Ireland rejects proposal to restrict nuclear weapons - Crowe criticises Government
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Seán Crowe TD, has criticised the Irish Government for voting against a motion calling on Israel to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and open its nuclear sites to IAEA inspection.
The Government voted against the motion at the recent International Atomic and Energy (IAEA) meeting.
Deputy Seán Crowe, commenting on the response he received to a parliamentary question he tabled on the issue, said:
“At the IAEA General Conference in Vienna a motion was tabled which detailed ‘concerns about Israeli nuclear capabilities’.
“The motion urged Israel to sign the NPT and open its nuclear facilities and weapons development to IAEA supervision.
“It is a matter of record and well known that Israel is in possession of nuclear weapons and it has jailed citizens for leaking the extent of its nuclear weapon development programme.
“This motion, brought by 18 member states, was rejected by 58 votes to 45 with 27 countries abstaining.
“Ireland was one of the countries to vote against this proactive motion.
“Achieving a world free from nuclear weapons has been traditionally a long-standing priority for Ireland and it was the first State to sign the NPT in 1968.
“Yet unbelievably this Government voted against encouraging a nuclear state to sign the NPT and spread its universality.
“It would appear to me to be another capitulation to Israel and double-standards being applied once again.
“Irish Governments traditionally took a stand of working towards a nuclear weapons free Middle East, but this Government to their shame, voted en bloc with other EU States to allow Israel keep its secret nuclear weapons programme.
“In response to a parliamentary question I tabled on this issue, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, stated that Ireland voted against this motion because it is hoped that a Conference on a Weapons of Mass Destruction-free zone in the Middle East might be held sometime in the distant future.
“This position is simply not good enough. Ireland needs to be supporting the universality of the NPT, calling on all Member States to sign it, and not allowing double standards for any country.
“A worrying trend is beginning to develop in this Government’s foreign policy. It refused to vote in favour of a motion criticising Israel over its Gaza operations at the UN Human Rights Council, and now it has voted against this motion. Both times it voted en bloc with EU members.”