UN peacekeeping is one of the most effective and visible tools of the UN in the promotion and maintenance of peace and security across the globe. There are currently 13 UN peacekeeping operations worldwide, with over 95,000 uniformed personnel from over 120 countries. It is one of the world's most collaborative efforts to deliver stability and safety to millions of people and it is a global effort to which Ireland is fully committed. With contributions from the Defence Forces and from An Garda Síochána, Ireland is present in more than half of those operations.
UN peacekeepers are increasingly deployed to complex and volatile environments. It is vital that peacekeeping operations are designed in a way that ensures they are effective, efficient, focussed on the protection of civilians and responsive to the needs on the ground. During our time on the Security Council, Ireland will work with partners to deliver peacekeeping mandates that align with the needs of the people they seeks to protect and have the resources necessary to do so.
We will also support the cooperation of the United Nations with regional organisations, such as the African Union and the European Union, who are increasingly taking responsibility for peacekeeping operations under UN authorisation. In this framework, Ireland participates in a number of EU military crisis management and civilian crisis management missions.
In undertaking this work, we remain cognisant that peacekeeping is not an end in itself but a tool to create the space for locally-owned political solutions. In that area too, Ireland looks forward to playing our part during our forthcoming tenure on the UN Security Council.