Christian Aid Ireland has welcomed President Michael D Higgins' address to the UN General Assembly, which called for world leaders to recommit to the moral vision of peace.
Speaking from the summit in New York, Karol Balfe, Christian Aid Ireland’s Global Head of From Violence to Peace, welcomed his speech: “President Higgins acknowledged the huge global challenges facing the world today, with civilians most at risk from violence and a significant increase in displacement globally. The summit has reaffirmed the UN’s important new vision and ambitious plan to reinvigorate peace building globally.
"President Higgins' speech to the UN comes at a time when Ireland is seeking to win a seat on the UN Security Council. This presents a unique opportunity for Ireland to be at the forefront of this increased focus on peace by the UN.
"As the President highlighted in his speech, too often we fail to address the root causes of violence due to ‘the strut of the powerful, and the wielders of power prevail in the Security Council’. President Higgins called for leaders to move from a politics of fear to a politics of possibility."
Karol continued: “It’s clear given the scale and complexity of violence in the world today that business as usual will not suffice. Governments are consistently failing to deliver on their legal obligations for international human rights and international humanitarian law.
"In many cases they are undermining these very instruments and restricting the space for civil society, including local peace activists, to push for change.
"Ireland must be part of a global pushback against the powerful who prioritise national interests over peace and can ensure that its development policies support peace in our efforts to win a seat on the Security Council. We can do this by following the call of President Higgins to devote ourselves to the call for peace and by being vocal, resolute and courageous advocates for peace”.
**Karol Balfe is available for comment. Please contact her directly on 0861906839 or call Meabh Smith, Head of Communications at Christian Aid Ireland to arrange on 0872068483.**