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The Taoiseach is heading to NYC for a busy schedule of UN events (and will also drop by 30 Rock)

The Taoiseach will chair a meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday.

The Taoiseach will travel to New York for a series of UN events next week.
The Taoiseach will travel to New York for a series of UN events next week.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN will travel to New York today ahead of attending a series of a UN events in the city throughout next week.

The Taoiseach will chair a meeting of the Security Council on Thursday, where he is expected to give a clear message to the council that it must take climate change and its contribution to instability in the world seriously.

Ireland is an elected member of the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term which began on 1 January this year. 

Ireland holds the presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of September.

Separate to the UN Security Council event, the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will officially open on Tuesday. The event gives all 193 member states an opportunity to address the chamber.

The Taoiseach will deliver Ireland’s National Statement to the UN General Assembly on Friday.

He will set out Ireland’s stance on a wide range of issues such as Covid-19 vaccines, human rights, and conflicts around the world that Ireland has an interest in. 

In addition, on Tuesday, he will participate in a joint EU/UN event on empowering women in peace and conflict situations.   

The Taoiseach will also have a number of bilateral meetings with other EU and world leaders in the margins of the General Assembly.

On Wednesday he will address the Council on Foreign Relations on Ireland’s UN priorities, the transatlantic relationship and Brexit.

While in New York, the Taoiseach is also expected to pay a visit to NBC Studios located in the historic 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. 

US President Joe Biden will also deliver a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

NY Governor’s links to Ireland

In his bilateral programme, the Taoiseach will meet with the new Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, who has strong connections to Ireland, with her grandparents having emigrated to the US from Kerry just over 100 years ago.

Martin will also participate in a dedication ceremony for the new Irish Arts Centre and meet with representatives of a number of the leading Irish and Irish-American community organisations.

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

This is the first transatlantic event Micheál Martin has attended since becoming Taoiseach last year. 

He did not travel to the White House for St Patrick’s Day celebrations this year. The  occasion was marked remotely – an in-person meeting with President Joe Biden was not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney will also attend a series of bilateral meetings with counterparts in African and Middle Eastern states and key diplomatic figures linked to Ireland’s Presidency of the Security Council.

The minister will also chair an interactive informal dialogue between UNSC members and the League of Arab States during his visit.

He will also attend an event with the European-American Chamber of Commerce.

The minister has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks due to his role in the planned appointment of former minister Katherine Zappone to a UN envoy role for Freedom of Expression. 

He faced down a motion of no confidence this week over the matter, and has described the whole fiasco as politically embarrassing.

Zappone

Previous to Zappone’s most recent UN appointment, which she has since turned down, she was appointed as the Government’s Special Envoy for Ireland’s candidature for election to the UN Security Council.

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The appointment, which was also made by Coveney, ran until June 2020. Zappone was involved in promoting Ireland’s candidature during numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings, which helped secure Ireland’s presidency of the UN Security Council.

A government spokesperson confirmed to The Journal this week that if Zappone was invited to attend any of the UN events in New York this week, she would be welcome to do so. Another spokesperson pointed out that Zappone’s “hard work” across 2019 and 2020 was very important to Ireland successfully winning the campaign for the seat.

Whether Zappone is on the attendee list for any of the events or whether she has been invited to any events by the Irish government was not confirmed.

Some virtual events will also take place next week, with President Michael D Higgins beaming in to appear at the UN Food Systems Summit. Transport Minister Eamon Ryan will take part in a dialogue on energy which is also taking part in a virtual format.  

Separately, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will travel to Washington DC on 27 September for two days of bilateral meetings.

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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