LEO VARADKAR, Taoiseach of Ireland, stressing that the Sustainable Development Goals represent a high point for international cooperation, said his country led negotiations with Kenya in 2015, and this year worked with Qatar to achieve the SDG Summit’s political declaration, which was unanimously approved earlier this week. Stressing that collective commitments must be turned into reality, he said Ireland has presented its second voluntary national review to the UN high-level political forum and 80 per cent of its SDGs are fully achieved. Ireland will provide at least €225 million annually in climate finance for developing countries by 2025; this year alone, it will spend €149 million. The global response to the climate crisis must include adequate levels of finance for adaption for countries on the frontline of the crisis. This week’s discussions on the loss and damage fund must make real progress and the international community must be ready to take a definitive step at the twenty-eighth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai later this year.
From the time of its admission to the United Nations in 1955, Ireland has committed unequivocally to uphold the Charter. Its term on the Council in 2021-2022 saw grave breaches of the Charter and none was more flagrant than the Russian Federation’s “imperialist and brutal invasion of Ukraine”, he said. The Russian Federation’s actions have caused unfathomable suffering for the Ukrainian people and increasing global food, energy and economic insecurity. The Russian Federation’s decision last month to collapse the Black Sea Grain Initiative has only made this bad situation worse. The Ukrainian people deserve the unqualified support — and the action to back it up — of all Member States. Equally, the Russian Federation and its leaders deserve Member States’ utter condemnation for their actions and must be held accountable, he stressed.
Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said the international community has failed repeatedly to resolve it. For decades, Member States have known the parameters of the only just solution: a two-State solution, with a viable Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders, living in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, whose right to exist should be accepted and respected by all its neighbours. “The political and civic space for those who seek to promote peace and reconciliation is diminishing,” he said. “And the consequences are stark.” He agreed with the Assembly’s decision to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences arising from Israel's prolonged occupation. Ireland, along with others, has submitted a statement to the Court. A clarification of international law can help strengthen international peace and security, he observed.
During its recent term on the Council, Ireland viewed first-hand the positive effect of the Council’s work as well as how its efforts have been stymied; its mandate undermined; and crucial decisions and actions blocked by the use of the veto. The Organization needs a reformed Council — without the anachronism of the veto. “It has no place in the twenty-first century,” he added. The Organization also needs a Council that properly reflects the world’s demography and politics as it is no longer in the 1940s. “We know what can be achieved through cooperation at the UN. We have seen it. We have lived it and participated in it,” he said. “This is our institution and system that has real value.”
Read the full statement, in PDF format.
Access the statements from previous sessions.