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Minister Flanagan meets Head of UN Peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous

United Nations, Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Ireland, 2016

- Discussions focus on essential role played by Irish peacekeepers in UN missions – especially in the Middle East
- Ireland remains committed to UN peacekeeping, a central aspect of our foreign policy

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, met United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Hervé Ladsous, in Iveagh House today, Wednesday 28 September for discussions on UN peacekeeping.

Following the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:

I was delighted to have the opportunity for detailed discussions with Under-Secretary-General Ladsous this morning, having last had bilateral talks with him about Irish peacekeeping during my visit to the United Nations in 2014.

“The unbroken record of contribution by Irish service men and women in peacekeeping since 1958 is a concrete demonstration of our active membership of the United Nations. Ireland currently provides 386 peacekeepers to seven UN peacekeeping missions.

“This is a key component of our foreign policy objectives to work for a fairer, more just, secure and sustainable world.

“USG Ladsous spoke of the high regard in which Irish troops are held both in the UN and in the communities where they serve due to their skills and professionalism. We discussed in particular Ireland’s contribution to peacekeeping operations in the Middle East, a region beset by challenges where Ireland is playing a key role, especially through our troops serving with UNIFIL and UNDOF - I have visited our troops in both missions and seen first-hand the important and challenging work they do. An Irishman, Major General Michael Beary, was recently appointed Head of Mission, Force Commander of UNIFIL, a great honour for Ireland.

“We also discussed the vital role that women play in all aspects of peace and security and the particular importance of women’s active participation in and leadership of peacekeeping operations. Lt. Col. Mary Carroll will command Ireland’s next contingent to UNDOF and I wish her and the men and women of the 54th Infantry Group a safe and successful deployment which begins early next month.

“Last week in New York, during my visit to the UNGA, I had the opportunity to discuss a range of issues with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and several foreign ministers, including how the international community can respond effectively to the growing demands on peacekeeping operations.”

ENDS
Press Office
28 September 2016

Notes for Editor:

UNDOF – UN Disengagement Observation Force
UNIFIL – UN Interim Force in Lebanon

IRISH PARTICIPATION IN UN MISSIONS (as at 1st September 2016)

(i) UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ - 30
UNIFIL 53rd Infantry Group - 185
UNIFIL Sector West HQ - 4

(ii) UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) Israel & Syria - 11

(iii) MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) - 3

(iv) MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo) - 4

(v) UNOCI (United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast) - 1

(vi) UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) HQ,
Golan Heights, Syria - 7
UNDOF 52nd Infantry Group - 129

(vii) UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) An Garda Síochána - 12

TOTAL - 386