THE UN OWES Ireland more than €11 million for peacekeeping missions, Minister for Defence Alan Shatter has confirmed.
In a parliamentary question, Deputy Bernard J Durkan asked the Minister the extent to which the Exchequer has been reimbursed by the United Nations or other bodies for overseas peacekeeping missions authorised by the EU or UN to date. He also asked if any outstanding payments remain.
In his reply, Minister for Defence, Alan Shatter, explained that the UN reimburses some personnel and contingent owned equipment costs in respect of contributions of personnel to UN led operations.
Rates of reimbursement, fixed in accordance with UN categories of equipment and personnel, are agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ireland and the UN for each mission. The only mission for which Ireland is currently entitled to reimbursement of some troop and equipment costs, is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The total amount currently owing to the Department of Defence by the United Nations in respect of contributions towards troop and other costs associated with the participation of Defence Forces personnel in UN missions is calculated at approximately €11.5million.
This amount includes €5.1 million for the current UNIFIL mission, and €6.4 million for repatriation costs of equipment from the MINURCAT mission in Chad. The latter amount is the subject of ongoing negotiations with the UN, said the Minister.
He added that the recovery from the UN of the monies owed “is pursued with the UN on an ongoing basis by the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in conjunction with the permanent mission of Ireland to the UN in New York”.
Ireland, however, is not entitled to any reimbursement for Defence Forces participation in EU-led missions, as all troop contributors to such missions are responsible for their own costs.