Ireland needs to become a bridge builder within the UN, according to former President, Ballina native, Mary Robinson.

Ireland last night launched a bid to be added to the UN Security Council.

Officials say it would give an opportunity to be involved in the major decisions facing the world over the next few years.

Mary Robinson says it's a role in which Ireland can excel.

The former UN Commissioner is one of those strongly supporting Ireland’s bid to secure  a seat in 2021.

She also criticised some of the permanent members of the council like the US and Russia for using a veto on serious issues.

Among the issues she wants tackled is sexual exploitation, which was described as an act of war.

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste, who are in New York, have stressed how our history of peacekeeping could bring a unique voice to the council.

U2 star Bono also addressed the launch, criticising Donald Trump's government for pulling out of the Paris climate accord.

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