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Taoiseach to chair UN Security Council debate in New York today

This is the first time a Taoiseach has chaired the UN Security Council.
Sep 23rd 2021, 6:30 AM 8,621 21

ACHIEVING THE FIRST ever UN resolution on climate and security is the key aim of Taoiseach Micheál Martin as he chairs a high-level open debate of the UN Security Council (UNSC) today. 

The Taoiseach is in New York this week for a series of week-long UN events, which includes him chairing today’s debate, as well as addressing the UN General Assembly tomorrow.

Martin will use his speaking time today to push for a resolution that would establish a system for monitoring climate-related conflicts.

Irish officials believe that 12 of the 15 members of the council back Ireland’s call for such a resolution.

However, they believe there is resistance from China, Russia and India, which are yet to be convinced that the Security Council is the body that should be tasked with considering such issues as climate change.

The three countries are believed to be less concerned that climate change is a security issue.

The Irish government is hoping to succeed where Germany failed.

A German bid for a similar resolution ended up flopping last year after it was blocked by the Trump administration.

The Taoiseach told reporters in New York that the Irish UN mission is “working very hard” to get council members to accept the link between climate and security issues. 

He said there are some remaining States on the council that need to be worked on so as to get a consensus on the matter.

“Our team are hopeful,” he said.

Speech

Today, the Taoiseach will state that Ireland sees it as crucial that the Security Council considers the impact of climate change in its work to prevent and end conflict.

Since joining the council, Ireland has worked consistently to ensure that the council better understands the links between climate, security and conflict, and has presented evidence that drought and other climate-related events are linked to the potential for armed conflicts.

The Irish team in New York have been using an evidence-based approach with members who are suspicious about including climate in the council’s remit, by bringing in experts from NGOs and organisations who are on the ground in affected countries. 

Irish officials have presented evidence from experts in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso and elsewhere in Africa who have all outlined to council members how climate issues are impacting on conflict in their regions.

The Taoiseach will today bring a message to the Security Council on the importance of fully integrating climate-related security risks in its work. If a resolution is reached, it would result in regular meetings and reports on climate and security issues.

If Ireland manages to get a resolution agreed on climate and security, it would be the first of its kind. 

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If Ireland fails, and no resolution is agreed, it is hoped that the discussion and debate will have provided a starting point for a future resolution down the road.

Officials are hopeful that the resolution can be agreed before the end of this year.

Martin last night attended a meeting between EU and African heads of government to discuss issues such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Europe is very anxious to build up capacity within the African continent around the production of medicines – particularly mRNA vaccines,” the Taoiseach said.

He said “substantial funds” would be offered to African countries along with technology transfers so that they would have the capacity to produce their own vaccines and medicines into the future.

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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Christina Finn

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