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Micheál Martin addresses UN General Assembly and talks peace and benefits of EU membership

He said UN nations had not done enough to protect poorer nations.

Martin speaking at the UN General Assembly.
Martin speaking at the UN General Assembly.
Image: UN

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has this evening addressed the UN General Assembly in New York where he spoke of Irish peace, the need for immediate action on climate, Afghanistan and Covid relief among various other matters. 

Martin said that UN member states, as a whole, had failed to adequately support poorer nations during the pandemic and said there was more to be done with climate change.

He said: “When we reflect on the last eighteen months, one thing is clear: the pandemic caught the world off-guard. It has put into stark relief the simple, and regrettable, fact that we have not made sufficient progress in reducing poverty; that we have not made sufficient progress in increasing access to quality health care and education; nor, in combatting the climate crisis.”

Martin highlighted that Ireland’s membership of the EU enhances our sovereignty and does not diminish it. 

He said that abiding by international law brings immeasurable benefits; and “that our commitment to multilateralism is not simply a stock phrase to insert into a speech, but is at the heart of who we are as a nation and as a people”.

Ireland is currently an elected member of the UN Security Council for 2021-2022.

Martin said Ireland has not taken this responsibility lightly. He spoke about the war in Ireland and how peace is possible in places of conflict such as Syria and Israel/Palestine. 

“Our own experience of conflict on the island of Ireland has taught us that building peace is painstaking, long and often frustrating. We expected that our time on the Council would reflect that complexity; would require stamina, ingenuity, compromise and determination. And so it has proved.

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“Every day for the last nine months, we have sought to use our voice, to defend our principles, and to make progress towards the peaceful resolution of some of the world’s most pressing conflicts.”

Martin also spoke of the fractious nature on the Security Council which he said is acting as an impediment to ushering in peace. 

“Progress has not always been possible. Too often, the Council has been divided. It is a lesson hard-learned that when we, in this building, are divided, it is the most vulnerable who suffer the consequences.

“The promise of the Charter is to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. Today, I call on all members of the Council to set aside political differences and to work to uphold that promise,” he added. 

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