Saturday 3 December 2016

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon says Ireland has sent a message to the world with #MarRef result

Ed Carty

Published 24/05/2015 | 18:45

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon had planned to visit North Korea (AP)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has said Ireland has sent a message to the world with its overwhelming support for gay marriage.

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After being honoured with the Tipperary International Peace Award, Ban said the landmark referendum giving equal rights to same-sex couples was a truly historic moment.

"As a dynamic member of the Human Rights Council, Ireland is also a strong proponent of human rights," Ban said.

"We saw this commitment yet again with Friday's referendum.

Yes voters celebrate at the Central Count Centre in Dublin, as the result of the referendum is announced which showed that Ireland as the country overwhelmingly voted in favour of gay marriage.
Yes voters celebrate at the Central Count Centre in Dublin, as the result of the referendum is announced which showed that Ireland as the country overwhelmingly voted in favour of gay marriage.
Supporters react outside Dublin Castle following the announcement of the result of the same-sex marriage referendum in Dublin
WITNESSES TO HISTORY: Brian O’Driscoll and his daughter Sadie outside Dublin Castle
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny voting in the Marriage referendum at St. Anthony's National School, Castlebar. Photo : Keith Heneghan.
Supporters for same-sex marriage celebrate the Yes vote
LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Senator Katherine Zappone, left, kisses her partner Ann Louise Gilligan after the proposal at Dublin Castle

Read more here: The world looks on as Irish voters make history  

"This is a truly historic moment: Ireland has become the first country in the world to approve marriage equality in a nationwide referendum.

"The result sends an important message to the world: All people are entitled to enjoy their human rights no matter who they are or whom they love."

Previous recipients of the peace award include Nelson Mandela, Sir Bob Geldof, former Irish president Mary McAleese and in 2013 the Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot at point blank range by a Taliban gunman for going to school.

Read more here: Exclusive: 'I hope other gay people don't spend decades pretending' - Ursula Halligan  

Ban received the award at an event in Tipperary where he also met some UN peacekeeping veterans.

He addressed the issue of gay rights on a trip to India earlier this year where he said: "We are all different from one another, but we all have the same human rights."

Read more here: Victory for love and equality  

It is the first of the UN chief's engagements in Ireland over the next two days when he will also deliver a keynote address in Dublin tomorrow night touching on Ireland's role in international peacekeeping and the migrant and refugee crisis in Syria and the Mediterranean.

Martin Quinn, honorary secretary of the Tipperary International Peace Award, said Ban was being honoured for his work on climate change, a new development agenda and the response to conflicts and natural disasters.

Read more here: A new beginning: 'Rainbow nation' Ireland makes history  

He said: "At a moment of division, you have sought to be a bridge-builder; in a period of economic upheaval, you have strived to give voice to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people; and in a world of deepening interconnectedness, you have pursued wide-ranging efforts to adapt the United Nations to face a new generation of challenges and threats."

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