The Irish Influence: Building the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization (Crua/H/Back)
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For most of World War II the two most important international organisations in the world were headed by Irish citizens: Seán Lester and Edward Phelan. The Irish Influence traces the careers and legacies of these two contrasting diplomats who played a significant role in the development of international relations and multilateralism in the twentieth century.
Seán Lester was an important actor in the League of Nations, rising to become Secretary-General. He led the organisation in its most difficult years approaching and during World War II. Edward Phelan joined the International Labour Organization as ‘the first international civil servant’ and became Director-General.
Lester was a northern Protestant and one-time member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Phelan was a southern Catholic and Irish Parliamentary Party supporter. Both were committed citizens of Ireland and international peace-builders. Their legacy is testimony to the Irish influence in the politics of international institutions.
On the centenary of the Irish Free State joining the League of Nations in 1923, their story reveals how important a role a small independent state like Ireland played – and could continue to play – in progressive international relations.
|244 × 163 × 30 mm