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Coveney to chair UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan in New York

The foreign affairs minister will also visit the 9/11 memorial ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attack.

The United Nations building in New York
The United Nations building in New York
Image: Shutterstock/Andrew F. Kazmierski

MINISTER SIMON COVENEY is set to chair a UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan in New York tomorrow.

The foreign affairs minister is travelling to New York today ahead of the meeting, which is expected to “chart a course for the UN mission in Afghanistan over the coming months.

The Quarterly Debate on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), chaired by Coveney, will focus on the recent events in Afghanistan and the renewal of the UNAMA mandate, which determines the mission’s role in trying to promote stability in Afghanistan.

The mandate is due to expire on 17 September.

Coveney, who is chairing the meeting because Ireland holds the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for September, will also meet with UN Secretary General António Guterres and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons.

“As President of the Security Council for the month of September, Ireland has a significant responsibility to steward the Council’s vital work,” Coveney said.

The minister said that the Council will “address a number of critical situations this month, including the situation in Afghanistan”.

“We continue to call for an inclusive, negotiated, political settlement in Afghanistan, and for the protection of the rights of women and girls,” he said.

“The meeting on 9 September will be an important opportunity to chart a course for the UN mission in Afghanistan over the coming months. It is more crucial than ever that the UN is able to continue its political and humanitarian work on the ground.”

Additionally, Coveney will preside over the adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution on peacekeeping which would focus on transitioning from UN peace missions to a UN civilian presence that supports peacebuilding in post-conflict environments.

“Ireland has worked for months to secure agreement on this Resolution on peacekeeping,” Coveney said.

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“A well-planned, managed and phased reconfiguration of the UN’s presence in post-conflict areas can ensure that peaceful conditions are sustainable and civilians are protected after peacekeepers leave.”

The minister will also visit the 9/11 memorial to mark the 20th anniversary of the 11 September attacks in 2001.

Coveney has come under fire in recent weeks for his role in the abandoned appointment of Katherine Zappone as a UN special envoy.

Sinn Féin leader Mary McDonald has said that Coveney cannot stay on in government in the wake of the controversy, but the Taoiseach has said he has confidence in the minister.

It is expected that a motion of no-confidence could be called against Coveney when the Dáil resumes next week.

About the author:

Lauren Boland

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