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Irish PM calls for 'political will' to solve world crises in U.N. speech

Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin urges the United Nations to strengthen its "political will" to solve world crises in his address Thursday to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Photo courtesy of United Nations General Assembly.
Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin urges the United Nations to strengthen its "political will" to solve world crises in his address Thursday to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Photo courtesy of United Nations General Assembly.

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin urged the United Nations to strengthen its "political will" to face Russia, end hunger and address climate change in his speech Thursday before the U.N. General Assembly.

Martin criticized the U.N. Security Council for failing to act to solve "existential global challenges," despite the best efforts of member nations.

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"It is not our systems or our structures, nor our treaties or our charters that are fundamentally failing us, it is the lack of political will to implement and to uphold them," Martin said in his speech.

"We convene here at a time of crisis, when we are facing the threat of widespread global hunger and food insecurity, when we see daily the devastating impacts of climate change with those who bear no responsibility for the causes being the most affected, when we have witnessed the most blatant disregard for international law and for the U.N. Charter on my own home continent of Europe," Martin said.

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As Martin discussed global crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the prime minister touted 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 despite all of his country's successes, "at times we have also been deeply frustrated 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 challenged the Council to take on its responsibilities to address the impact of climate change on international peace and security."

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Martin reminded the assembly that Russia was the only country to veto the resolution despite 113 countries supporting it.

"It frankly beggars belief that in 2022, the U.N. body charged with the maintenance of peace and security has still not taken on its responsibilities in this area," Martin said. "It is a singular failure of political will and political responsibility."

In his speech, Martin argued while Ireland has worked tirelessly over the past year to help resolve crises in Ethiopia, and Palestine and to protect women's rights in Afghanistan, there has been little action by the U.N.

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"Yet a year later, we continue to raise the alarm. We continue to urge the Council to act decisively. We continue with our determination to seek a political solution," Martin said. "The Security Council must fulfill its responsibilities. Crucially, it must work for compliance with its own resolutions."

Martin ended his address with a call for the full implementation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

"We face 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 Nonproliferation Treaty must remain an essential element of international peace and security," Martin said. "The urgency of its full implementation cannot be overstated."

World leaders gather for U.N. General Assembly

Egils Levits, president of Latvia
Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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