Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin called on the United Nations to strengthen its “political will” to resolve the global crisis in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday. Photo: Courtesy of the United Nations General Assembly.
Sept. 22 (UPI) — Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin called on the United Nations to strengthen its “political will” to tackle Russia, end hunger and tackle climate change in his speech before the UN General Assembly on Thursday.
Martin criticized the UN Security Council for failing to act to resolve “existential global challenges” despite the best efforts of member states.
“It’s not our systems or our frameworks, or our treaties or our charters that are fundamentally failing us, it’s the lack of political will to implement and maintain them,” Martin said in his speech.
“We gather here at a time of crisis, when we are faced with the threat of widespread global hunger and food insecurity, when we see every day the devastating effects of climate change on those who bear no responsibility for those who are most affected, when we stand for international law. And I have witnessed the most flagrant disregard for the UN Charter on my own continent,” Martin said.
As Martin discussed global crises including the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister spoke of Ireland’s achievements, its work with Syria, its role in recognizing women as leaders and agents of change and its peacekeeping operations around the world.
Martin said that despite all his country’s successes, “at times we have been deeply disappointed by the Security Council’s failure to act.”
“A year ago, I stood before you and spoke of our ambition for the Council to adopt a resolution on climate and security,” Martin said. “We challenge the Council to take up its responsibility to address the impact of climate change on international peace and security.”
Martin reminded the gathering that Russia was the only country to veto the resolution, despite 113 countries backing it.
“It frankly believes that in 2022, the United Nations agency for the maintenance of peace and security has not yet assumed its responsibility in this area,” Martin said. “This is a singular failure of political will and political responsibility.”
In his speech, Martin argued that while Ireland has worked tirelessly over the past year to help resolve the crises in Ethiopia and Palestine and to protect women’s rights in Afghanistan, little action has been taken by the United Nations.
“Yet a year later, we continue to raise alarm. We continue to urge the Council to act decisively. We continue our determination to find a political solution,” Martin said. “The Security Council must live up to its responsibilities. Importantly, it must act to comply with its own resolutions.”
Martin concluded his speech by calling for full implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“We are facing an expansionist power brutally invading and occupying a peaceful neighbor. We faced this many times in Europe in the 20th century. We did not think we would face it again in the 21st century,” he said.
“The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty must remain an essential element of international peace and security,” Martin said. “The urgency of its full implementation cannot be overstated.”