I propose to take Questions Nos. 24, 29 and 112 together.
As the Deputies will be aware, the question of Ireland's participation in Partnership for Peace was the subject of a Private Member's motion and debate on 28 January 1999 in this House, culminating in the passing by the House of a Government resolution undertaking favourably to examine further Ireland's participation in PfP, taking into account the ongoing public debate. Any decision by the Government in favour of Ireland's participation in PfP would be submitted to the House for its approval and would make clear the nature and scope of such participation. The Government published an explanatory guide to PfP on 20 May 1999, as part of the preparatory process. This guide is widely available. Partnership for Peace was also the subject of statements in the House on the same day.
Participants in PfP subscribe to a framework document which sets out the basic purposes and objectives of PfP. In addition, individual states decide on the scope and extent of their participation in PfP activities and, in this regard, agree individual partnership programmes covering the activities to which they wish to subscribe. In Ireland's case, should it be decided to participate in PfP, it is envisaged that selected activities would include peacekeeping under a UN mandate and humanitarian and rescue tasks. These are activities in line with our traditional involvement and experience in these areas. These activities would also be reflected in Ireland's presentation document which would be presented to NATO upon signature by Ireland of the PfP framework document. These matters will be addressed in detail in the coming months as will the question of resource implications. I would stress, however, that it is the policy of the Government to ensure that the Defence Forces are adequately trained, equipped and resourced to undertake whatever overseas operations they are assigned from time to time and in line with the Taoiseach's announcement that membership of PfP will not lead to any increase in real defence spending.