Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ceisteanna (43, 60)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

43. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Permanent Defence Forces personnel expected to serve on UN-led missions in 2018; the locations of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10381/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

60. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Permanent Defence Forces personnel serving in UN-led missions; the location of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10380/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 43 and 60 together.

As of 1 March 2018, Ireland is contributing 586 Defence Forces personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations.

The United Nations missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 377 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 135 personnel, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in Israel and Syria with 12 personnel, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with 3 personnel and the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) with 4 personnel.

The 377 personnel in UNIFIL serve alongside Finnish Armed Forces as a part of a joint battalion of which Ireland took over command in November 2016.  As a consequence of taking over command,  an additional Company of some 150 personnel were deployed as part of Ireland's contribution to this mission.

Ireland has a long and continuous record of contributing to peacekeeping missions.  Participation in these missions demonstrates Ireland's strong support for the role of the United Nations in international peacekeeping.  The current contribution of some 586 personnel to overseas missions reflects the Government's continued commitment to our responsibilities in this area. 

The Department of Defence constantly reviews the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas.  With regard to any future deployments of Defence Forces personnel overseas, Ireland receives requests, from time to time, in relation to participation in various missions and these are considered on a case-by-case basis.

At the Government  Meeting on 27 February 2018, I secured approval for the deployment in 2018 of a contingent of the Permanent Defence Force  to serve once again as part of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy naval mission in the Mediterranean,  Operation Sophia. Arrangements are currently being made for two Irish naval vessels to deploy consecutively under rotation for a period of approximately 32 weeks in total.  

Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement below and will be circulated with the Official Report.

MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE SERVING OVERSEAS

AS OF 1 MARCH 2018

UN MISSIONS 

Amount

UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ

UNIFIL 111th Infantry Battalion

UNIFIL Sector West HQ

30

339

8

UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) Israel & Syria

 12

MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)

MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic of the Congo) 

UNDOF (FHQ Staff, Camp Ziouani - Alpha side)

UNDOF (COS Staff - Camp Faouar - Bravo side)

UNDOF 56th Infantry Group (Camp Ziouani) 

6

2

127

TOTAL

531 

UN MANDATED MISSIONS

 

EUFOR (EU-led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina)

EUTM Mali (EU-led Training Mission) 

20 

KFOR (International Security Presence in Kosovo) HQ 

12 

Operational HQ/Floating HQ (Operation Sophia HQ) 

TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS

572 

 

 

ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)

 

Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group, Vienna

1

TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH OSCE

1

 

 

EU MILITARY STAFF

 

Brussels

3

 

 

MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES/ADVISERS/STAFF

 

Military Adviser, Permanent Mission to UN, New York

1

Military Adviser, Irish Delegation to OSCE, Vienna

1

Military Representative to EU (Brussels)

4

Liaison Officer of Ireland, NATO/PfP (Brussels)

2

EU OHQ Operation Althea, Mons, Belgium

1

Irish Liaison Officer to SHAPE & Military Co-Op Division, Mons, Belgium

1

 

 

TOTAL NUMBER OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONNEL SERVING OVERSEAS

586