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EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum was honoured to be part of the official launch of Ireland’s campaign for a seat on the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term, which took place at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney officially launched the campaign on Monday 2nd July, with a special event celebrating Irish food, music, heritage and culture. Also supporting the campaign were former President and UN Commissioner for Human Rights and current Special Envoy for Climate Change Mary Robinson and U2’s Bono.

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum were invited to take part in the event which uses the themes Empathy, Partnership and Independence to showcase Ireland’s strengths. The EPIC tent included two virtual reality headsets which allowed visitors to experience the atmosphere of the vaults, a number of videos demonstrating the spread of the Irish diaspora, and a laptop linked to our on-site partners The Irish Family History Centre, where delegates and ambassadors could search for their Irish roots.

EPIC were featured alongside the Irish Defence Forces, Guinness and Bord Bia – all strong representatives of Ireland’s culture and its influence across the globe. The speeches on the night emphasised the importance of the UN in times of crisis and the values that Ireland shares with the organisation.

‘It was an honour to be part of the launch for Ireland’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. As Bono said on the night, the Irish are a nation of storytellers.  At EPIC, we tell the stories of over 300 emigrants who found new homes across the globe – stories of empathy, independence and partnership with other nations. We hope to contribute to Ireland’s bid by illuminating these stories.’ – Jessica Traynor, Deputy Museum Director.

More than 400 diplomats and other guests attended the reception on the UN’s North Lawn beside the Arrival sculpture dedicated to global migration, by Irish artist John Behan, gifted to the UN by Ireland in 2000.

Ireland’s bid for a seat on the Council is an important element of Global Ireland 2025, the recently launched strategy to double the scale and impact of Ireland’s international presence. Ireland goes forward for election to the Security Council at roughly 20 year intervals. Ireland is competing with Canada and Norway for one of two seats available.