Thursday, 7 November 2019
Department of Defence
Partnership for Peace
21. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on the membership of Ireland in Partnership for Peace under the auspices of NATO; his views on the way in which the efforts of NATO at re-organising its partnership structures will influence the position of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45089/19]
Ireland’s relations with NATO are set within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Partnership for Peace. The primary aim of Ireland's Partnership for Peace participation is to enhance the Defence Forces’ interoperability with other professional military forces for the purpose of engaging in UN authorised peacekeeping and peace support operations led by the UN, EU or NATO.
Over the past 20 years, participation in Partnership for Peace has been fundamental to Ireland being able to keep abreast of developments in areas such as training, humanitarian aspects of peacekeeping and interoperability and enhances the ability of our peacekeepers to work alongside those of our partners. It also enables us to share our own peacekeeping skills with a wide range of countries. Ireland’s involvement has delivered significant improvements for our Defence Forces in terms of capability development and operational capacity. This has enabled us to make a positive impact, particularly in undertaking more demanding international crisis management operations.
As a result of NATO's recent reorganisation of its partnership structures, the responsibility for Partners in Partnership for Peace is being transferred from the Defence Policy and Planning Division to a newly formed directorate within an Operations Division. This new Directorate is called the Defence Institution and Capacity Building Directorate.
It will involve all partnership programmes transferring to the new Directorate and that includes the Planning and Review Process, the Defence and related security Capacity Building initiative, Building Integrity, the Defence Education Enhancement Programme, the Professional Development Programme, and the Military Career Transition Programme.
One of the purposes behind the consolidation of these programmes in a single staff structure, is to ensure greater coherence and coordination between the programmes and to ensure that the programmes are better aligned with the agreed objectives of the individual partnership relationships. I am satisfied that Ireland will continue to benefit as we move to a new NATO organisation structure and as all Partners engage with the new Partnership Directorate. I look forward to the opportunities that this will bring to further enhance capability development and modernise our defence forces.