By Cate McCurry, PA
The Taoiseach has warned business leaders that Ireland and the world is facing a moment of “great crisis” and unpredictability over the war in Ukraine.
Micheál Martin said Russia’s war has created challenges across the European Union.
Speaking at the Global Ireland Summit event at Dublin Castle, Mr Martin said Ireland and the EU must hold Russia to account.
Those speaking at the event included Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, and Mathias Cormann, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The speakers are addressing ways in which Ireland can engage with international institutions and challenges.
“We have to support and speak up for Ukraine, as they have asked us to do. We have to hold Russia to account,” Mr Martin said.
“If we want to safeguard and restore peace and prosperity at home and abroad, ultimately we need to invest our human capital towards that ambition.
“We have to work hard to create lasting and sustainable relationships with our partners – built on trust, reciprocity and transparency.
“We have to convince others that multilateral partnership matters.
“This is a moment of great crisis – a time of great unpredictability for the world, for Europe, for all of us.
“This is also one of those moments when the distinction between domestic policy and foreign policy evaporates before our eyes.
“Events at the eastern edge of Europe will create challenges right across the European Union, throughout the Middle East and Africa.
“Here in Ireland, a damaging cycle of rising inflation and interest rates is impacting on the cost of living and will create challenges in our economy.
“And we have a responsibility for the displaced people and refugees who have seen their homes and their communities laid waste by Putin.
This is a moment of great crisis for the world, for Europe, for all of us.
The #GlobalIreland ambition is to make our voice count on the international stage; for enterprise, trade, culture, diplomacy, peacebuilding and development.
Speech: https://t.co/ezHqrwBq3D pic.twitter.com/fedU2hYGql
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) April 14, 2022
“External problems are now also internal. We are all touched by the war in Ukraine.
“Our future wellbeing is tied to that of the wider European continent, and arguably wider than that.
“In this context, we need to ensure that we get the balance right, ensuring agility and resilience built on social, cultural and enterprising investment at home, and diversified and constructive relations abroad.”
Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan said addressing climate change will help address some of the issues that have emerged from the war, including reliance on Russia’s energy supplies.
He told the summit the Government will address the cost-of-living crisis by improving homes.
“We have now the key plans in place, the Housing For All strategy, our National Development Plan and the climate action plan backed up by one of the strongest climate laws,” Mr Ryan added.
“So now we need to deliver, we need to deliver in a sustainable mobility here at home which is going to be better for our people.
“We need to deliver by addressing the cost-of-living crisis by retrofitting and improving people’s homes.
“We need to deliver by thinking of our land in a new way, protecting our water and our air quality and our biodiversity as well as addressing emissions.
“That’s a project that belongs to everyone, belongs to every political party. We won’t succeed if we do this as a divisive political goal.
“It is going to be better for our country. We won’t achieve it by wagging our fingers at people telling them what they should do, shaming them.
“We’ve learned that the way this works is we inspire people to a common goal. And that’s what we’re doing. We will do it because it will be a better way forward for our country.”