101. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a major review of the United Nation’s structure and principles can be undertaken with a view to restoring its effectiveness and its ability to intervene in situations such as the Syrian crisis and the development aid programmes to ensure that aid goes directly to its intended targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14200/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - United Nations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Secretary General has proposed reforms in the UN’s peace and security architecture, in the UN’s management system and structures, as well as in the UN development system – all with a view to ensuring that the UN is fit for purpose in carrying out its mandate and advancing the achievement globally of the Sustainable Development Goals. Discussions regarding these reforms are currently ongoing among UN Member States, w...

19. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when the United Nations might be reinvigorated with a view to re-establishing its importance as major peace keeper and champion of human rights in all areas throughout the globe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11572/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - United Nations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 20 together.
The United Nations plays a critical role in the resolution of conflicts and the maintenance of international peace and security. It does this primarily through the UN Security Council. The Council has a variety of tools at its disposal to address threats to international peace and to contribute towards the settlement of disputes and conflicts: it has the power to aut...

20. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the action that will be taken by the membership of the UN with a view to making that organisation respected and effective; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11573/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - United Nations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 20 together.
The United Nations plays a critical role in the resolution of conflicts and the maintenance of international peace and security. It does this primarily through the UN Security Council. The Council has a variety of tools at its disposal to address threats to international peace and to contribute towards the settlement of disputes and conflicts: it has the power to aut...

147. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of Ireland’s efforts to gain a seat on the UN Security Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1502/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - United Nations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Ireland is seeking election to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in June 2020 for the 2021-2022 term. Ireland’s candidacy was announced in 2005.
The UN provides the foundation of an orderly, rules-based international system, which is essential for a small and globally trading country like Ireland. We have a responsibility to participate to the fullest extent possible in the work of the UN, and to champion...

11. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Irish agenda for its potential presence on the UN Security Council. (Question 48420/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - United Nations)

Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan: What is Ireland’s agenda for its potential presence on the UN Security Council?
 ...

243. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on Ireland’s position with regard to the proposed United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, UNPA; the stage the movement is at to create an UNPA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30880/17 asked on 04 Jul 2017 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Ireland is steadfastly committed to the United Nations and the principles and values of the UN Charter.
As a strong supporter of the UN, Ireland continues to advocate, through a range of fora, for reform of the UN’s structures and systems to ensure that it is better equipped to respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century. In the context of this wider engagement on UN reform, proposals which aim to improve the effectiveness ...

316. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which Ireland voted during a recent vote at the United Nations in relation Saudi Arabia’s seat on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women; the reason for the position taken at the vote; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22110/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): At the UN voting on resolutions takes place in public and there is transparency about the policy positions adopted by countries.
Since 1947 the rules of procedure governing General Assembly elections provide that UN elections take place by secret ballot. The well-established convention among the 193 Member States of the UN is that votes are not publicly disclosed as to do so could seriously damage bilateral relations between Stat...

228. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on whether it is time for the UN to regroup, reorganise and focus on the major trouble spots globally with a view to meeting the challenges of war, famine, ethnic cleansing, genocide and people trafficking; if steps are being taken to alert the global community with a view to addressing the issue in the short term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18640/17 asked on 12 Apr 2017 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The number and scale of current humanitarian crises is shocking and presents an enormous challenge for the international community. In this respect the United Nations has recently been loudly sounding the alarm call. Its warning last month of its need for assistance in reducing the risk of starvation and famine in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and northeast Nigeria was a stark reminder of the problems confronting civilian populati...

266. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the resignation of a person (details supplied) from the UN due to its failure to accept two ESCWA reports describing an apartheid regime being applied in Israel; if his attention has further been drawn to these reports; his views on these reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14999/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266, 271 and 272 together.
I am aware of the resignation of the former UN Under-Secretary General and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Executive Secretary, Rima Khalaf, and also of the report commissioned and published by the ESCWA member states on 15 March. I understand also that another ESCWA report was withdrawn last month on the instruction of the UN Secretary General.
I...

271. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the recent resignation of a person (details supplied) following the withdrawal of a report on current developments in the occupied territories of Palestine; his position and the measures he is taking on the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15120/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266, 271 and 272 together.
I am aware of the resignation of the former UN Under-Secretary General and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Executive Secretary, Rima Khalaf, and also of the report commissioned and published by the ESCWA member states on 15 March. I understand also that another ESCWA report was withdrawn last month on the instruction of the UN Secretary General.
I...

272. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the resignation of a person (details supplied) in the United Nations; his plans to raise the reasons given by this person for their resignation at EU or UN level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15121/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266, 271 and 272 together.
I am aware of the resignation of the former UN Under-Secretary General and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Executive Secretary, Rima Khalaf, and also of the report commissioned and published by the ESCWA member states on 15 March. I understand also that another ESCWA report was withdrawn last month on the instruction of the UN Secretary General.
I...

332. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when he plans to meet the new UN Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres; the proposals he will raise with the Secretary General on the urgent reform and strengthening of the UN; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2881/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have written to Secretary General Guterres congratulating him on his appointment, and I look forward to meeting with him. I believe that his considerable national and international political experience and his familiarity with the work of the UN leave him well placed to address the challenges that face the organisation. Ireland welcomes the more transparent and open selection process which led to Mr Guterres’ appointment, and ...

321. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware of the Western European and Others Group’s decision to nominate Israel for the chairmanship of the United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee; if Ireland will back this nomination; and if he is concerned that Israel, a State that continues to breach international law and conventions, international humanitarian law and countless United Nations resolutions, is being nominated to head a legal committee that aims to promote international law and protect basic human rights and freedoms. (Question 18222/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The effectiveness and universality of the United Nations system has been a central principle of Irish foreign policy for very many decades. Successive Irish Governments have accepted that Israel, like any other state, should be able to stand for election to, and occupy positions in, UN structures. On this basis, Ireland has agreed to the inclusion of Israel in relevant Western European and Others Groups (WEOG), in a number of UN ...

154. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the United Nations has been side-lined in the various conflicts in the Middle East and Africa; if provision is needed to address this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12376/16 asked on 26 May 2016 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Since its inception over seventy years ago the United Nations has played a critical role in the resolution of conflicts and the maintenance of international peace and security. It does this primarily through the UN Security Council which has, under the UN Charter, ‘primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security’. The Council’s ability and political will to fulfil this responsibility is dependent o...

359. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the role of Ireland as a member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 2017-2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8025/16 asked on 26 Apr 2016 - United Nations)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Ireland was elected, for the first time, to serve as a member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on Tuesday, 5 April, 2016. Our term of membership will run from 2017 to 2021.
The Commission on the Status of Women is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Membership of the Commission provides an opportunity for Ireland to further enhance our ...

50. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide an update on the work his Department has done with Ireland’s seat on the UN Human Rights council; the issues it is prioritising; and if he will provide regular updates to Oireachtas Members of the ongoing work of this council. (Question 41164/13 asked on 02 Oct 2013 - United Nations Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 74 together.
Ireland’s membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) presents an opportunity to enhance our reputation internationally and to make a meaningful contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights. During Ireland’s three year membership of the HRC, which runs from 2013-2015, we are actively working to add value to the work of the Council and s...

74. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the contribution Ireland has made in general sessions of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, the most recent of which concluded on 27 September; the number of Irish officials representing the country on the council; and the dialogue between the Government and the representatives in raising human rights issues in this important forum. (Question 41097/13 asked on 02 Oct 2013 - United Nations Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 74 together.
Ireland’s membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) presents an opportunity to enhance our reputation internationally and to make a meaningful contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights. During Ireland’s three year membership of the HRC, which runs from 2013-2015, we are actively working to add value to the work of the Council and s...

63. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if it is intended to continue to support the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Integrated Border Control project in the Islamic Republic of Iran, aimed at strengthening the drug interdiction capacity of the Iranian Anti Narcotics Police in view of the fact that at least 314 persons were executed there in 2012, many after conviction for drugs related offences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36856/13 asked on 18 Sep 2013 - United Nations Issues)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello) (Deputy Joe Costello): Through the aid programme, the Government has provided funding to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which is based in Vienna, in support of its mandate to assist Member States in their efforts to fight illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. Ireland’s support has included funding for the UNODC programme to restrict the flow of opiates from Afghanistan and Pakistan, throu...

86. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will outline Ireland’s priorities for the 68th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37382/13 asked on 18 Sep 2013 - United Nations Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Ireland’s priorities at the 68th Session of the General Assembly will include continued efforts to advance the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals; support for efforts to promote of peace and security in particular in relation to areas of current conflict or tension; promotion of Human Rights, democracy and the rule of Law; and the strengthening of the effectiveness of the United Nations. Ireland will ...

62. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will detail the names of resolutions and the dates that Ireland have voted for and against at the United Nations General Assembly form 2011 to present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32653/13 asked on 04 Jul 2013 - United Nations Resolutions)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The information sought by the Deputy calls for very substantial and detailed research. It will not unfortunately be possible to provide this information within the time available. I should say that officials from my Department would be happy to meet with the Deputy, when convenient, to discuss these and other questions he has asked relating to Ireland’s membership of the United Nations.
 ...

64. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to scrutinise the work of the UN; if established, the way he envisages Ireland’s participation in the Parliamentary Assembly; if he will detail Ireland’s position, stance and contribution to the establishment of such an Assembly to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32706/13 asked on 04 Jul 2013 - United Nations Reform)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Ireland is steadfastly committed to the United Nations and the principles and values of the UN Charter. As a strong supporter of the United Nations, we engage actively in discussions and actions at UN level to promote reform of the Organization across a range of priority areas. In the context of this wider engagement on UN reform, proposals which aim to improve the effectiveness of the UN and the contribution it makes to...

52. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will detail his position on the future reform of the United Nations General Assembly; his views on whether the European Union delegation to the UN will one day be a full member of the UNGA in its own right, in view of the fact it holds full membership rights in some UN organisations and its relatively recent upgrade to enhanced observer status with speaking rights; his views on whether both member states and the EU being members of the UNGA could expose differences and create conflicting positions between Ireland and the EU at the UNGA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28461/13 asked on 13 Jun 2013 - United Nations Reform)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The UN Charter provides the rules for membership of the United Nations General Assembly. Chapter II Article 4 provides that; “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.”
The European Union is not a State under the terms of the UN Charte...

141. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will detail Ireland’s position on the future reform of the United Nations Security Council; if Ireland would vote in favour of expanding the number of permanent members of the UNSC; his views on whether the European Union delegation to the United Nations should one day hold its own permanent seat; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24238/13 asked on 21 May 2013 - United Nations Security Council)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Ireland’s view is that a more representative, efficient and transparent Security Council is required as part of equipping the United Nations to meet the increasingly complex and diverse challenges of today’s world. 
Any expansion should also provide for improved African representation. While we would ideally wish to see the complete removal of the veto powers currently enjoyed by the Council’s permanent members, ther...

182. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide an update on his position in relation to the Malvinas/Falkland’s issue. (Question 14357/13 asked on 20 Mar 2013 - United Nations Resolutions)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) has been the subject of resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as its special committee on decolonisation. In its most recent resolution, adopted on 14 June 2012, the committee expressed its regret that, in spite of the widespread international support for negotiation between the two Governments, implementation of General Assembly resolu...

437. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will report on the 27th session of the UN Environment Programme Governing Council recently held in Kenya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9676/13 asked on 26 Feb 2013 - United Nations Environmental Programme)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The 27th session of UNEP’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum took place in Nairobi from 18 February to 22 February. This was a historic meeting as it marked the first under new universal membership arrangements for UNEP agreed in “The Future We Want” document at the Rio +20 Conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. Environment Ministers attending the Session backed decisions desi...