Foreign Minister unveils Middle East mission

Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern today revealed his hectic schedule as United Nations special envoy will take him to the Middle East.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern today revealed his hectic schedule as United Nations special envoy will take him to the Middle East.

Mr Ahern said he is to travel to Israel and Palestine next week for two days to discuss UN reform in his position as special envoy of UN secretary general, Kofi Annan.

“I am looking forward to it, I have been on the go since April. I’m just back off a plane this morning from Kiev at 4.30 this morning, where I met President (Victor) Yushchenko and I met with the Foreign Minister in Moscow the day before, so it is a constant travel,” he said.

Last April, Mr Ahern was appointed as a special envoy to bring the secretary general’s UN reform plan to the EU, Eastern Europe, Russia and Israel.

The minister is on a tight schedule as he has to visit or make contact with 47 states before the voting on the reform package at the world summit in New York next September.

Mr Ahern said he had promised to travel to both countries to discuss UN reform after meeting with the foreign ministers in Brussels.

“Those two countries would have a very important perspective to bring to UN reform given the difficulties that were out there in that region,” he said, as he met with senior members of the Jewish Communit in Ireland to offer support over a spate of Anti-Semitic attacks.

“I am there to promote the proposals of Kofi Annan in relation to the reform of the UN which are contained in his document ‘In Larger Freedom’ and those range from development issues, human right issues, and security issues,” he said, ahead of travelling on Monday next.

“Each of the states would have a very strong view given their particular perspective and to a certain extent in some instances opposite views to each other. But it is important that we engage on a one-to-one basis.”

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