Tánaiste and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin has said Russia cannot hold a veto over Ireland’s participation in peacekeeping missions.
Mr Martin said an alteration to Ireland’s ‘triple-lock’ policy, which requires UN approval for the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas, should be examined.
Russia is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council which hold a veto over resolutions.
“Because of the behaviour of Russia in more recent years on the Security Council, and particularly given that Russia has violated the UN Charter through its invasion of Ukraine and its attack on Ukraine, and its use of the veto to stop peacekeeping missions, there is a question that we have to examine.
“I’m of a view that it’s certainly something we need to consider.
“We would have to amend the Defence Act to do that, to have it for the Dail and Government to decide on whether or not we participate in peacekeeping missions into the future, but Russia cannot have a veto on Ireland participating in peacekeeping missions into the future.”
The Tánaiste was speaking to RTÉ after launching the public consultation and registration process for the upcoming consultative forum on international security policy.
The stated aim of the forum is to “build public understanding and generate discussions” on Ireland’s foreign, security and defence policies.
The forum, which sits across three locations over four days in June, will feature contributions from the public, stakeholders and military experts.
The triple-lock mechanism and Ireland’s neutrality are expected to be examined as part of the conversations on foreign and defence policy.
However, Mr Martin insisted there were “no predetermined outcomes” for the process.
He said people needed to be more aware of Ireland’s defence cooperation with other countries.
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“We can never again be on our own. Isolationism is not an option here. We must cooperate, coordinate in terms of issues like cyber security, maritime security, protecting subsea cables and so on which are vital to our economic wellbeing.”
The consultative forum will focus on a wide range of issues, including Ireland’s “efforts to protect the rules-based international order through peacekeeping and crisis management”, disarmament and non-proliferation, international humanitarian law, and conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
It will examine Ireland’s current international partnerships in the area of peace and security, particularly as a member of the UN and the EU, as well as engagement with Nato through the Partnership for Peace framework.
New and emerging threats will also be discussed, including cyber and hybrid attacks, the use of disinformation and growing concerns over the protection of critical offshore infrastructure.