The United Nations has agreed new procedures for next month’s Security Council vote.

Ireland is hoping to win a two-year, rotating seat on the council in 2021 and is competing against Canada and Norway.

In the past, member states have voted by secret ballot during a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

However, because of the coronavirus and social distancing, a new system has been agreed that will see United Nations ambassadors casting their ballots at different time slots throughout the day at the UN headquarters in New York.

Voting is expected to go ahead on 17 June as previously planned. 

The new voting rules have been agreed and are expected to be confirmed next week when the President of the General Assembly issues a letter to member states. 

Ireland won rotating terms on the UN Security Council in the past in 1962, 1981 and 2001. 

The Irish Government officially launched its campaign to secure a seat two years ago and since then President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney have all visited the UN headquarters in New York to promote Ireland’s candidacy.

Cultural events involving the likes of U2 and Riverdance have also formed part of Ireland’s Security Council bid.