The Irish singer was at the United Nations on Monday to advocate for Ireland’s spot on the UN Security Council but warned that international institutions such as the EU and UN were greatly threatened.
Speaking at the UN, the U2 singer told diplomats and staff at an event for Ireland’s ascension to the Security Council, saying that “you can count on Ireland to do its part in that work.”
‘For a long time, Ireland’s biggest export was its people... The world didn’t give up on Ireland and we stand today on solid ground, but we have not forgotten how it feels when the ground shakes beneath your feet.’ Bono calls for a Security Council seat for Ireland #IrelandUNSC pic.twitter.com/J79YI5EZwB— IrelandUnitedNations (@irishmissionun) July 2, 2018
He was not specific in naming culprits for the undermining of these intergovernmental organizations but stated that these are “troubled times”, predictably aimed at the US President who has criticized both the UN and the EU in the past.
Trump has spoken out against these multinational groups, such as the World Trade Organization in recent days for treating the United States unfairly. Bono believes that the WTO is also under threat as an institution.
Regarding the United Nations, Bono said, “I love that it exists, and I’ll tell you, I don’t take for granted that it exists, or that it will continue to exist because let’s be honest, we live in a time when institutions as vital to human progress as the United Nations are under attack.”
He stated that these multinational groups are not only under threat as organizations but what they stand for is under siege.
They stand for, “an international order based on shared values and shared rules, an international order that is facing the greatest test in its 70-year history,” according to Bono. All of what they have achieved, as well, is at risk he further noted.
Aside from this sobering warning, Bono’s main purpose at the UN was to advocate for Ireland and its role on the international stage. He argued that Ireland’s experience of colonialism, conflict, strife, famine, and mass migration are all things that “give us kind of a hard-earned expertise in these problems, and empathy and I hope humility.”
Ireland's campaign for a seat on the United Nations Council was launched @UN in New York, by @campaignforleo @simoncoveney, Mary Robinson, & Bono from @U2 find out more at https://t.co/bo78mDZrNC #IrelandUNSC #UNSC #GlobalIreland 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/iD500vmjQe— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) July 3, 2018
Bono praised the other candidates for the spot on the Security Council as both viable countries, but stated that the world needs Ireland’s storytelling ability in addition to its ability to compromise “because that’s how you achieve peace.”
The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) was also in New York to formally launch Ireland’s campaign for the temporary seat at a reception on the UN’s lawn, which featured Irish dancing, music, and other forms of cultural expression.
“We see ourselves as an island at the center of the world,” Varadkar noted. “And we’re deeply aware that in an interdependent world, the great challenges of our time do not know international boundaries.”