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UN Security Council seat for Ireland?

  • 21-05-2020 8:40pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 16


    Next month, all UN member states will vote to fill 2 non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for the period 2020-2022. In the WEOG (Western Europe and Other Group), there are 3 countries seeking the 2 seats - Ireland, Norway and Canada. It's been dubbed the 'Group of Death' because of how close the contest is.

    Norway are expected to claim one of the seats. They contribute to UN Peacekeeping missions and are the largest contributor to UN bodies as a percentage of GDP.

    Which leaves Ireland and Canada to contest the 2nd seat.

    Ireland's campaign started 2 years ago when all UN Ambassadors were given tickets for a U2 concert in New York. Ireland also hosted a UN conference on the empowerment of women. In our favour, we are non-aligned militarily and have also contributed for many years to UN peacekeeping missions.

    Canada have not been engaged on the issue until relatively recently, when PM Justin Trudeau became involved. The country is also a large contributor to both UN peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. In 2019 they accepted 25,000 Syrian refugees. They are however a member of a nuclear pact (NATO), and might be seen as too close politically to the US.

    So, can we bag a seat and with it the power and influence that goes with it ?


Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,258 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    L1649A wrote: »
    Next month, all UN member states will vote to fill 2 non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for the period 2020-2022. In the WEOG (Western Europe and Other Group), there are 3 countries seeking the 2 seats - Ireland, Norway and Canada. It's been dubbed the 'Group of Death' because of how close the contest is.

    Norway are expected to claim one of the seats. They contribute to UN Peacekeeping missions and are the largest contributor to UN bodies as a percentage of GDP.

    Which leaves Ireland and Canada to contest the 2nd seat.

    Ireland's campaign started 2 years ago when all UN Ambassadors were given tickets for a U2 concert in New York. Ireland also hosted a UN conference on the empowerment of women. In our favour, we are non-aligned militarily and have also contributed for many years to UN peacekeeping missions.

    Canada have not been engaged on the issue until relatively recently, when PM Justin Trudeau became involved. The country is also a large contributor to both UN peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. In 2019 they accepted 25,000 Syrian refugees. They are however a member of a nuclear pact (NATO), and might be seen as too close politically to the US.

    So, can we bag a seat and with it the power and influence that goes with it ?
    What power and influence exactly? The security council's temporary positions are not offering any power nor influence esp. with a Trump lead USA on one side. You might argue a bit of prestige but even that's doubtful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,796 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    SNIP. Don't dump The Onion videos here please.

    The UN is a waste of time and resources. Getting on the security council would have no effect or impact on anything.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,201 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    Can't say Ireland's previous experiences on the Security Council have been overwhelming successes. There was a partial term in 1962, in the middle of the Congo conflict (which, in fairness, at the time Irish soldiers were fighting, even if the Irish government was throwing them under the bus doing it), and the 1981/82 term covered the Falklands War, and 2001/2 saw Ireland as President of the Security Council when the US invaded Afghanistan. Though, also in fairness, that one was fairly justified.

    I mean, I can't see any particular harm in it, but I'm not sure the UN security council has had much by way of teeth recently. Maybe there are some smaller regions which could benefit, but does Ireland have particularly much interest in what happens in central Africa that it needs to get involved in policy-making?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭nigeldaniel


    I would not fancy been a diplomat playing piggy in the middle with that lot. We would be better at applying to join NATO and revamping our defense policy. At the moment we have not a Navy or Airforce of note.

    Dan.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,180 ✭✭✭ZeroThreat


    I would not fancy been a diplomat playing piggy in the middle with that lot. We would be better at applying to join NATO and revamping our defense policy. At the moment we have not a Navy or Airforce of note.

    IMO it's a little late in the day in 2020 to be seeking membership of an organisation whose raison d'etre was defence against an Eastern-bloc invasion of western Europe (which effectively ended in 1990) and who now struggles to find any reasons to justify its existence, the majority of the members not even spending what they're supposed to on their military as required by NATO membership terms.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,201 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    Well, now the concern is an Eastern invasion of Eastern Europe. The Baltic States haven't forgotten their little experience around 1940 and the Poles have been looking at Ukraine's misfortune and loss of territory, and Georgia's not happy with the ever-shifting Russian border either. End result for Ireland is still the same, though.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,464 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    I would not fancy been a diplomat playing piggy in the middle with that lot. We would be better at applying to join NATO and revamping our defense policy. At the moment we have not a Navy or Airforce of note.

    We dont need to join NATO to build up our army. We currently spend very little on our military and rely basically on the British to protect Irish airspace. Probably that will have to change in a post brexit world, but there will be no political will for it with so many other things to spend money on.

    Joining NATO might also require Ireland to endorse foreign invasions or bombings such as Lybia, Afghanistan etc. At the moment Ireland participates in EU battlegroups, which is probably enough involvement for the moment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16 L1649A


    RTE reporting that the vote to fill the 2 Security Council seats will take place on June 17th.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,205 ✭✭✭✭hmmm


    Nody wrote: »
    What power and influence exactly? The security council's temporary positions are not offering any power nor influence esp. with a Trump lead USA on one side. You might argue a bit of prestige but even that's doubtful.
    Plus it puts us in a position where we may have to make difficult decisions - what do we do if Trump demands the UN censures countries he doesn't like where we might be trying to attract FDI, or vice versa? I don't understand the benefit of this to the country, although I can understand why certain civil servants would see it as a highlight of their careers (and help catapult them into lucrative positions in world organisations).

