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Mary Lou McDonald challenges Minister Cowen to prove his commitment to the United Nations

4 May, 2004

Sinn Féin EU candidate for the Dublin Constituency Mary Lou McDonald, has today challenged the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Brian Cowen to 'prove his commitment to the UN.' Ms McDonald was responding to an address made by the Minister to mark EU enlargement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York yesterday (03.05.04).

In his address, Mr Cowen remarked: "Strengthening the United Nations, equipping it to fulfil its responsibilities is a priority of the European Union."

Speaking today, Ms McDonald said:

"The comments made by the Foreign Minister Brian Cowen at the United Nations Headquarters, are astounding. The EU is busy pursuing and paying for its own security agenda. The true effect of the development of EU defence capacity, according to a report in 2000 of the panel on United Nations Peace Operations (Brahimi Report) has been the depletion, not enhancement, of UN peacekeeping capacity.

"The Minister, and the EU as a whole need to prove their commitment to the United Nations. Where is the evidence of this? This government cannot continue its complicit support for the militarisation of the EU, whilst paying lip service to the primacy of the United Nations, as the only global multinational and multilateral body.

"Therefore, I challenge the Minister to provide the evidence that the United Nations is an EU priority. I also challenge him to accept the fact that the EU is undermining the role of the UN, rather than complementing it." ENDS

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