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Minister Charlie Flanagan announces new Irish peacekeeping initiative at major New York summit

European Union, United Nations, Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, North America, Ireland, 2014

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., today announced a new Government programme to train African peace-keepers.

Speaking at major summit hosted by US Vice President Joe Biden and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York, Minister Flanagan said Ireland would draw on our long experience of peace-keeping to help other countries assure regional security.

“Ireland has acquired a proud track record in UN peacekeeping missions over more than 50 years. In recent years, Irish peacekeepers have gained additional expertise through EU training missions in Mali and Somalia,” he said.

“We want to assist prospective partners to enhance their own skills and capacities and to play their part in meeting the challenges of regional peace and security. Our training programme will draw on the widely-acknowledged expertise of Irish peacekeepers and also reflect UN best practice.

“The training will include a specific focus on areas including protection of civilians, gender sensitivity, human rights and leadership training and logistics. There are also niche areas in which Ireland has specific expertise, such as training in countering improvised explosive devices or training for military police.”

The African countries will be selected from among those with which Ireland already has a long-established relationship through the Government’s development cooperation programme, Irish Aid.

Minister Flanagan said the programme will involve training officers and NCOs who will then have responsibility for training within their own forces.

“We would hope in this way to strengthen partners’ ability to assume the burdens of peacekeeping and to make a strong and sustainable contribution to UN peacekeeping missions into the future.”

Detailed planning on the scope, locations and focus of training will now get underway in coordination with the UN, the EU and other contributors.

Today’s summit, Strengthening United Nations Peace Operations, takes place against the backdrop of plans by the UN Secretary General for a review of peacekeeping.

 

Press Office

26 September 2014

 

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