Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power will address a UN conference on Palestine in New York today. Power was invited to speak at the conference at the United Nations Headquarters on foot of her motion calling for Ireland to recognise the State of Palestine, which was unanimously agreed by the Seanad last month.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Senator Power said she would be outlining the background to the Seanad motion and how she secured all-party support for it.

“I will also be updating the UN on our efforts to get a similar motion through the Dáil and ensure Ireland recognises Palestine as soon as possible. Setting this example will encourage other countries to do the same,” she said.

“Recognising Palestine won’t of itself bring peace to the region. However, it is a strong statement of support for the Palestinian people and a signal to Israel that it must stop its aggression and work to secure a genuine two-state solution to the conflict. In the aftermath of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, the international campaign to recognise Palestine is growing in strength. It has even been backed by prominent Israeli public figures, including former ministers, ambassadors and army generals who believe it is essential to kick start a proper peace process,” she said.

Senator Power will also be attending a UN General Assembly meeting on Palestine on Monday and is meeting the Irish Ambassador to the UN ahead of it.

“Like many Irish people, I was disgusted when Ireland chickened out of supporting a UN Human Rights Council motion earlier this year calling for an investigation into Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

“Abstaining on that vote made it look like Ireland is ambivalent about human rights abuses. I intend to stress to our Ambassador that Ireland must take a far stronger position in future.”