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Taoiseach in NYC: 'High-level week' begins as Martin meets new state Governor today

The Taoiseach travelled to New York yesterday to begin a series of UN events.

Image: Leah Farrell

CLIMATE CHANGE IS “the challenge of our generation” is to be one of the key messages Taoiseach Micheál Martin will deliver to the UN Security Council this week.

The Taoiseach travelled to New York yesterday evening to begin a series of week-long UN events, which include chairing a high-level open discussion on the issue of climate and security, in what is likely to be one of the most significant meetings of the annual High-Level Week at the UN. 

To kick of this week’s events in New York, the Taoiseach will today meet with the new Governor of New York Kathy Hochul.

Hochul, who’s maiden name is Courtney, is an Irish-American whose grandparents hail from the same village in Kerry despite first meeting in Chicago

Hochul is the first female Governor of New York and will host a bilateral meeting with the Taoiseach at her office on Third Avenue, followed by an afternoon press conference.

It is expected that US President Joe Biden will attend and address the UN tomorrow to pronounce that “America is back”. However, no meeting between the US president and the Taoiseach is scheduled.

The theme of climate change, and the impact it is having on global security, is one Ireland chose to highlight during its Presidency of the UNSC.

In total, 40 Heads of State or government are expected to attend this week in person, with others tuning in remotely.

The Taoiseach will briefly meet with Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres this week. 

Security Council 

As he addresses the Security Council, Martin is set to communicate that climate change is contributing to conflict in many parts of the world. 

He will make clear that it is crucial that the body considers the impact of climate change in its work to prevent and end conflict. 

Since joining the Council, Ireland has made it its mission to ensure that the Council better understands these links. 

The Taoiseach will on Thursday bring a message to the Security Council on the importance of fully integrating climate-related security risks in its work across the conflict cycle: in peacekeeping, conflict mediation, and in conflict prevention. 

Pandemic year 

This year’s UN events are taking place against the backdrop of the pandemic. 

It is understood that the Irish government wants to emphasise that countries have an ethical obligation to share surplus vaccines with vulnerable populations in other countries. 

Ireland is set to donate 1.3 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to COVAX by the end of 2021, with a further substantial donation to follow in 2022.

We are also providing an additional €2m contribution to the COVAX Facility to support the global rollout, bringing our total contribution to €7 million. 

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The Taoiseach will participate in a dedication ceremony for the new Irish Arts Centre tomorrow, and meet representatives of leading Irish and Irish-American community organisations Wednesday and Thursday.

The Taoiseach will also undertake a number of economic engagements during the week, supporting the work of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in the US.

TheJournal.ie’s Political Correspondent Christina Finn will be bringing you all the latest updates from Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s visit to New York this week.

Stay up-to-date by following @christinafinn8@TJ_Politics, @thejournal_ie and TheJournal.ie’s Facebook page

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