Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney participates in high-level meetings at UN
Press release23 September 2020
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney participates in high-level meetings on the International Criminal Court and on accountability for human rights violations by the Syrian Regime
Today, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., participated in two ministerial meetings during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. The first meeting was in support of the International Criminal Court, while the second was on the issue of accountability for human rights violations by the Syrian Regime.
At both meetings, Minister Coveney stressed that ensuring accountability will be one of the key principles that underpin Ireland’s engagement on the Security Council during our two-year term, starting on 1 January 2021.
The Informal Ministerial Network for the International Criminal Court (ICC) brings together Ministers who are strongly committed to international criminal justice and the ICC. At today’s meeting, Minister Coveney reiterated Ireland’s long-standing support for the ICC, stating that:
“Ireland firmly believes that a strong international criminal justice system is critical to fight impunity. We regard the ICC as the cornerstone of such a system.
Respecting the independence and impartiality of the Court is of paramount importance to Ireland. We are fully committed to supporting and defending the Court from any attempts to interfere with its work.”
Minister Coveney also participated in a meeting on accountability for human rights violations by the Syrian Regime, hosted by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Stef Blok. The meeting focused on a range of concrete steps aimed at achieving accountability for human rights violations in Syria, to demonstrate the international community’s commitment to the fight against impunity and to bolster support for such efforts. Speaking at the meeting, Minister Coveney stated:
“As we approach a decade of conflict, the crisis in Syria represents a stain on our humanity. The crimes committed have been monstrous: arbitrary detention, disappearances, torture. The bombing of schools and hospitals, of innocent civilians. The use of chemical weapons. Indiscriminate violence, often with a disproportionate impact on women and children.
Far too often, instead of taking strong action to prevent these crimes, the Security Council has failed to intervene. Ireland strongly supports all efforts to ensure accountability for the crimes committed in Syria.”
23 September 2020
Notes for Editors
The 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75) opened on 15 September. This is an important occasion for Ireland to contribute to international discussions on the work of the UN and on pressing international issues. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, world leaders are convening at the UN in a virtual format for the first time.
As part of Ireland’s engagement at the UN General Assembly, the Minister for Foreign Affairs will take part in a number of meetings over the next two weeks, including the High-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25), the High-level meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and a meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism.
Ireland’s two year term as an elected member of the UN Security Council begins on 1 January 2021. Ireland’s membership of the Security Council will be guided by three key principles: building peace, strengthening prevention, and ensuring accountability.