Gilmore to meet UN’s Ban for talks in New York

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs to address General Assembly

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore: wants the United Nations to make ending extreme poverty within a generation a priority. Photographh: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore: wants the United Nations to make ending extreme poverty within a generation a priority. Photographh: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 12:23

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore will meet UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon in New York today to discuss issues including the ongoing conflict in Syria and the Middle East peace process.

The meeting takes place ahead of the Tánaiste’s address to the 68th General Assembly of the UN, during which he will welcome the progress made in recent days on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons.

“While it has taken much longer than we all would have wished, I welcome the decisive action the Security Council is now taking on Syria,” Mr Gilmore said in a statement. “ This resolution marks a watershed in the international community’s engagement on the crisis. It offers renewed hope and confidence that the UN is capable of discharging its responsibilities and meeting the expectations of the peoples of the world.”

He will also highlight Ireland’s contribution on Syria. Irish troops were deployed this week to the UN mission in the Golan Heights and the Government has pledged €11 million in humanitarian support for victims of the conflict and €200,000 funding for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Mr Gilmore will also discuss the Middle East process with Mr Ban, as well as urging him to make ending extreme poverty within a generation a priority for the UN.

“Around the globe, 870 million people - almost 200 times the entire population of Ireland - are living in extreme poverty and hunger,” he will tell the General Assembly during his address.

“Reversing [this] and creating a better future for the countless millions of impoverished people on our planet is, perhaps, the greatest moral and practical challenge we face today.”

The Tánaiste will also set out Ireland’s achievements as a member of the Human Rights Council in Geneva and offer support for Mr Ban’s global campaign for LGBT rights.