Wednesday 21 August 2019

Ireland's bid to win seat on UN Security Council has 'added significance' due to Brexit - Gilmore

Former Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore Picture; Gerry Mooney
Former Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore Picture; Gerry Mooney
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

IRELAND’S bid to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2021 “takes on an added urgency and significance” because of Brexit, former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said.

The ex-Labour Party leader believes the Government should do everything necessary to beat Canada and Norway for the post.

He said being on the Council would “enhance Ireland’s authority and potential in shaping EU Foreign policy in the critical early years following the departure of the UK”.

Ireland is in the running to hold a seat on the Security Council from 2021 to 2022, having previously done so in 1962, 1981 and 2001.

There has been some scepticism about the government investment in the competition – but Mr Gilmore said: “This time it is more important than ever, because of the necessity to strengthen the UN system.”

Speaking at the Parnell Summer School in Wicklow, he said: “Ireland is uniquely placed to contribute leadership among the 10 elected members of the Security Council, while also working closely with the Permanent Members, with each of whom Ireland enjoys good diplomatic relations, despite some policy differences.”

He said the decision by the UK to leave the EU would have consequences for wider EU policy-making, especially on foreign and security policy, which will have implications for Ireland.

Mr Gilmore said the UK had been a strong promoter of the European values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“The departure of the UK removes a strong advocate for those values, shifts the pendulum, and leaves a big gap, which will need to be filled by other member states, and especially by Ireland.

“This will be particularly necessary in the making and conduct of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, from which the UK’s influence will be absent,” he said.

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