Wednesday, December 2nd 2020
6pm Ireland / 1pm NYC
presented with the Consulate General of Ireland in New York

Soft Power, Quiet Words: Ireland, New York & the U.N. Security Council

The personal story of a two year campaign, with Irish Ambassador to the U.N. | Geraldine Byrne Nason in conversation with Hugh Linehan.

In June of this year, New York saw the successful culmination of a concerted 15-year diplomatic Irish government campaign like no other. In what was a highly contested election, Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason led a team in New York who engaged with every Member State of the UN over a three year period in order to secure a seat for Ireland on the U.N. Security Council.

Since joining the United Nations in December 1955, Ireland has previously served on the UN Security Council three times: in 1962, 1981-82, 2001-2002. With the Irish government and Ambassador Byrne Nason successful in their recent campaign, Ireland will take up its seat on the Security Council for the 2021 – 2022 term, having campaigned on the themes of Partnership, Empathy and Independence as the key attributes that our country brings to its engagement with the UN and which will drive the work on the Security Council.

Ambassador Byrne Nason noted that Ireland’s election to the UN Security Council demonstrates that the UN’s member states have “decided that the principles and values that we based our campaign upon are those that are shared by the General Assembly. We take this responsibility incredibly seriously.”

I.NY will host a conversation between Ambassador Byrne Nason and Hugh Linehan, Arts and Culture Editor at The Irish Times, and host of the Irish Times Inside Politics podcast. This conversation will explore the personal story behind the campaign to secure Ireland’s place on the Security Council, and discuss the nuances navigated by the Ambassador and her team as Ireland sought to position itself at the top table of Global Diplomacy.

 Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason

Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason is the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in New York. She took up this position in August 2017 on completion of her term as Ambassador of Ireland to France. Previously she was Second Secretary General in the Department of the Taoiseach, Ambassador and Ireland’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, and Director of the National Forum on Europe.

During her career, Ambassador Byrne Nason has served in Brussels, New York, Paris, Vienna and Helsinki. As Second Secretary-General in the Department of the Taoiseach from 2011-2014, she was the highest ranking female public servant in Ireland. During that period she also was Secretary General of Ireland’s Economic Management Council.

Since her arrival in New York, Ambassador Byrne Nason has been Chair of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for 2018 and 2019. The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

View Ambassador Byrne Nasons DFA welcome message

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan is Arts and Culture Editor at The Irish Times. He also presents the Irish Times Inside Politics podcast and writes a weekly column on culture issues. He has previously been Features Editor, Online Editor and Digital Development Editor, where he inititated and developed blogs, liveblogs, video and podcasts on

View Hugh Linehan on

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