Support for Irish neutrality has been a core republican value since the time of the United Irishmen. But it has never been more relevant than in the 21st century.
Irish military neutrality has been a source of our unique position in the world, a source of strength and legitimacy. Through the pursuit of an independent foreign policy in the past, Ireland has built an internationally respected reputation in UN peacekeeping, promotion of anti-nuclear initiatives and the development rights of postcolonial societies. Our international stature has also been enhanced by our experience of building a peace process at home.
A militarily neutral Ireland actively pursuing a global social justice agenda through peaceful means has more to offer than ever before at this time of volatility in international relations. Since the establishment parties have demonstrated that they are either not fully committed to neutrality or are opposed to it, republicans recognise our responsibility to show leadership in this regard.
Sinn Féin therefore proposes "Positive Neutrality in Action" as an independent policy alternative for expanding Ireland’s role in international affairs.
We see Positive Neutrality in Action not only as a policy with immediate relevance for the 26 county state, but also propose that it should form the heart of the international relations policy after reunification.
Recent developments have confirmed the need for such a policy. We offer this document as a clear statement of what Positive Neutrality in Action would entail.
SUMMARY OF SINN FÉIN PROPOSALS
Sinn Féin proposes an independent and progressive Irish international relations policy that opposes military alliances and works for international co-operation and conflict negotiation leading to democratic social change and respect for human rights, universal demilitarisation and nuclear disarmament.
Such a policy of "Positive Neutrality in Action" would require:
- Neutrality to be enshrined in the Irish Constitution and codified in legislation;
- Withdrawal from the EU Rapid Reaction Force and NATO's Partnership for Peace;
- Irish troops to train and serve abroad only under the auspices and leadership of the United Nations, and only with prior Dáil approval;
- No use of Irish airports, airspace, seaports, or territorial waters for preparation for war or other armed conflict by foreign powers;
- An end to Irish involvement in the arms trade and profit from war;
- Clear recognition and legal protection through a binding Protocol of Irish neutrality in any new EU Treaty;
- Active promotion of demilitarisation of the EU;
- Formation of alliances with other progressive, neutral states to promote a Human Security approach to international relations;
- Active promotion of UN primacy, UN reform and capacity-building to create a revitalised UN which is capable of fulfilling the promise of the Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of upholding international law.
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