Former Irish president Mary Robinson will play a vital role trying to bring peace to one of Africa's most troubled regions, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has said.
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has appointed Ms Robinson as special envoy to the Great Lakes, to oversee a peace deal in the area.
Mr Gilmore said Ms Robinson's exceptional skills and experience as well as her global profile and reputation made her the ideal person for the job.
He said; "In overseeing the implementation of the new regional agreement, former president Mary Robinson will play a central role in facilitating and encouraging leaders of the region to address through dialogue and co-operation the challenges faced by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and countries of the region."
Mr Gilmore said Ireland has a long and significant involvement in attempts to bring peace and stability to the troubled area.
Ms Robinson, 68, was Irish president from 1990 to 1997. She was a UN high commissioner for human rights between 1997 and 2002.
Mr Gilmore also praised her work on poverty, hunger and climate change.
"I want to pay tribute to her ongoing work in this area and to wish her every success in her new position, where she can count on the full support of the Irish Government," he added.