Written Answers. - Partnership for Peace.

Billy Timmins

Question:

209 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Defence if any new legislation will be necessary to facilitate our membership in the Partnership for Peace; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8257/01]

Ireland's approach to participation in PfP was set out in the Presentation Document of 1 December 1999, which was approved by this House. The Presentation Document included the five priority areas of co-operation on international peacekeeping; humanitarian operations; search and rescue; co-operation in the protection of the environment and co-operation in marine matters.

Ireland's objectives for participation in PfP include: to promote the development of a just and peaceful international society based on the rule of law, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; to foster democratic control of armed forces internationally; to contribute to development of best practice in the areas of international peacekeeping and humanitarian operations; to enhance the capabilities of military officers, civil servants and diplomats engaged in the shaping and executing of security and defence policies; to enhance the capabilities, including the area of interoperability, of Ireland's Defence Forces for peacekeeping, preventative and crisis management operations under UN mandates; to enhance the capabilities of Ireland's Defence Forces, Civil Defence and other relevant organisations to contribute to the areas of civil emergency planning; to share information and expertise particularly in the area of international peacekeeping, arms control, civil emergency planning, humanitarian operations, search and rescue, scientific and environmental issues.

Following on from joining PfP, a programme for Ireland's participation has recently been agreed. This is Ireland's first Individual Partnership Programme, IPP, and therefore provides an initial presentation of Ireland's broad approach and planned activities. The IPP has been drawn up in the light of existing legislation and therefore no new legislation is necessary.
Details of the planned activities, which allow for adjustment based on policy development and the availability of financial and other resources, has been placed in the Oireachtas Library.
As a primary function of PfP is to enable States to enhance their capacity to co-operate in peace support operations, I want to take this opportunity to re-state the Government's position which is that Ireland will approach each mission on a case by case basis and only participate in operations authorised by the UN in accordance with the appropriate legislation, that is, the Defence Act (1954), the Defence (Amendment) No. 2 Act (1960) and the Defence (Amendment) Act 1993.