Irish peacekeepers and diplomats from will visit local second level schools in the South Dublin County Council area during 2019 to give  students an understanding of Ireland’s role at the United Nations, according to Minister Katherine Zappone. Each school visited will also be presented with a United Nations Flag. Minister Zappone says the visits represent a unique opportunity for  students to hear first-hand how dedicated Irish men and women are keeping  the peace in trouble spots around the world – and hopefully inspire some  local students to follow in their footsteps. Minister Zappone added: “Tens of thousands of people are alive today because of the actions of our defence forces and diplomats in the Middle East, Africa and on the Mediterranean. It is something we should always be immensely proud of.

I welcome the decision to offer visits by experienced peacekeepers and diplomats to our schools. It will give our local young people a better understanding of peacekeeping work, the role of the UN and the opportunities available both in the Defence Forces and at our growing network of embassies worldwide. This new ‘Global Schools’ Programme will also outline to students how Ireland is currently increasing its presence across the world and why. Already our entire diplomatic network has been mobilised in order to try and secure Ireland a seat at the UN Security Council in 2020. But it is also vitally important that people in our communities are behind the bid and understand that we have a voice which is increasingly important in an uncertain world. I encourage all our secondary schools to accept the offer of a visit. It will encourage a new generation to be a voice for the voiceless and to protect human rights for all into the future.”