Mercy Global Concern

Ireland’s UN Campaign

Reports: July 14, 2018

On 2 July I attended the launch of Ireland’s Candidature to gain a non- permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2021-2022 term.


L-r: Bono, Simon Coveney, Mary Robinson,
Leo Varadkar, Geraldine Byrne Nasan

The launch was held on the North Lawn of the United Nations headquarters in New York. It was an impressive event, with Irish flags strewn liberally across white marquis and a great spread of traditional Irish fare, along with Irish music and dancing, not to mention the Guinness.

Present on stage for the official launch was the Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, former Irish President, Mary Robinson and Irish rock singer, Bono. Moderating the event was Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nasan, the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations.

The Irish campaign focuses on three key themes: Empathy, Partnership and Independence. The speeches were passionate and convincing, it didn’t feel like a ‘power pitch’ there was something inherently earthy in the delivery of each ones speech. What struck me most powerfully, was the strong message of solidarity with other smaller nation States. There was a strong reminder from the podium not to forget the stories of Ireland, that is, the story of a small island nation off the coast of Europe that was colonized, experienced famine, as well as mass outward migration and poverty.

In speaking of the contribution of Ireland to the United Nations, Prime Minister, Leo Varadklar stated “Like the United Nations, we were born out of war and violence. It has shaped how we view the world and our responsibilities as global citizens. Our membership of the United Nations helped us to take our place among the nations of the world. We support a rules-based order in international affairs. We have acted as a voice for the disadvantaged and defenceless, promoting freedom and defending human rights.”

Following his words, Mary Robinson reflected on what a seat on the Security Council involves. “It is a hard, hard labour of love if you really love what the UN stands for and I think Ireland really does,” she said. Bono followed with further inspirational words about the UN in general, claiming, ‘ “It’s about its future and indeed whether it has one, whether its values still matter - and they better; whether peace is still possible and who will speak for those normal ideas when the heat is on,” he said. He urged the UN to “all become storytellers of a future we want to share” and that the story needed to be told “with imagination and passion and conviction.” “We are storytellers but this is the best story ever,” he said of the UN.

I couldn’t help but think of the work of the Sisters of Mercy and our Irish heritage, a ministry first sown by an Irish woman who responded to the needs of her time and whose charism now spreads across the globe, calling all of us to respond to our world with compassion and love.

 Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA Coordinator at the UN - Mercy Global Action

Spread the word
About MGC RSS Feeds

Search Archives