Tag Archives: United Nations

Earlier today.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Journalist Dr Gavin Jennings interviewed Leonard Doyle, spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration, after a boat bound for Italy capsized off Libya on Monday.

At least 40 people went missing and are presumed dead, while the Libyan Coastguard picked up around 60 people.

Most of the people on the boat were reportedly from Sudan.

A similar incident claimed the lives of about 100 people last week.

From the interview:

Dr Gavin Jennings: “And it was the Libyan Coastguard who came to their rescue, yes?”

Leonard Doyle: “I mean this is a contentious point but yes, the Libyan Coastguard has been intercepting or rescuing, depending on your point of view, for some considerable time now and then bringing them back to Libya where their fate is not always certain. I mean some have gone into detention, some not. In this case, probably not.”

Jennings: “Were there not Italian boats who were also supposed to be available to help as well?”

Doyle: “There is a big issue with search and rescue in Europe at the moment which is what I think you’re alluding to. The European Union has declined to provide the rescue services that were there for a long time, the search and rescue, in the belief that this is an attracting force, bringing, attracting smugglers to push migrants into sea and in flimsy vessels. And we’ve seen a lot of evidence of that.

“At the same time, the European Union has been supporting the Libyan Coastguard and are trying to get them to abide by international law, to follow human rights, etc. It’s not always been the case. As you know there were 150 people killed in an airstrike over a month ago. People had returned after being rescued at sea. So it’s a complicated, difficult issue. We’re going through a very bloody war at the moment. The worst in many years. So it’s complicated.”

Jennings: “And there were two planes that were being used by NGOs to search for migrant boats in the Mediterranean that were grounded this week?”

Doyle: “The political mood is very tough in Europe at the moment when it comes to migration. Even though those crossing the Mediterranean, mostly Africans, are a tiny number of people, the political mood has grown deeply hostile and deeply populist and one of the expressions of that is a crackdown, if you will, on NGOs who are doing very, very important life-saving work, search and rescue operations, SARs its called. It’s, it’s a terrible situation.

“Lives should not be part of politics. Saving people’s lives should not be part of politics. The impression one has from political and media sources is that there’s an invasion of people, it’s tiny. The numbers are tiny, as you mentioned. 54 people survived, that’s not a lot of people.”

Jennings: “Tell us about the scale of numbers, this summer, for example. I mean have recent moves by, for example, in Italy made any difference. Are there less people now trying to cross the Mediterranean as a result?”

Doyle: “I mean it’s hard to pinpoint one country’s actions for creating an effect. But undoubtedly the work, the really good work is being done by the European Union throughout West Africa, in particular, in helping people avoid make tragic journeys is having its own impact. There’s a lot of awareness raising going on, there’s a lot of informing people along the way – of the dangers ahead. And the dangers are terrible.

“The smugglers are the first people to blame, not the policymakers at the end of the day. The policymakers may get it wrong in our opinion, but they’re not the ones who are creating the havoc. So a lot of effort has taken place into investing in the so-called, you know, upstream routes that the migrants take into informing them of the dangers ahead if they go to Libya. That they will be incarcerated, they will be abused, they’ll be tortured and all that sort of thing.

What happens on European shores I think is probably marginal at the end of the day.”

Alternatively…

Listen back in full here

Related: EXCLUSIVE: UN probe finds Sudan staff member solicited bribes from refugees (Sally Hayden, The New Humanitarian, August 15, 2019)

Previously: Into Harm’s Way

‘Our Naval Service Is Part Of It’

Image: Al Jazeera

This morning.

Ringsend College Dublin 4.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, and students during the launch of the Global Schools Programme .

The programme will run throughout 2019 and will see “Irish diplomats who have served abroad, accompanied by Irish United Nations peacekeepers, visiting secondary schools to talk to students about their work overseas and present each school with a United Nations Flag and a copy of the United Nations Charter“.

Money well spent.

Go globalism.

Sam Boal/RollingNews

This afternoon

Via The United Nations:

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Nóirín O’Sullivan of Ireland as the Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security.

Ms. O’Sullivan succeeds Fadzai Gwaradzimba of Zimbabwe, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her commitment and dedicated service to the Organization.

As deputy to the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security (USG/DSS), the Assistant Secretary-General will be responsible for the day-to-day overall management of the Department and supporting the USG in the overall leadership and management of the Department.

Ms. O’Sullivan has over 36 years of experience in the international law enforcement and security environment, and most recently held the position of Garda Commissioner of An Garda Síochána in Ireland.

Prior to that, she was the Interim Acting Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, responsible for advising the Minister of Justice and the Government of Ireland on all matters pertaining to national security and policing.

Ms. O’Sullivan began her career with An Garda Síochána in Ireland in June 1981 and progressed through the ranks, holding various operational and managerial positions since then.

Ms. O’Sullivan brings to the role her extensive experience in international safety and security management, strategic management and leadership.

She is a leader in partnership building, leading teams and able to manage complexity and to drive strategic change. She also brings an in-depth knowledge of international security, crisis management, strategic and institutional leadership and gender issues to the position.

Ms. Nóirín O’Sullivan of Ireland – Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security (United Nations)

Meanwhile…

‘Charleton takes the view that she [Noirin O’Sullivan]  was not involved in a campaign to smear Maurice McCabe, regarding Dave Taylor’s allegations against her as motivated by malice. However he does indicate that in some respects he doesn’t believe O’Sullivan’s evidence:-

“She reached out to Maurice McCabe and attempted to solve the workplace-related issues which surrounded him.

These efforts were successful at first, but were undermined by what she felt was the necessity to test where he was coming from in the very serious allegations of corruption that he was making before the O’Higgins Commission.

Her decision in that regard involved talking at length to officials in the Department of Justice and Equality. She is likely to have remembered that, contrary to her evidence, because she realised what was at stake.

It is also improbable that she did not have an inkling at the very least about Commissioner Callinan’s views. At the very least,

it was more than improbable that nothing emerged in the car journey with him back to Garda Headquarters from the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on 23 January 2014.

It was disappointing to hear her evidence on this.”

Effectively, what this is saying is that Noirin O’Sullivan, while not implicated in the smear of McCabe, was not truthful in her evidence – an extremely serious conclusion with regard to a former Garda Commissioner, and something which surely merits more than just disappointment.’

Legal Coffee Drinker: Charelton Report Conclusions

Meanwhile…

Some neck, in fairness.

Earlier: Full Closure

This afternoon.

United Nations, New York, United States.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addresses the Nelson Mandela Pea Summit.

Snow peas or sugar snap peas: will we ever reach consensus?

Taoiseach hails Good Friday Agreement in UN speech (RTÉ)