TAOISEACH Enda Kenny yesterday announced plans for Ireland to get elected to the UN watchdog on human rights.
The move comes as Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore became chairman of a European body aimed at promoting security.
Mr Kenny said the Government would seek election to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first time.
Ireland was to the fore of those promoting peace, justice, security and development, both within our own country and in the wider world, he said.
"If elected, Ireland would support clear and strong action by the council in addressing human rights' violations and in promoting universal respect for human rights," he said.
Mr Kenny was speaking in response to the message of Pope Benedict for the 45th World Day of Peace, which spoke of peaceful co-existence.
Meanwhile, Mr Gilmore has taken over as chairman of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The Tanaiste said Ireland would seek to address protracted conflicts, promote internet freedom and strengthen co-operation among the 56 member countries of the OSCE.
"The world is facing unprecedented security challenges, and the multilateral co-operation made possible by the OSCE is needed now more than ever.
"Ireland is committed to upholding core OSCE values and promoting peace, security and respect for human rights and rule of law in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian region," he said.