Press release

Amended Triple Lock an important step to allow Ireland continue its proud tradition of peacekeeping - Green Party

23rd November 2023
Vincent P Martin

A Government announcement that it plans to amend the Triple Lock has been welcomed by the Green Party which it says it will prevent superpowers having a veto over Ireland’s involvement in crucial peacekeeping missions. 

The party has also welcomed that there will be no change to the existing requirement for a UN mandate for the separate category of peace enforcement missions. Unlike peacekeeping missions, peace enforcement operations involve enforcing peace against the will of the parties to a conflict and require more heavily armed forces. 

The Green Party’s Policy Council unanimously agreed a new policy on neutrality earlier this year, which advocated for expanding the existing requirement for Irish involvement in peacekeeping missions, which currently requires the approval of the United Nations, along with the Government and Dáil. 

The new policy advocated that any deployment for peacekeeping would need to be approved by Dáil Éireann, reviewed by Seanad Éireann, and supported by either a UN (Security Council or General Assembly) resolution or, failing such resolution, by a decision of a regional organisation which recognises and complies with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. This could be an organisation such as the European Union or the African Union.

The change was prompted by the fact that the existing requirement effectively hands UN Security Council members such as Russia, China or the United States a veto over crucial peacekeeping missions that can potentially save and protect tens of thousands of innocent lives.

Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Vincent P Martin said:

“Even before the Consultative Forum had been held, the Green Party had proposed expanding the Triple Lock in a way that would allow Irish peacekeepers to continue their proud tradition of taking part in missions that help prevent conflict and protect lives. I am glad to see that elements of the Green Party’s policy are reflected in the Government’s proposals."

“This will remove the threat of peacekeeping missions being vetoed by autocratic regimes while still requiring the approval of a regional organisation that complies with the UN Charter.”

“It’s also important to stress that peace enforcement missions - which are distinct from the peacekeeping missions as they mandate the use of military enforcement - will still be reliant on UN Security Council approval, similar to the existing Triple Lock."

Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe said an amended Triple Lock would strengthen Irish neutrality as it will mean we are no longer reliant on the globe’s most powerful countries to approve our involvement in peacekeeping work. 

“Ireland has an unbroken record of peacekeeping since 1958 but this continued role will be in doubt unless we amend the Triple Lock to remove the Security Council’s veto. The Green Party has proposed a precise and limited expansion of this mechanism to ensure strict coherence with Ireland’s neutrality policy. Such a move will only serve to enhance our neutrality as it will enhance our role as a voice for peace across the globe.”

“This move will strengthen Ireland’s sovereignty over decisions on taking part in peacekeeping missions.”

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