Ireland joins the United Nations

14th December 1955
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On 14 December 1955, Ireland joined the United Nations. Through our membership of the UN, Ireland has played a significant role in the promotion of international peace. Ireland is proud to be the only nation to have an unbroken record of service to blue-helmet peacekeeping since 1958. Since then Irish peacekeepers have served in more than 20 peacekeeping operations around the world.

In 1945, the United Nations was created following the Second World War to prevent another such conflict and as a replacement for the ineffective League of Nations.  The UN was set up by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. 

Neutrality had spared Ireland the horrors of World War II but also led to a degree of international isolation thereafter. Ireland applied to join the United Nations in 1945, but this was blocked by an objection by the Soviet Union in the security council (due to Ireland's neutral stance in not supporting the Allied cause). The United Kingdom fully supported Ireland's applications to join the UN. 

On 14 December 1955 as the 10th Assembly drew to a close, Ireland took its place as the 63rd member of the UN. During those early years, Ireland deployed its first ever UN peacekeepers and took a strong and principled stance in relation to nuclear non-proliferation. 

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On 23 June 1958, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, contacted the Irish Permanent Mission to the UN to request that Ireland provide five officers of mid-rank to join a UN "observation team" in Lebanon at very short notice. 

Since then, Irish Defence Forces have seen active service as part of United Nations peacekeeping activities – initially in the early 1960s Congo Crisis, and subsequently in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the Lebanon (UNIFIL). 

Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN (total membership of 193 countries). The headquarters of the United Nations is situated in Manhattan, New York City, and enjoys extraterritoriality.

Ireland sat on the UN Security Council for the term 2001-2002 and in 2015, celebrated 60 years in the UN.  

Ireland is currently a 2020 candidate for an elected seat on the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term. 


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