Micheál Martin, Ireland's Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, has reflected on Ireland's achievements at the conclusion of its two-year tenure on the UN Security Council

Ireland's work was underpinned by three principles - building peace, strengthening conflict prevention, and ensuring accountability - Martin said.

"It has been a challenging time, but we have achieved some real and tangible results," Martin said.

"For example, along with Norway, we led negotiations to keep open the cross-border humanitarian operation into North-West Syria, allowing life-saving aid to reach over four million vulnerable Syrians.

"We have stood by Ukraine, consistently holding Russia to account for their illegal invasion, and countering Russian disinformation on the Security Council."

As we approach the end of Ireland’s term on the @UN Security Council, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs @MichealMartinTD reflects on some of Ireland’s key achievements over the past 2 years. 🇮🇪🤝🇺🇳#IrelandUNSC

Learn more 👉 https://t.co/t0TD9WSK73@irishmissionun pic.twitter.com/mos6RiS7pU

— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) December 28, 2022

Martin added that Ireland had helped lead the Council's work on addressing the catastrophic humanitarian crisis and violations of international humanitarian law that took place in Ethiopia during the Tigray War, which came to an end last November. 

Martin also noted that Ireland helped negotiate a "landmark" resolution on UN peacekeeping that helped ensure effective transitions from UN peacekeeping operations to local peacebuilding operations in countries emerging from conflict. 

"We have also ensured that the voices of civilians - particularly women and young people - from conflict-affected countries are heard at the council," Martin said.

"From Afghanistan to Palestine to Somalia, we've brought the day-to-day experiences of those in the midst of conflict to the table where the decisions that affect their lives are made." 

This was Ireland's fourth time sitting on the UN Security Council after previously being a member in 1961, 1981-1982, and 2001-2002.

The UN Security Council consists of 15 members - five permanent members (France, Britain, the US, Russia, and China), and ten other temporary members who serve on rotating two-year terms.

The United Nations says its Security Council “has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

“It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

“The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Ireland began its month-long, rotating presidency of the Security Council on September 1, 2021.

Today Ireland begins a new role on the #SecurityCouncil:

🇺🇳President for the month of September!🇺🇳

Learn more about our presidency from #TeamIreland👇 #IrelandUNSC 🇮🇪 @dfatirl pic.twitter.com/G8ZYg5dmU2

— Ireland at UN (@irishmissionun) September 1, 2021

Ireland’s “mammoth” bid to win the coveted seat on the 2021- 2022 UN Security Council was launched back in 2018 and drew support from figures including President Michael D. Higgins, former President Mary Robinson, U2's Bono, and support was even shown at a performance of Riverdance at Radio City Hall in March 2020.