Tánaiste announces plans for a Consultative Forum on International Security Policy
Press release05 April 2023
The Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD, has announced plans for a Consultative Forum on International Security Policy.
The Forum, which will take place in June 2023, will build a deeper understanding of the threats faced by the State, and the links to, and between, our foreign, security and defence policy.
It will focus on a wide range of issues, including Ireland’s efforts to protect the rules-based international order, through peacekeeping and crisis management, disarmament and non-proliferation, international humanitarian law, and conflict prevention & peacebuilding as well as allowing for a discussion on Ireland’s policy of military neutrality.
The Forum will also provide an opportunity to examine the experiences and policy choices of other partners in responding to the new security environment in Europe.
Speaking after Government today, the Tánaiste said:
“The international security environment has changed significantly over the last year. We have seen blatant and brutal disregard by Russia of international law and Europe’s collective security architecture, bringing war to the European continent. Ireland’s commitment to a rules-based international order with the UN Charter at its heart, and our traditional policy of military neutrality, do not inure us from the need to respond to this new reality. The Consultative Forum on International Security Policy will allow for an open and informed discussion on the issues involved”.
The Tánaiste went on to note:
“The Consultative Forum will provide a unique opportunity to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the foreign policy, and security and defence community, as well as civil society, political representatives, academics and other relevant bodies, as well as members of the broader public. We need to have a serious, and an honest conversation, about the international security policy options available to the State and the implications of each of these, as well as examining ways in which we can work with, and learn, from other European and international partners”.
The Forum will also have one overall Chair who will be tasked with directing and overseeing the discussions.
In this regard, the Tánaiste added:
“After consideration of a number of candidates, I am delighted to confirm that Louise Richardson DBE, the highly-respected President of the Carnegie Corporation and former vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, has agreed to take on the important role as the independent Chair of the Forum. I am confident that Ms. Richardson, who is a native of County Waterford, and a distinguished political scientist with a strong expertise in security policy in her own right, will play a hugely positive role in chairing the discussions”.
The Consultative Forum will take place in three different locations across four days in June 2023; on 22 June at University College Cork, on 23 June at the University of Galway, and on 26-27 June at Dublin Castle.
The Forum will also be open to the general public, with opportunities to attend in-person or virtually and to make written submissions. Further details will be made available in the coming weeks.