Tuesday, 28 July 2020
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
UN Security Council
383. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which disarmament will feature as a priority for him during Ireland’s membership of the United Nations Security Council; and if additional funding will be provided to NGOs, agencies and research to advance the non-proliferation and disarmament agenda. [18876/20]
Ireland’s approach on the UN Security Council will be informed by our record as a country that has a consistent, principled and independent foreign policy, guided by the values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
Disarmament and non-proliferation is one of Ireland’s signature foreign policies and will continue to be a priority throughout our membership on the UN Security Council.
Three overarching principles will guide Ireland’s approach to the UN Security Council’s work: building peace, strengthening prevention and ensuring accountability. Our work on disarmament and non-proliferation contributes to all these objectives.
The spread of weapons of all kinds fuels conflict and instability, contributes to human rights abuses, and hinders sustainable development. Tackling proliferation contributes to the protection of civilians, the prevention and resolution of conflict and supports global and regional stability.
Ireland will engage across the full spectrum of the UN’s conflict prevention activities. Disarmament and non-proliferation will feature in these efforts, alongside preventative diplomacy, mediation, and cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is a consistent supporter of civil society’s engagement in disarmament and non-proliferation. To date, in 2020, my Department has provided €613,320 in support of research, advocacy and implementation in this space. This figure includes a grant of €350,000 to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), which is the leading global policy institute on research in this field. Ireland remains committed to supporting research and civil society in this field throughout and beyond our term as a member of the UN Security Council.
Ireland’s approach on the Security Council will be informed by our record as a country that has a consistent, principled and independent foreign policy.
Ireland is determined to be an effective, credible and influential member of the Council. My Department, in Dublin, New York and in relevant Missions, is currently preparing for taking up our seat in January, including by reviewing all items on the Council’s agenda and considering the approach we will take.
Ireland’s work will be centred around three core principles: 1) Building Peace, 2) Strengthening Prevention and 3) Ensuring accountability.
Under the first principle, Building Peace, Ireland will strive to ensure that peacekeeping is connected to longer-term peace initiatives; that there is coherence and complementarity between regional organisations; and that the peace we seek to foster is inclusive of civil society, women and young people.
Under the second principle, Strengthening Prevention, Ireland will seek to bolster the full spectrum of the UN’s conflict prevention activities, from preventative diplomacy, mediation, non-proliferation and disarmament to cooperation between the UN and regional organisations. It also means addressing the structural drivers of conflict and insecurity, particularly climate change, hunger and inequality.
The third principle is Ensuring accountability, meaning focusing on the rule of law, in particular international humanitarian law and human rights law. We need to prioritise the protection of civilians in conflict, ensure humanitarian access and fight against impunity.
The Council has many tools at its disposal to fulfil its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. These include passing new resolutions, using press statements, meetings, dialogues and open debates to draw important attention to situations of conflict and insecurity, and ensuring the effective functioning and strengthening the performance of existing subsidiary bodies, sanctions committees and UN peacekeeping and political missions.
The action Ireland takes on the Council will be guided by an overarching commitment to having a positive impact on peace and security challenges today and supporting those worst effected by conflict and insecurity.