Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheál Martin, welcomes the first Irish civilian deployment to EU Monitoring Mission – four Irish Aid-funded citizens head to Georgia
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin T.D., has confirmed that four civilians will travel to Georgia today to take part in the European Union Monitoring Mission that is being deployed, in the framework of ESDP (European Security and Defence Policy)to monitor compliance with the six-point agreement signed on 12 August 2008.
Announcing the deployment, Minister Martin said:
“This is the first time that Irish civilians have been deployed to a civilian ESDP monitoring mission. I wish our four monitors well and thank them their willingness to deploy at such short notice. The mission will perform an important task in contributing to stabilisation, normalisation and confidence-building in the wake of recent hostilities in the region.
For its part, the EU is fulfilling its commitment to deploy over 200 monitors by 1 October. I therefore urge all parties to the conflict in Georgia to fulfill their agreed commitments under the six-point plan agreement achieved on 12 August on the basis of the European Union’s mediation efforts. This ESDP civilian monitoring mission is further evidence of the importance that the EU attaches to restoring stability in the region.”
Note for Editors
The six point plan agreed by Russia and Georgia under EU auspices:
1. Not to resort to force;
2. The cessation of hostilities definitively;
3. The granting of access to humanitarian aid;
4. The return of Georgian armed forces to their usual bases;
5. Russian armed forces to withdraw to the positions held before hostilities began. Pending an international mechanism, Russian peace-keeping forces to implement additional security measures;
6. The opening of international talks on the security and stability of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
EUMM Georgia will be a civilian mission with no executive powers and will be part of a comprehensive EU approach in Georgia. The mission will include a mixture of expertise including police, rule of law and human rights experts. Its initial strength will be 200 international monitors and this may be increased at a later stage as required. EUMM will have its HQ in Tbilisi and a number of field offices located close to the areas of interest.
EUMM will be deployed for a period of one year. The Irish monitors will serve in the first instance for four months.
The four civilian monitors, Dorcha Lee, Peter Emerson, Peter McMahon and Eithne MacDermott, are volunteers recruited though the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre. Their deployment, which will be for four months, is part of a bridging capacity initiative to allow for rapid deployment of the monitoring mission to Georgia. This is the first time that members of the Irish Aid Volunteering panel have taken part in a civilian European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) monitoring mission.
Dorcha Lee and Peter McMahon are former military officers with extensive experience as military observers in various conflict zones. Eithne McDermott is of academic background with an interest in politics and history and has taken part in a considerable number of OSCE monitoring missions. Peter Emerson previously travelled to Georgia with the OSCE on a number of occasions. He has fluent Russian and has a continued interest in democracy and the post-Soviet region.
26 September 2008