Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Ceisteanna - Questions (resumed) - Priority Questions
Partnership for Peace
Ireland's co-operation with NATO is conducted through the Partnership for Peace, which we joined in 1999 following approval by Dáil Éireann. Ireland’s purpose in participating in the Partnership for Peace is to improve Defence Forces capabilities and to ensure that our Defence Forces are interoperable with the forces of other states engaged in UN mandated crisis management operations. Ireland’s continued participation in Partnership for Peace was reaffirmed in the White Paper on Defence, which was published last year.
At the NATO summit in Wales in September 2014, the establishment of the Partnership Interoperability Initiative was endorsed with the purpose of reinforcing the alliance's commitment to co-operative security and interoperable capability development. As a participant in the Partnership for Peace, Ireland is also a member of the Partnership Interoperability Initiative which is now referred to as the Partnership Interoperability Platform. For Ireland, this platform provides a format for consulting and working on common interoperability challenges to enhance our ability to operate with partners in future crisis management operations.
Defence Ministers from partners and allies participating in the interoperability platform have been invited to attend a meeting of participating states at the Warsaw summit. Given the importance of interoperability for force protection and effectiveness on operations, I plan to attend that meeting on 8 and 9 July 2016. As Ireland is not a member of NATO, the question of attendance at the NATO summit itself does not arise.