International Affairs Policy

2022 EM (IA) 4: Ukraine Aid

Proposed by Proposed by the VP for the BMW region  

Congress Condemns:

The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian federation. The attempt to colonise by Russia to overthrow a democratic government of a sovereign state.  

Congress Recognises:  

  • The Ukrainians right to independence and self-governance. The huge generosity of the Irish community in donating to causes to help the Ukrainian population. That many people in Ukraine currently require and will require assistance from foreign governments and charitable organisations. 
  • The USI position against war. 

Congress notes with urgency:   

  • The increasing death toll in Ukraine particularly in areas such as Mariupol which is currently in the tens of thousands.
  • The reports from the Ukrainian Government on April 12th about the Russian usage of chemical warfare against Ukraine.  
  • The needs civilians will urgently need to international aid. 
  • On Sunday 10th April, Minister for Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman said more than 20 thousand refugees have already arrived in Ireland. 

Congress Notes:  

The calls from many different organisations for support in fundraising for non lethal supplies to assist people in Ukraine.  

Congress Mandates:  

  • USI Coiste Gnó to provide resources to member organisations which wish to fundraise for non-lethal supplies to Ukrainian citizens. 
  • The Coiste Gnó to lobby the Department of Higher and Further Education and Skills for students who were studying in Ukraine to be able to continue their studies in Ireland. 
  • The Coiste Gnó to lobby the Department of Higher and Further Education and Skills for recognition to be given to students for prior learning prior to arriving in Ireland. 
  • USI to continue to work with stakeholders to expand our capacity in Higher level Education to incorporate as many refugee students as possible. 


2022 EM (IA) 9: Military Expansion and NATO Motion

Proposed by UCC Students’ Union 

Comhdháil Notes:  

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 members states, 28 of which are in Europe and 2 of which are in North America.  

Comhdháil Notes With Concern: 

A recent poll carried out by the Business Post published on March 26th 2022 indicated that 48% of Irish people are in favor of Ireland joining NATO, 59% said they wanted Ireland “to significantly increase” military spending, and 46% said they would support “a referendum for Irish troops to serve in a potential future European army.” 

Comhdháil Further Notes: 

As an anti-imperialist and anti-war organisation, USI is opposed to Ireland: 

  • Joining NATO
  • Increasing military spending 
  • Having a referendum for Irish troops to serve in a potential future European army 

Comhdháil Therefore Mandates: 

The USI Coiste Gnó to campaign and lobby against the above measures being implemented in Ireland.  

Comhdháil Further Mandates:  

The USI Coiste Gnó, at their discretion, to support and work with organisations that are campaigning and lobbying against the above measures being implemented in Ireland. 

2022 IA 2: Anti-War & Expansionism

Proposed by Maynooth Students’ Union

Congress Notes with Concern:

The recent invasion of the sovereign, independent and democratic nation of Ukraine by Russia, a separate and distinct territory, political entity, and nation and the humanitarian crisis that has arisen as a result.

Congress Affirms:

The statement made recently by the European Students’ Union (ESU) where they stated a clear position of “no to war and expansionism, yes to peace and the protection of the human and social right to study in a peaceful context”

Congress Believes:

That while the world’s focus is currently on Ukraine, there are other humanitarian crises occurring including, but not limited to, events in both Palestine and Yemen and we have seen motions on such crises in the past.

Congress Further Believes:

That if the Union of Students in Ireland formally adopted an Anti-War and Expansionism position, the Irish Student Movement (Local and National) will be able to effectively mobilise and stand in solidarity against current and future crises such as these, unified as one under the USI.

Congress Therefore Mandates:

The Union of Students in Ireland to adopt an “Anti-War and Expansionism‚” position.


2022 IA 3: Motion on Vaccine Equity

Proposed by DCUSU

Congress celebrates

The easing of public health restrictions that have allowed students to return to in-person lectures and a full social life.

Congress Notes with concern

How this is not a reality shared in most countries, particularly in the Global South and the continent of Africa where fewer vaccines have been administered due to unavailability and cost factors.

Congress Recognises

How there are over 100 factories in the African continent that would be able to produce COVID-19 and other life-saving vaccines and ensure students in those countries could access vaccines.

Congress Therefore Mandates

The VP for Equality & Citizenship to lobby the government to call for a TRIPS waiver on COVID-19 vaccines and funding of the ACT-A accelerator, The VP should also lobby the minister to ensure Ireland meets its target of 0.7% of Gross National Income is spent on Official Development Aid to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Congress also mandates

The VP for Equality & Citizenship to work with student health groups such as Students4VaccineEquity on vaccine and medicine equity.


15 IA 1: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Reapproved 2018 and 2021

Congress notes with concern:

The on-going negotiations between the European Union and the United States in relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the potential impact that it could have on Irish higher education, democracy and wider society.

Congress does not support:

The lowering of any EU standards in regards to the environment, food safety, animal welfare and workers’ rights. In addition, Congress is especially concerned that under TTIP, the US would be allowed to export shale gas to Europe thus increasing fracking in the US and allowing US companies to challenge fracking bans in Europe under the Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause. While Congress supports the EU’s efforts in job creation we believe that TTIP jeopardises the health and wellbeing of those living in the EU and therefore call on the EU to use these negotiations to encourage the US to raise its standards rather than lowering its own.

Congress affirms

That while it does not oppose free trade in principle, TTIP does not amount to a traditional free trade agreement but rather threatens to constitute an historic infringement upon democratic governance.

Conference mandates:

Officer Board to campaign against TTIP and to engage with like-minded organisations in Ireland and across Europe on the matter.