Ireland's two-year campaign to win a seat on the UN Security Council is underway after the official launch in New York overnight.
The Taoiseach and Tánaiste stressed how our history of peacekeeping could bring a unique voice to the council.
While former President Mary Robinson suggested that Ireland could play a role in preventing sexual exploitation.
The human rights advocate also criticised the US, Russia and other permanent members of the council for using their veto on serious issues.
She described sexual exploitation as an act of war.
U2 star Bono also addressed the launch, criticising US President Donald Trump's government for pulling out of the Paris climate accord.
He spoke about how Ireland's storied history can impact on the security of the world:
“You need storytellers,” he said.”Why? Because words matter.”
“Peace is not just a word but the word matters and another word – perhaps the most important word in the whole English language outside of love – matters.
“Compromise; the word is compromise because that is how you achieve peace.
“Compromise is a word the Irish people understand very, very well.”
A two year campaign now lies ahead before a decision is taken on the council seat.
Ireland is competing with Norway and Canada for one of two spaces on the council in 2021.