Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has today expressed his condolences to the family of Brian Urquhart, one of the early leaders of the United Nations, who died on Saturday at the age of 101.
Teachta Brady said:
“Brian Urquhart was the second person recruited to the United Nations after it was founded in the immediate aftermath of WWII, and served as a principal advisor to the first five General Secretaries.
“Having been one of the first Allied troops to enter the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of WWII, Urquhart needed no convincing of the need for the UN.
“He would play a leading role in the development of the peacekeeping strategies of the UN and was credited with giving the UN peacekeeping forces their distinctive blue helmets, describing them as ‘an army without an enemy’.
“The mission of the UN is more important today, than ever before. The challenges and the complexities of the modern world abound.
“A proliferation of non-state actors on the international stage, including transnational corporations, a number of whom undermine human rights across the globe, demand a rigorous and meaningful response by the international community.
“As a newly fledged member of the UN Security Council, Ireland now has an opportunity to take up the torch carried by the early leaders of the United Nations such as Brian Urquhart, and put a 21st Century stamp on the UN, and ensure that the reach of the international human rights agenda touches, all areas and actors on the global stage.”