Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (120)

Bernard Durkan


120. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the degree to which the international community remains focused on the various flashpoints globally that are affected by war, starvation, ethnic cleansing and genocide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25581/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The number and complexity of humanitarian crises globally has increased in recent years, with the UN estimating that over 140 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and protection. Conflict is the most significant driver of this increased need.

Ireland prioritises the provision of needs based, principled humanitarian aid to high profile humanitarian crises such as Syria but also to "forgotten crises" which receive less attention such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Sudan. Over 90% of Ireland’s humanitarian funding in 2018 was directed in support of those affected by conflict.

Critical to maximising Ireland’s response is our strong and enduring commitment to effective multilateralism, particularly through our membership of the European Union and the United Nations. Ireland is a strong contributor not just to decisions regarding the international humanitarian response to crises but also to efforts to prevent conflict and to resolve conflict.

Ireland has a long tradition of contributing to UN and EU peace-support missions, including in some of the world’s most complex and intractable conflicts. Ireland has maintained a continuous presence in UN peace support operations since 1958, and has more than 570 personnel in United Nations mandated missions overseas. The Government is committed to participation in peace-keeping operations as a tangible contribution to the development of global peace and security. This commitment informs Ireland’s decision to seek election to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the period 2021-22. If elected, membership of the Security Council would allow Ireland to play an important influencing role in the international response to the needs of the most vulnerable.