The Association of Retired Commissioned Officers congratulates the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Irish Mission at the United Nations under the leadership of Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, on Ireland’s successful campaign for an elected seat on the UN Security Council for the 2021 – 2022 term.
The Security Council, made up of 15 representatives from its 193 members, has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council’s powers include establishing peacekeeping operations, enacting international sanctions, and authorising military action.
The successful election is the culmination of a three-year campaign, which included significant support from the Defence Forces.
As a country, Ireland has the longest unbroken record of overseas service with the UN with the Defence Forces first deploying to a UN mission in 1958.
Ireland is also the highest per capita European contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, with 70,000 individual tours of duty on peacekeeping, peace enforcement, crisis management, and humanitarian operations.
Defence Forces personnel are currently serving across 14 missions in 13 countries, both with the UN, and with UN authorised missions conducted by the EU, NATO PfP (Partnership for Peace), and OSCE.
Today, 595 Defence Forces personnel are serving overseas, including the 115 Infantry Battalion with UNIFIL in Lebanon, and the 61 Infantry Group with UNDOF on the Golan Heights, where Brigadier-General Maureen O’Brien is the Force Commander.
The latest deployment in Ireland’s long history in peace support operations, took place in September 2019, when the Defence Forces commenced its involvement in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The Defence Forces’ contribution to this mission includes staff officers in Force HQ in Bamako and Army Ranger Wing (ARW) personnel with the German Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force.