The Minister for State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, T.D., has travelled to New York to participate in two high-level UN meetings on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Today, Monday 27 September, Minister Byrne will chair a meeting of the Security Council to mark the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is a long-standing foreign policy priority for Ireland, and the meeting has been organised as one of the key events of the Irish presidency of the Security Council in September.
Earlier, Minister Byrne said:
“Decades of nuclear test explosions have affected the lives and health of generations of people around the globe and left a lasting mark on the environment.
By prohibiting all nuclear testing, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty inhibits states from developing new nuclear weapons. It is therefore an important step along the path to a world without nuclear weapons, with their devastating consequences for all of humanity. I call for signature and ratification of the Treaty by all states, and for re-doubling our efforts to secure the entry-into-force of this landmark Treaty.
This 25th anniversary is an opportunity to demonstrate that the international community can work together, in pursuit of the common good.”
Tomorrow, Minister Byrne will address a High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Speaking ahead of that meeting, Minister Byrne said:
“I am deeply concerned about the prospect of a new arms race, and ongoing nuclear modernisation programmes. In the face of this, it is more important than ever that we commit our collective efforts to eliminate the threat posed by the very existence of nuclear weapons.
These indiscriminate weapons afford us no security, and the only way we can guarantee humanity’s safety from devastating humanitarian consequences is their total elimination.”
While in New York, Minister Byrne will also hold a number of meetings with senior UN officials and representatives of other Security Council Member States.
Notes to editors
- Ireland is an elected member of the United Nations Security Council for a two year term which began on 1 January 2021. Ireland holds the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of September 2021.
- The role rotates each month in English alphabetical order, and this is the only time we will hold the presidency during our two-year term. This is the fifth time Ireland has held the Presidency of the Security Council since we joined the UN in 1955.
- The Taoiseach chaired a Security Council Open Debate on Climate and Security on 23 September, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs chaired a Security Council Open Debate on Afghanistan on 9 September, and a Security Council dialogue with the League of Arab States on 22 September. Ireland convened an open debate on peacekeeping reform on 8 September.
- The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is the international instrument to end all nuclear testing. It was adopted 25 years ago, in 1996, and while it has yet to enter into force, it has helped to establish an international norm against nuclear testing. Ireland is a long-standing supporter of the CTBT, and has consistently called for its entry into force and universalisation.
- Further information about Ireland’s Security Council term can be found on https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/international-priorities/our-international-partners/united-nations/ and https://www.dfa.ie/pmun/newyork/