    It also has the downside of distracting the government, and makes them look out of touch. Saying that you can't do something "because we're trying to get a security council seat" doesn't work as an answer to any question.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,468 ✭✭✭✭Sand


    We dont need to join NATO to build up our army. We currently spend very little on our military and rely basically on the British to protect Irish airspace. Probably that will have to change in a post brexit world, but there will be no political will for it with so many other things to spend money on.

    Joining NATO might also require Ireland to endorse foreign invasions or bombings such as Lybia, Afghanistan etc. At the moment Ireland participates in EU battlegroups, which is probably enough involvement for the moment.

    Honestly, we spend very little on our military because we don't fear any foreign military threat. The only country we share a land border with is broadly friendly, brexit or no brexit. Its beyond reasonable expectations that the Irish could defend Irish airspace against the UK if they were hostile, so its not loss that a friendly UK defends our airspace for us and at their own expense. To the extent Ireland invests in its military, its only to allow for UN peacekeeping deployments which are of dubious value. It is difficult to justify relatively huge expenditures on the military when apart from basic wages, almost all of that spending will flow abroad to foreign suppliers of military equipment.

    NATO is a purely defensive alliance so joining it wouldn't require endorsement of offensive/discretionary wars like Libya or Afghanistan. But as above, Ireland has nothing to gain from joining NATO.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,480 ✭✭✭✭Varik


    Sand wrote: »
    NATO is a purely defensive alliance so joining it wouldn't require endorsement of offensive/discretionary wars like Libya or Afghanistan. But as above, Ireland has nothing to gain from joining NATO.

    Going to guess you meant Libya or Iraq, and not Afghanistan. Since article 5 was invoked for that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16 L1649A


    Irish Times reporting that the vote to fill the 2 seats will take place next Wednesday 17th June. 193 countries voting. Probably more than one count necessary to decide the outcome. Intense lobbying by Ireland, Canada and Norway will continue up to the last minute.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,790 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34


    It certainly won't be two smaller Europeans anyway.

    Norway are NATO, so the Russian influenced block will probably try to oppose two members, ie Norway and Canada joining the SC at once. That said, the EU members also in NATO could back them.

    My bet is Canada guaranteed and Ireland to shade it over Norway in further counts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,755 ✭✭✭✭Hello 2D Person Below


    Hopefully Norway and Canada.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,790 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34


    Hopefully Norway and Canada.

    Why so?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16 L1649A


    Vote is taking place to-day at UN Headquarters.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,609 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    Ireland win a seat alongside Norway, Canada lose out


  • Registered Users Posts: 16 L1649A


    Quota to be elected was 128 votes. Norway got 130, Ireland 128 (phew) and Canada 108.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,790 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34


    Canada were always on a bit of a loser with this. There was no chance pro-Russian states would be backing two NATO players and a strong campaign in the Arab world painting Ottawa as too pro-Israel, largely down to overt policies of Trudeau's predecessor, had them on the back foot from the beginning.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,201 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    Oh well, we're due another war anyway. Korea seems to be heating up...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭FFVII


    What do we get and how many millions did we spend to get it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,295 ✭✭✭✭the_syco


    Oh well, we're due another war anyway. Korea seems to be heating up...
    From the base building that the blew up, it seems they need food.


  • Registered Users Posts: 352 ✭✭LegallyAbroad


    FFVII wrote: »
    What do we get and how many millions did we spend to get it?

    We didn't spend any millions. It cost circa 800k, considerably less than either Canada or Norway. It was in last night's press conference.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,343 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    This is the fourth time Ireland has had a place on the UN Security Council.

    During our first one, the Cuban missile crisis occurred. During the second one, the Falklands/Malvinas war occurred. During our third stint, the 9/11 attack on the twin towers in New York occurred.

    I wonder what might happen this time?

    It is a great vote in favour of our place in the world, and I congratulate all those who played a part in the success.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,609 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    Great we got it and everything but would wonder what practical benefit it will deliver apart from the 'having a seat at the top table'. Michael D will get a couple of speeches in New York out of it and Im sure Mary Robinson will be hovering around too. Hard to see much beyond that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,790 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34


    Ireland will never be powerful. The next best thing to power, is influence.

    Having a seat at the most important table in the World has no down sides, especially for our well respected diplomatic service. Having an outlet for regular discussion with the big a world powers can only be a good thing. Everything is connected to security; poverty, environment, food and water supply, energy, democracy or otherwise. If we're seen as an honest broker, we can hopefully so some good on all those fronts.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,343 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    Great we got it and everything but would wonder what practical benefit it will deliver apart from the 'having a seat at the top table'. Michael D will get a couple of speeches in New York out of it and Im sure Mary Robinson will be hovering around too. Hard to see much beyond that.

    We got acceptance from 128 member nations of the UN. That is impressive for such a small country.

    It was a secret vote so we do not know who voted for us but that number of 128 votes is two thirds of all members. That is impressive.

    I know that we Irish think a lot of ourselves, but it is nice to think other nations do as well.

    Many countries of the world have benefited from Irish missionaries and charities over the last centuries that have nursed and educated many poor peoples without looking for any reward or at any cost to those people that could be counted as colonialisation.

    I think our view of a just world needs to be spread, unlike the world views of the permanent members of the SC. We have friends out there.


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