Sunday 19 November 2017

Irish human rights priest blazed trail for us to follow

'The image of a principled nation fighting for fundamental rights will have done Ireland no harm in its Security Council bid. However, a close look at the inaction of successive governments on a key United Nations Convention - and indeed one written by an Irishman - should make voting states wonder what principles this country will really bring to the Security Council' Photo: Depositphotos
'The image of a principled nation fighting for fundamental rights will have done Ireland no harm in its Security Council bid. However, a close look at the inaction of successive governments on a key United Nations Convention - and indeed one written by an Irishman - should make voting states wonder what principles this country will really bring to the Security Council' Photo: Depositphotos

Hugh Harkin

If we want a seat at the top table, Ireland needs to live up to its heroes. The international dimension of this year's 1916 commemorations gave an opportunity for an early offensive in Ireland's bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2021-22.

Ireland needs to secure the support of more than 100 countries before the 2020 election. Given that a majority of UN member states are former European colonies, mounting exhibitions on Roger Casement in Africa and Latin America will have been a useful exercise in 'soft power persuasion'.

The image of a principled nation fighting for fundamental rights will have done Ireland no harm in its Security Council bid. However, a close look at the inaction of successive governments on a key United Nations Convention - and indeed one written by an Irishman - should make voting states wonder what principles this country will really bring to the Security Council.

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