Ireland will continue to focus on Afghanistan during the presidency of the United Nations Security Council

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Ireland holds the presidency of the UN Security Council for 30 days starting today, focusing on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, peacekeeping, and the impact of climate on security issues.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney welcomed taking the helm, in what Coveney described as a “critical moment”.

The presidency of the UN Security Council rotates among the members of the Security Council each month, and Ireland takes the presidency from India.

As part of the presidency, Taoiseach will chair the Security Council meeting in New York on September 23, which relates to climate and security – a major concern for Africa in particular.

Secretary of State Simon Coveney will chair the annual Security Council debate on peacekeeping in New York.

Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations Geraldine Byrne Nason said Ireland will maintain the Council’s focus on Afghanistan during our presidency.

Speaking at a news conference in New York, Byrne Nason said the “real test” of the Taliban’s intentions “will be how they treat their women and girls.”

“Women and girls in Afghanistan have already endured so much, and we believe that protecting and promoting human rights must be at the heart of our collective response to the crisis,” she said.

“We need to look at the next steps that the United Nations could be on the ground,” said Byrne Nason.

We know that the situation on the ground is very volatile. We know there are many doubts. But what we do know is that whatever form of government appears in Afghanistan, there is no way to support the international community.

“The international community is needed as a partner in Afghanistan, but it is a partnership that must be won,” she said.

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There is no point in telling the Taliban to the international community what they want to hear. We will judge the Taliban by their actions, not their words.”

Minister Simon Coveney met the Indian Foreign Minister in Slovenia today. He said that work was underway to ensure “a smooth transition from India to Ireland on the Afghan file”.

He said in the current situationNext week, I will be in New York to chair a council meeting on how to better manage the transition of UN peacekeeping operations to a more inclusive UN engagement in peacebuilding in countries emerging from conflict.

We need to ensure that hard-earned peace gains are not lost when peacekeepers leave. I am proud of the history of the Defense Force’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations which informs Ireland’s work on this issue.”

Climate change, security and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will also be on the agenda of the month, as well as monthly discussions on Israel, Palestine, Yemen and the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister Coveney said it was a “great honor” to take over the presidency of the UN Security Council, saying that Afghanistan, Ethiopia, climate, peacekeeping, disarmament and human rights will be priorities this month.

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Taoiseach said:

“As President of the Security Council, we will be dealing with some of the urgent key challenges facing the international community, including the evolving situation in Afghanistan, and the continuing worrying situation in the Middle East.

We sought a seat on the UN Security Council to make a difference. Take a principled, constructive and open approach in its vital work to promote international peace and security, including in critical and challenging times like these.

Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations Geraldine Byrne Nason will be the main chair of the Security Council meetings this month.

Troker said Ireland had a “critical opportunity” to make its mark on international relations and to fight for peace and justice while in office.

Its chief executive, Caoimhe de Barra, said: “Ireland has already played an important role since taking its seat on the United Nations Security Council in January.

“But with the presidency, there is an opportunity to take center stage on the global political stage this month, and we look forward to seeing clear leadership and action as we play our part in helping to build a better world.”

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Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said that work continued over the weekend in order to get the correct wording of the UN Security Council resolution on the situation in Afghanistan.

On Monday, the council adopted a resolution urging the Taliban to allow people to leave the country if they wish, but did not mention a “safe zone” to cross outside the country as suggested by France and Germany.

The resolution passed by 13 votes in favor, with China and Russia two abstentions.

“Getting a resolution in the Security Council is not easy in the best of times, but in something as important as Afghanistan we need unity now, and a small country like Ireland is always working hard to try to build consensus,” Coveney said on Monday.

During Ireland’s two-year term in the United Nations Security Council, she aimed to focus on how the conflict disproportionately affects women and girls, Among other things.

With a report by Lauren Boland

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