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Varadkar set to attend UN General Assembly in New York

By Sheetal Sukhija, Buffalo News
23 Sep 2018, 23:50 GMT+10

DUBLIN, Ireland - Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that he would be raising Ireland's bid to join the United States Security Council in New York this week.

Varadkar, who will be traveling to New York on Sunday, will be attending the United Nations Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the UN headquarter in New York on Monday.

The summit, which is being held in honour of the centenary of Mandelas birth, will be attended by up to 100 heads of state and government.

World leaders would discuss global peace and security issues before the main debate at the Annual General Assembly this year.

Taoiseach Varadkar indicated that he would raise Irelands campaign for an elected seat at the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term during his address to the plenary.

Further, Varadkar is also set to hold a number of bilateral meetings with heads of state during the course of the summit.

Earlier, in July this year, Varadkar formally launched Irelands bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for a two-year term starting in 2021.

At the time, the Taoiseach, who visited New York along with Tanaiste Simon Coveney invited all UN Ambassadors to a U2 concert in Madison Square Garden.

Varadkar had stated then that winning a seat on the UN Security Councilwould placeIrelandat the heart of UN decision-making on international peace, security and development.

He also took part in a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Ireland's participation in UN peacekeeping operations at the time.

The Irish Government is seeking a place on the council for the first since 2001-02 embarking on an intensive global campaign up to the June 2020 ballot.

Previously, Ireland haswon two-year rotating terms on the Security Council in 1962, 1981 and 2001.

Irelands UN peacekeeping role began in 1958, with the deployment of a small army contingent to Lebanon.

Since then, members of the Irish Defence Forces, An Garda Siochana and civilian personnel have participated in more than 70,000 tours of duty across the world, from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Africa.

Ireland is now facing stiff competition from Canada and Norway.

Ireland would need two-thirds of voting member states, or at least 129 votes if all 193 UN states cast a ballot, to win one of two seats available to the UNs western Europeand others groups.

If Irelands bid is successful, it would be the fourth time that the country has been elected to the council.

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