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Minister Paul Kehoe attends UN Defence Ministerial in London
Thursday 8th September 2016

Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, T.D. today (Thursday, 8
th September) attended the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London. The event is a follow on from the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping held in New York on 28th September 2015. Today’s event focused on the commitment of resources to UN peacekeeping, the development of a coherent shared plan for how peacekeeping can play its part in implementing the Women Peace and Security agenda and a number of key challenges facing UN military deployments.

The Minister welcomed the opportunity to meet with fellow Defence Ministers to discuss contributions to peace support operations and UN commitments to enhancing operational effectiveness in peacekeeping. Today’s Defence Ministerial presented an opportunity to progress peacekeeping reform.

The Minister commented “I believe this summit provides a timely opportunity to consider the evolution of UN peacekeeping as we face new and more complex security and peacekeeping challenges across the globe. A central tenet of Irish foreign policy is support for the multilateral system of collective security represented by the United Nations. Ireland is committed to ensuring the continued effectiveness of UN operations and, in this regard, will increase its contribution to UN Missions with the deployment of an additional 150 personnel to UNIFIL, the UN Mission in Lebanon, later this year.”

The Minister added “today’s discussions also provided an opportunity to advance the Women Peace and Security agenda in peacekeeping operations. This is an area in which Irish peacekeepers have taken a proactive role. The promotion of a strong gender perspective is a key element of all our peacekeeping operations. The further development of female participation in peacekeeping contingents is one of the projects being advanced within the Defence Forces under the Government’s White Paper on Defence.”

Ireland has an unbroken, long and highly regarded history of participation in overseas missions mandated by the United Nations since 1958, which has comprised approximately 68,000 individual tours of duty. Currently, some 500 Defence Forces personnel are serving overseas.

ENDS



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