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End of our Neutrality!
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Thursday February 09, 2006 21:55 by Anti PANA
Ireland joins the EU Battlegroups
O’Dea gives green light for Ireland’s Future Participation in EU Battlegroups.
At last Ireland is begining to pull its weight internationally.
Expect the usual suspects to be crying out tomorrow that this is the end of our supposed neutrality.
Michael D, the Green, shinners, the screaming headline form Daily Ireland and crying on Newstalk.
we need to face up to the truth we are not neutral.
O’Dea gives green light for Ireland’s Future Participation in EU-led
Peace Support Missions
Defence Act to be amended to facilitate PDF participation in humanitarian operations
This afternoon in McKee Barracks, Defence Minister Willie O’Dea T.D. announced that, following informal discussions at Government, he has authorised his officials to open exploratory discussions with potential EU partners on Ireland’s participation in a Battlegroup.
Emphasising that Ireland’s staunch support for the Charter of the United Nations and of the primacy of the UN Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security would continue, Mr O’Dea stated “we take very seriously our obligation under the Charter to make armed forces, assistance and facilities, available to the Security Council, in order to contribute to international peace support operations.”
“Battlegroups are simply another vehicle within which Ireland can continue to play its role and contribute to effective multilateral action in support of international peace and security. They are one further way of expressing our commitment to the UN and its principles.
We will seek, in cooperation with like-minded nations, to contribute to the development of the Battlegroup concept and, through this, to remain at the forefront of developments within the international community in supporting international peace support operations. To date, 22 of the 25 EU Member States have made a commitment to a Battlegroup. Our participation is fully in accordance with our traditional support for the UN. Deployment of our troops in individual peace support operations will be decided by own national decision-making process, on a case-by-case basis. The Triple Lock of UN, Government and Dáil approval will continue.
The EU has the capacity to intervene and to quickly deploy a temporary force into a developing situation and to prevent it from escalating into a catastrophe. It has the potential to play an increasing role in responding to such crises, in providing humanitarian relief and in supporting the maintenance of international peace and security in furtherance of the aims of the United Nations and the UN Charter.
In the past two decades we have witnessed some of the worst atrocities in man’s history, most notably the carnage in Rwanda and Srebenica. Accepting this role is not just an EU ambition, rather it is an EU obligation.
Participation in a Battlegroup imposes no obligations in relation to international or multilateral defence. Ireland’s basis for participation in missions undertaken by the EU is grounded in the legitimacy conveyed by the UN Security Council. This will not change.
I intend to update the wording in the Defence Act to more closely reflect current practice in the formulation of UN Security Council resolutions endorsing Peace Support Operations. I also propose to provide for the participation by Defence Forces personnel in humanitarian operations in response to natural and man-made disasters such as the tsunami in South East Asia or the earthquake in Pakistan.
“The UN is asking us to continue to make the expertise, and commitment of our Defence Forces available to them, including through the EU Battlegroups. Not to do so would be to depart from our traditional policy of full support to the UN.” concluded Mr. O’Dea.
Issued by: Department of Defence Press Office. Ph. 8042108 / 087 2340397