years we have put our peacekeepers, Irish women, Irish men, on the ground across the world in peacekeeping roles – we will be sitting at the table that shapes the mandate for those men and women to serve in those often risky and conflict driven situations.”
You can listen back to the full interview here: