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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressing the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit

20180924 Taoiseach UN

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar attended the General Assembly: High-level plenary meeting, known as the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, 73rd session at the United Nations in New York. 

Speaking at the General Assembly: 

Side by side with our great friends from South Africa, Ireland was privileged to co-facilitate the work that has led to today’s Political Declaration.

With each of you today, I reaffirm that Ireland will continue to uphold the ideals of the United Nations and work with the international community to achieve the aims that Mandela himself worked so tirelessly for during his lifetime.

Dear friends, this year in Ireland, we mark 20 years of the Good Friday Agreement, which after decades of bitter violence, brought peace to Britain and Ireland, closer co-operation between North and South and power-sharing in Northern Ireland, at least, most of the time.   

The Northern Ireland Peace Process was advanced with the wisdom and assistance of friends from around the world, including you, President Ramaphosa.  For this we will always be grateful.

Inspired by the message of Nelson Mandela again, we should provide a voice for the oppressed around the world.  Finding shared solutions guided by shared values like our belief in multilateralism, freedom of the individual, human rights, democracy and protecting our planet.

We should look to the words of this Declaration as we face the challenges of the 21st century.  

Read the speech in full here