Question No. 176

Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if Ireland has identified countries with which it can share good practice from the Peace Process on this island; the extent to which such sharing takes place; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 21st April, 2015.
Ref No: 15285/15 Lottery: 3 Proof: 178


Sharing the experience of peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland is identified as a priority in Ireland’s Foreign Policy ‘The Global Island’. Since its establishment in 2008, the Conflict Resolution Unit of my Department has been engaged on an ongoing basis in such work.

Each conflict and each peace process is unique. There is no one model for reconciliation that will be successful in every context. Many conflict-affected parts of the world do however look to Ireland for ideas and inspiration, and experience has shown that Ireland can offer a useful lesson-sharing engagement. Such practical sharing of good practice and experience needs to be tailored to the specificities of the particular conflict situation, while at the same time communicating general insights and principles that may be applied in various contexts with the aim of building a sustainable peace.

The lesson-sharing work of my Department has been largely undertaken in response to demand from international organisations working in a number of conflict situations in countries throughout the world. Since 2008, the Conflict Resolution Unit has hosted delegations from Afghanistan, Moldova-Transdniestria, Nepal, South Korea and the Middle East.

Already since the start of 2015, relevant lessons from Ireland’s experience of promoting peace support and post-conflict reconciliation have been shared in the contexts of conflicts and peace processes in Colombia, Ukraine, Turkey and the Middle East.

Lesson sharing has addressed a wide range of conflict resolution issues such as security sector support, human rights, the role of international third parties in peace processes, the participation of women and communities and the importance of confidence building and popular endorsement of agreements reached.

We will continue to undertake this valuable work in the context of the ongoing process of reconciliation and cooperation on this island. Two-way lesson-sharing allows the Government to both nurture peace and reconciliation on this island while at the same time providing a positive model for other countries seeking to resolve conflict and build peace.