General Debate
    His Excellency
    Micheál Martin
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    Statement summary

    MICHEÁL MARTIN, Taoiseach of Ireland, said that the people of the world were looking to the Assembly to act and lead in the face of climate change, the pandemic and deepening global inequality.  Global challenges must be addressed with a strong, effective and fair multilateral system.  “Vaccine equity is a moral test for our global community,” he said, describing the rapid establishment of the COVAX facility and the ACT Accelerator as multilateralism at its best.  The World Health Organization should remain at the heart of the global response to the pandemic, but it must have the political and financial support it needs to do its job.  COVID-19 caught the world off-guard, but had more progress been made on the Sustainable Development Goals, societies would have been more resilient and better prepared, and lives would have been spared.

    Discussing Ireland’s work as a Security Council member, he said that too often that organ was divided, with the most vulnerable suffering the consequences.  All Council members must set aside political differences and work to uphold the promise of saving future generations from the scourge of war, he said, citing Syria as an example when the Council, in the face of immense suffering, chose inaction.  He added that Member States must stand firm and united behind the Secretary-General’s call for a negotiated ceasefire, unimpeded humanitarian access and restoration of basic services in Tigray.

    He underscored his country’s firm commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons, noting that the Council will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty next week.  He also welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and encouraged all parties to comply with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme.  Iran must seize the opportunity created by the United States’ return to that agreement, resume talks in Vienna and cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    However, he voiced his deep frustration at the Council’s inability to speak throughout the latest outbreak of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians.  A comprehensive, just and lasting peace was possible through the two-State solution, but young Palestinians and Israelis were losing hope that peace could be achieved.  “As leaders, we must act now,” he said, calling on the international community to renew efforts for a just and lasting outcome, including through a reinvigorated Quartet.

    On Afghanistan, he said that Member States can and must agree that the rights of Afghan women and girls were non-negotiable, stressing:  “Our role and responsibility is to stand with them”.  He acknowledged that not all Council members were of one mind on climate and security, but expressed hope that by working together, the 15-member organ could reach a shared understanding of how to meet that challenge. 


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    Portrait of His Excellency Micheál Martin (Taoiseach), Ireland
    UN Photo credit.

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