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Gilmore expresses support for Ireland’s participation in UN Disengagement Observer Force

United Nations, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2013

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., has expressed his strong support for the deployment of Irish troops with the UN in the Syrian Golan.

Speaking on the proposed deployment today in the Dáil, the Tánaiste said:

“The resolution before the House is part of the Triple Lock system, under which deployment of the Defence Forces overseas depends on a UN Mandate, a Government Decision, and a resolution of the House.

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my strong support for the approval of the resolution before the House.  I have been working closely with Minister Shatter in relation to this request and fully support the proposed deployment of a contingent from the Defence Force to UNDOF.

The Tánaiste concluded:

I want to take this opportunity to extend my good wishes to those members of the Defence Force who will deploy on this mission.  I want to thank them for their service to our country, to the United Nations and to the cause of peace.”

The Tánaiste will speak to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon this evening to confirm that, following today’s approval by Dáil Éireann, Ireland will deploy a contingent from the Permanent Defence Force to serve as a Force Reserve with the UNDOF mission.

The Tánaiste will thank the Secretary General for the UN’s ongoing efforts to ensure that all possible precautions are taken in relation to the safety and security of UN personnel. 

The Secretary General has already expressed to the Tánaiste his deep appreciation for Ireland’s contribution to UNDOF.  He also paid tribute to Ireland’s longstanding commitment to UN peacekeeping and to the calibre of Irish peacekeepers.

Ban Ki-moon re-iterated the importance of the presence of Irish peacekeepers in the Golan Heights area in terms of the stability and credibility of the UNDOF mission.

Referring to Ireland’s history of engagement in peacekeeping, Gilmore stated:

“Participation in UN peacekeeping missions is an integral part of our foreign policy and commitment to international peace and security.

I believe that the UN is only as strong and effective as its member states enable it to be, and I am very glad that Ireland is able to make this important contribution to stabilising this region and to strengthening the UN’s presence there.

I would also like to reiterate my unwavering commitment to Ireland’s triple lock mechanism, on which this deployment depends.

The ‘triple lock’ enjoys overwhelming public support and is the essential foundation for the participation of Irish military personnel in overseas operations. It has served the State well, providing the fullest possible legitimisation for the contribution which our Defence Forces are making to international peacekeeping.

I am convinced that a UN mandate is vital if a peacekeeping mission is to be effective in achieving its goals.”

The Tánaiste will advise the Secretary General that he has received strong expressions of support from a range of countries in relation to Ireland’s participation in UNDOF.  He is also pleased to learn that, arising from this, a number of countries have indicated that they will strengthen their contribution to UN peacekeeping missions in the region.