Dáil Éireann - Volume 356 - 27 February, 1985
Written Answers. - Stockholm Disarmament Conference.
Mr. G. Collins Mr. G. Collins
452. Mr. G. Collins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether the recent NATO proposals regarding military manoeuvres and verification methods tabled at the Stockholm Disarmament Conference were discussed by the Ten and by the neutral and non-aligned groups; the outcome of such discussion and the position Ireland has taken up in the matter.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. P. Barry) Peter Barry
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. P. Barry): As the Deputy is aware the conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament  (CDE) takes place outside military alliances. Nonetheless it is assumed that the recent proposals to which the Deputy refers are contained in the group of working papers tabled by 16 countries during the current session of the CDE in Stockholm which commenced on 29 January 1985. These documents consist of a further elaboration of measures outlined in an earlier proposal by these countries which was laid before the conference during its first session in 1984. The proposal involves six concrete measures to bring about openness in the military area, including mandatory exchanges of military information, mandatory notification and observation of specified military activities and compliance and verification measures.
In the course of the regular consultation and co-ordination among the ten member states of the European Community on all the issues pertaining to the conference, Ireland and our partners in the Ten take account of these as well as of all the other proposals before the conference. Similarly, Ireland has discussed the content of all the conference proposals in her regular contacts with the neutral and non-aligned participant countries.
As regards Ireland's position on the proposals that are the subject of the Deputy's question, we are currently engaged in a detailed examination of all the proposals and explanatory documents tabled at the conference with a view to taking a position on them. This examination will be informed by our general approach to the conference which was outlined by me during my address to the opening session of the conference. In our view the conference should seek agreement on a balanced package of measures involving both those aimed at bringing about greater openness and predictability in the military area and measures to constrain military activities. We do not regard confidence and security building measures as a substitute for arms control and disarmament, but we do consider that the negotiation at the CDE of an ambitious series of such measures could  help to diminish the danger of military confrontation in Europe with its attendant risks of escalation to nuclear war.
Dáil Éireann 356 Written Answers. Stockholm Disarmament Conference.