Former president of Ireland and Mayo native Mary Robinson has been appointed UN Special Envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region.
Security Council members unanimously supported her appointment and Mrs Robinson will be responsible for implementing a UN support agreement to end the cycle of violence in the central African region.
Her team are to be based in Dublin and Bujumbura and Mrs Robinson is due to visit the region in the coming weeks.
In a statement the Ballina native said she was honoured that the UN Secretary General had entrusted her with this important responsibility.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore in welcoming the appointment said her exceptional skills and experience made her the ideal choice.
“Ireland has had a long and significant involvement in efforts to promote peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country which has for far too long endured conflict and tragedy,” Mr Gilmore told RTÉ.
“Ireland strongly supports the leadership offered by the United Nations, and in particular the personal diplomatic engagement of the Secretary-General, in this renewed effort to break the cycle of violence in eastern DRC.”
The Tánaiste offered Mrs Robinson the full support of the Irish Government.
Mrs Robinson, who served as president from 1990 to 1997, has more than four decades of political and diplomatic experience, including United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002.