How the seat was won: Inside the fight to put Ireland on the UN Security Council

It was a 15-year campaign. In the end, most of the Middle East and swathes of Africa voted for us

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone

When Ireland first announced its candidacy for a seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-22 term, Bertie Ahern was taoiseach, George W Bush had just won a second term in the White House, YouTube did not yet exist and Leo Varadkar was a little-known 26-year-old councillor in north Dublin.

A 15-year campaign that began quietly with that announcement in 2005 would involve several governments, hundreds of ministers and officials, thousands of meetings and phone calls and so much hospitality for foreign diplomats that, as one official put it, there were “no crustaceans left on the sea bed”.

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