Dublin [Ireland], January 2 (ANI/Xinhua): Ireland took up its seat as an elected member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council for a two-year term starting from Jan. 1, 2021, said the country's Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
"Support for the United Nations is a cornerstone of Irish foreign policy," said the department in a statement posted on its website, adding that "Over the coming two years, Ireland will have the opportunity to make a contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security."
"Ireland is ready to take this opportunity to engage the Council membership and wider international community on critical aspects of international peace and security, in line with Ireland's principled, consistent and independent foreign policy," it noted.
Earlier in the day, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin issued a statement welcoming Ireland taking up its seat on the UN Security Council.
"It is an enormous responsibility and honour to serve (the UN Security Council) for the next two years," he said, adding that "When we stood for election we promised to bring the values of empathy, partnership and independence to bear. They will guide our work now."
He also said that Ireland will act fairly and independently in the task of supporting and promoting international peace and security.
Commenting on the event, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Ireland takes its seat on the UN Security Council at "a very challenging time" but it is determined to play its part to build the trust and political will necessary to achieve progress in even the most intractable conflicts.
The UN Security Council has five permanent members, namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The council also has ten non-permanent members which are elected by the United Nations General Assembly for two-year terms starting on Jan. 1, with five replacements each year.
The main difference between a permanent member and a non-permanent member is that the former has a veto power while the latter does not.
Since joining the UN in 1955, Ireland has previously served on the UN Security Council three times, said the Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE in a Friday report.
Ireland will serve as Presidency of the UN Security Council in September 2021, according to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.
To mark Ireland's new role on the UN Security Council, the UN flag has been flown at Leinster House, the seat of the two houses of the Irish Parliament in Dublin, alongside the Irish national flag. (ANI/Xinhua)