Letter to the Editor: Lisbon Treaty Referendum
Published in The Irish Times, 17 August 2009, while working for Ireland for Europe
A chara, – Roger Cole’s article (Opinion, August 13th) outlined Ireland’s tradition of neutrality over the years, but not once does he mention the United Nations.
He neglects that fact that since joining the UN in 1955, Ireland has secured a reputation as a reliable force for peacekeeping. Whether in the Congo, Lebanon, East Timor or Liberia, we have been rightly proud of the contribution Irish troops have made. Traditionally, the UN managed such combat groups directly, but increasingly the UN delegates modern crisis management missions to regional operations, such as the EU. Most recently, the Irish Defence Forces have been taking part in the peacekeeping operations in Chad. While directed by European Union through EUfor, it is entirely in line with UN policy.
Indeed, Government policy does not allow our Defence Forces to take part in any action not sanctioned by the UN, and this has been recognised by the other 26 EU member-states in the international agreement which secured with our recent guarantees. Rather than interfering with our military traditions, the EU will in fact allow us to continue to develop the role we have shaped for ourselves internationally. – Is mise,
Bray, Co. Wicklow