We May Be Small, but We’ve Played a Big Role at the UN

Jeep in the UN

We May Be Small, but We’ve Played a Big Role at the UN

09 March 2018
5 mins

Our active participation in the UN since 1955 has enabled us to have global influence. Read on to see how we’ve made an impact. 

A Challenging Role

The challenges we seek to address include climate change, global poverty, human rights, the threat posed by nuclear weapons, peacekeeping in conflict zones, and humanitarian crises caused by natural disasters or conflicts. We liaise with the UN and its agencies primarily through our permanent missions in New York, Geneva and Vienna. Irish troops have been serving the cause of peace around the world under the UN flag for over 50 years.

Our election to the Human Rights Council of the UN for the years 2013 - 2015 gave us a prominent platform for human rights advocacy. We played a central role in the process to agree the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. These goals cover a wide range of areas, and address the many causes of poverty, injustice and damage to our planet. They apply to both developed and developing countries and are as relevant to Ireland as anywhere around the globe.

Sustainable Development

In 2014, Ireland’s UN Ambassador, David Donoghue, was appointed to facilitate the final intergovernmental negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals, sharing the role with Kenya’s ambassador, Macharia Kamau. This appointment was a huge honour for the country and a great responsibility, as it placed us at the centre of a vitally important undertaking for the future of our planet. It was a testament to our standing internationally, particularly to the excellent reputation of our overseas aid programme, Irish Aid, our proud record of promoting human rights, and our long-standing participation in peacekeeping across the world.

In a historic moment, agreement was reached on August 2nd, 2015, and was subsequently adopted by world leaders at a special UN Summit. The final agreement, Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, consisted of 17 goals and 169 targets. It has set the course for the entire world to deliver a more sustainable, prosperous and peaceful future for all - in harmony with our planet.

Find Out More

If you’d like to learn more, information on the intergovernmental negotiations is available from the UN's Sustainable Development Platform.