Seeking a seat at UN Security Council


Sir, – Ireland’s involvement with United Nations peacekeeping should make it very suitable for membership of the UN Security Council (“U2 concert kicks off Ireland’s bid for UN seat”, News, July 3rd).

However, a surprising aspect to our Government’s campaign has been its failure to mention the word “neutrality”. Ireland’s neutrality was a key factor in our participation in UN peacekeeping for many decades and this enhanced our reputation within the international community.

It would appear from the UN Security Council campaign optics so far that our Government is embarrassed by the issue of Irish neutrality. It is well that it might be embarrassed, given that while Bono was entertaining 150 UN ambassadors in New York, a US air force Hercules C130 was being refuelled at Shannon Airport, probably on its way to contribute to wars in the Middle East.

Pragmatically, if we are to have a reasonable chance of success when up against Nato members Norway and Canada, we must find ways of differentiating our application from theirs, and surely Irish neutrality should be a winning point with the large majority of the non-Nato members of the United Nations. The Canadian air force dropped 250 bombs on Libya in 2011, and the Norwegian air force dropped more than twice that, and both provided military support for US efforts to overthrow the Syrian government. Ireland’s application for a UN Security Council seat should be based on being a genuine neutral altruistic country, and the most appropriate way to commemorate the 88 peacekeeping heroes who gave their lives for international peace will be to restore genuine Irish neutrality. – Yours, etc,


HORGAN (retired),

Former UN peacekeeper,



A chara, – Winning a seat for Ireland on the important Security Council, which is at the heart of the UN, would be a major success for the Government. As a neutral, small and well-respected nation, we could contribute greatly to international peace and understanding. The UN itself, however, set up by the major powers after the second World War, is ineffective and flawed in many ways, and urgently needs reform and reorganisation. I suggest that this should be at the core of our mission statement. – Is mise,


An Charraig Dhubh,

Co Átha Cliath.

Sir, – Vanity, thy name is Iveagh House. – Yours, etc,



Co Louth.

Sir, – In his bid to get Ireland accepted as a member of the UN Security Council, Leo Varadkar says that we need the UN system to work. He is stating the blatantly obvious. The questions are, why is it not working and what needs changing to make it work? It seems to me that it is dysfunctional because five countries, the permanent members of the Security Council – Russia, the US, the UK, France and China – all individually have vetoes over the rest of the world. When some issue arises that does not align with their narrow interests, they press the veto button and, as far as they are concerned, the rest of humanity can go whistle. Recent examples are the Russian veto on their annexation of Crimea and the US veto on a resolution dealing with the Palestinian question and the Gaza border protests.

How do we get it to work? Well, for a start we could reform the UN by recognising that we are in a new century and accepting that old world politics have moved on from that which applied immediately after the second Word War. The veto has become an anachronism. If the veto were removed, to be replaced with a fairer weighted majority system, and if the UN were to be given the proper resources to ensure peace, it might contribute to greater stability and prosperity worldwide. I hope and pray that if Ireland does succeed in getting that seat, our diplomats make a forceful case for real reform of the UN to make it a more democratic and effective tool for international peace. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.