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Ireland ‘deeply frustrated by UN Security Council failures on climate change’ Taoiseach tells General Assembly

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Micheál Martin

Micheál Martin

Micheál Martin

Ireland has been “deeply frustrated” by the UN Security Council’s failures on climate change, according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

In a key speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Martin hit out at the council’s “failure to act” and criticised the lack of political will by the UN to play its part on the impact climate change has on peace.

He said this failure “beggars belief” - a year ago Ireland proposed a resolution on the impact of climate change on peace and 113 countries supported Ireland. However, Russia chose to veto it.

Under the veto system, this meant that Ireland's efforts were to no avail.

“At times we have also been deeply frustrated by the Security Council’s failure to act,” he said.

“It frankly beggars belief that, in 2022, the UN body charged with the maintenance of peace and security, has still not taken on its responsibilities in this area.

“It is a singular failure of political will and political responsibility.”

Ireland currently holds a seat on the UN Security Council, however, its term is due to come to an end this December.

Mr Martin criticised the Security Council’s efforts on Palestine, saying it is “no nearer” to a two-state solution.

He said the Security Council meets to discuss Palestine each month and that each month Irish representatives push for a two-state solution.

However, this has been to no avail.

“Each month, Ireland, along with many of our fellow members of the Council, has reiterated our firm commitment to a two-state solution, with a viable Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, living in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states,” he said.

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“The Security Council must fulfil its responsibilities. Crucially, it must work for compliance with its own resolutions.”

The Taoiseach also used the speech to criticise Russia and its war in Ukraine, saying it is a “expansionist power, brutally invading and occupying a peaceful neighbour”.

He said Russia is behaving like a “rogue state” and this is not just a concern for the West and should send a signal to smaller countries that “the strong can bully the weak”.

The Taoiseach ended his speech saying that he hopes in 100 years time a future Irish leader returns to make another speech at the UN, that it will be “very different”.

He hopes it will be one “which looks back with relief at the collective action which brought this planet back from the brink of catastrophic collapse”.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the UN Security Council is “not perfect” and other countries also are “deeply frustrated” that it hasn’t been able to make “more substantive interventions” to end the war in Ukraine.

He said even though Ireland had many countries to back it on the climate vote, because Russia chose to veto it, it did not transpire.

“For us, the use of the veto is something that needs to change as part of reform of the Security Council.

“It is simply not acceptable that a powerful country can veto the application of international law.”


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