The Irish Government today appointed former Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Dame Nuala O'Loan as a special UN envoy on women and peace-making.
Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin made the announcement to mark International Women's Day, which falls tomorrow.
English-born Dame Nuala, a former human rights lawyer, was Police Ombudsman from 1999 to 2007.
She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 New Year Honours.
Mr Martin said the former Ombudsman made a significant contribution to the implementation of the Northern Ireland peace process and to conflict-resolution in Timor-Leste where she was a roving ambassador for conflict resolution.
The appointment is an indication of the importance Ireland attaches to the role of women in peace-making and peace-building, said Mr Martin.
"Her example as a woman in a strong leadership position has particular resonance," he minister added.
"As societies move from conflict towards sustainable peace, Nuala can be a source of inspiration to women striving to have their voices heard in decisions that affect their lives on a daily basis."
As Ireland's roving ambassador for conflict resolution and special envoy to Timor-Leste, Dame Nuala travelled twice to Timor-Leste.
She will also travel to Liberia in her new capacity as Ireland's Special Envoy on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.