TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar will open a new Irish consulate general in Miami this week while in the US to attend the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Mr Varadkar’s trip began yesterday, when he arrived in New York and addressed a summit on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative.
The event provided an overview of the UN’s shared blueprint for “peace and prosperity for people and the planet by 2030”.
Noting that progress towards achieving those goals is currently behind schedule, Mr Varadkar urged the UN leaders in attendance to redouble their efforts to secure them.
"My visit to the United Nations comes at a time of critical challenge for the world,” he said.
“Ireland has been centrally involved in developing and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals which were adopted in 2015,” he added.
“Progress towards achieving them has been set back by the pandemic, the consequences of conflict, including in Ukraine, and by the increasing pace and ferocity of extreme weather events,” he explained, before calling on the UN leaders to “make maximum use of the time ahead to make up this lost ground, and to really focus on ensuring we reach the targets we have set ourselves by 2030”.
Today Mr Varadkar will attend the opening of the UN’s 78th General Assembly, during which he will have meetings with fellow UN leaders.
On Friday Mr Varadkar will deliver Ireland’s National Statement to the UN Assembly.
While in New York the Taoiseach has a varied programme of events planned, which includes meetings with young Irish people in the tech sector; an address to the Council of Foreign Relations, and a lunch with the Ireland Funds organisation.
He will also visit the Irish Arts Center, which is currently hosting an exhibition of work by artist Colin Davidson.
Later this week Mr Varadkar will travel to Miami, where he will officially open Ireland’s ninth consulate general in the US and meet with representatives of the local Irish community.
"I am also greatly looking forward to renewing contacts with the Irish community in New York, including young people working in tech, and Board Members of the Irish Funds who have done so much to promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland,” Mr Varadkar said.
"I am also pleased to have the opportunity to officially open Ireland’s new Consulate General in Miami - our ninth in the United States, and a further signal of the Government’s commitment to continuing to deepen our diplomatic presence in the Americas,” he added.