Republic of Ireland news

Republic takes over presidency of UN security council

The United Nations headquarters in New York

THE Republic yesterday took over the presidency of the UN Security Council.

It is held by each member state for one month and involves presiding over meetings of the security council and approving agenda.

Among the issues on the agenda this month will be the US withdrawal from Afghanistan with discussions on Syria, Libya, Yemen and Sudan also expected to take place.

Nuclear weapons, peacekeeping operations and climate change are also among issues that the council is briefed on.

The Republic started its two-year term on the UN security council in January after being elected by fellow member states last year and has worked to highlight the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

Last week Simon Coveney, the Republic's foreign affairs minister, set out some of the issues they expect to handle over the next month.

"The big focus for Ireland in terms of our presidency of the security council for the next few weeks will be trying to achieve consensus among security council members on a very clear message to the Taliban leadership that the international community demands access to be able to support and assist people who desperately need humanitarian assistance," he said.

However, it remains unclear if Irish politicians will travel to the UN headquarters in New York during the presidency amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for Ireland's UN mission told RTÉ: "We are monitoring the public health situation closely.

"We hope that political visits will take place in September, including by minister Simon Coveney and the Taoiseach."

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