United Nations

A United force: Behind the scenes with Ireland at the UN

Since landing a seat on the United Nations Security Council in June 2020, Ireland has played a low-profile but crucial role in shaping global detente, with permanent representative Geraldine Byrne Nason finding herself back in the place where her diplomatic career began in the 1980s. In an age of conflict and uncertainty, she prides Ireland on having what she calls ‘an independent voice’ in the crucible of world affairs

Geraldine Byrne Nason, centre, with some of her team: Shane Dowling, assistant political coordinator; Eimear Hannon, executive assistant to the Ambassador; and Alex Dunne, adviser, humanitarian policy. Picture: Corey Sipkin

On the evening of February 23, Geraldine Byrne Nason sat down in the UN Security Council chamber to wait her turn to speak at an emergency sitting in New York City. She was fourth in line. And as she waited, her phone began to ping with a series of texts. “It’s on, it’s on,” they said. In the short 27-minute period between taking her seat and addressing the council, the world had changed.

The Security ...