Ireland joins global superpowers on United Nations Security Council
The Republic of Ireland has won a place on the UN Security Council – the global body led by five world powers which is key to discussing international affairs such as war and terrorism.
Irish officials told the PA news agency they are breathing a sigh of relief following the vote.
They said: “Ahead of the vote we thought our chances were 60/40.
“Officials couldn’t get a lay of the land as to where the vote would go. Usually we would all see what is going on but campaigning has been going on the phone or over Zoom calls, it was hard to draw people out.
“Norway had spent around 2 million euros on their bid, they are already a Nato member and had obvious credentials when it came to security matters.
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“Canada has retreated from the global stage somewhat in recent years but since Trudeau became leader, he has really pushed for them to get back elected to the Security Council.
“Unlike Ireland it has the added advantage of being an English and French speaking country and can link to some countries in Africa.”
There are 15 members of the council.
But only five of them are permanent: China, Russia, the USA, France and the UK.
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said the election of Ireland to the Security Council is a cause for celebration.
“The work of a dedicated team has been recognised, and I congratulate them on having brought what was a principled campaign, in a competitive environment, to both fruition and success,” Mr Higgins said.
“The support Ireland has received vindicates the decision to run a campaign that did not avoid the issues that are urgent; a campaign that engaged with global issues, such as peace-building and peacekeeping, the elimination of global poverty, the strengthening of multilateralism, and reform of the United Nations.
“The Irish campaign demonstrated an empathy with regional issues and the importance of a practical response in support of those most affected by climate change.
“Having a record of independence in voting on issues, and Ireland’s consistent lead in advocating for a reduction in armaments, stood to Ireland.
“Ireland was widely perceived as having an authenticity that would be delivered on these issues if elected.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted: “We did it! Congratulations Ireland, we’re back on the UN Security Council!
“Well done to all the Irish team at the UN, in Ireland and around the world!”
Ireland received the backing of two thirds of the UN General Assembly.
The country campaigned against Norway and Canada for two available seats.
Norway topped the poll with 130 votes while Canada received 108 votes.