“We heard the alarm. We must respond now, “said Michelle Martin. “I believe that the General Assembly, our National Assembly, was created to do this. Our purpose, our obligation.”
For the Irish leader, the “simple truth” is that the world “cannot succeed in tackling this global challenge without a strong, effective and just multilateral system.”
The Prime Minister further said that “vaccine inequality is a moral test for the global community”.
He pointed to the rapid establishment of COVAX and ACT accelerators, saying that it best represented multilateralism and was the only way to meet the goal of a fully vaccinated world by mid-2022.
Mr. According to Martin, Ireland is in the process of donating 1.3 million vaccine doses to low-income countries, primarily through CoVAX. It is preparing a “significant grant” for 2022. The country’s aid to world health has reached over € 200 million since the outbreak.
He highlighted the role of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), which should be at the center of the global response, and said that Ireland had quadrupled funding to the agency in response to the epidemic.
Learning from the epidemic
Thinking about the last 1 month, the Prime Minister said one thing is clear: “The epidemic has paralyzed the world.”
“It’s a simple and two-fold real relief that we haven’t made enough progress in reducing poverty, increasing access to quality healthcare and education, or even addressing the climate crisis,” he said.
He argued that if the world had made further progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), societies would have been “more resilient, better prepared to deal with storms, and save lives.”
Membership of the Security Council
Since the beginning of the year, Ireland has occupied a temporary seat on the UN Security Council.
“Every day for the past nine months, we have sought to use our voice, defend our policies and move towards peaceful resolution of some of the world’s most pressing conflicts,” the Irish leader said.
He recalled the conflict in his own country’s history, saying it was what the Irish people thought was “difficult, long and often frustrating.”
He said progress was not always possible and that, often, the council was divided.
Pointing to the events in Syria and the Tigers, he said, “It is a difficult lesson that when we, in this building, are divided, they suffer the most.”
The contribution of Ireland
On Thursday, Mr. Martin presided over a Security Council debate on climate and security. For him, “there is no time to waste” and that is why, in the coming days, Ireland will hold a discussion meeting on a thematic solution related to climate and security.
Looking ahead to the UN climate conference COP26 in early November, he said all member states should “have the courage to take bold and ambitious steps.”
Ireland will reduce emissions by 51 percent by 2030 compared to 2018 levels. The country, along with its partners in the European Union, will achieve net neutrality by 2050.
“Ireland will play our part, create sensitivities and strongly support the multilateral system and those we have pledged to serve,” Mr Martin concluded.
Read the full statement in English here.