Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence

Foreign Affairs Council and UN Security Council: Engagement with Minister for Foreign Affairs

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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We are pleased to be joined by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Coveney, to discuss matters that arose at recent meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council and the UN Security Council. As always, the Minister is very welcome. I also welcome the officials and thank them for the comprehensive briefing material that has been furnished to the committee. We are also joined by H.E. Mr. Ruggero Corrias, ambassador of Italy to Ireland, who is observing from the Visitors Gallery, and H.E. Ms Anna Sochaska, ambassador of Poland to Ireland. They are both very welcome.

The format of the meeting is that, in the usual manner, we will hear an opening statement from the Minister and this will be followed by a question-and-answer session with members of the committee.

I remind witnesses and members of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make that person in any way identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of any person or entity. Therefore, if statements are potentially defamatory in respect of an identifiable person or entity, they will be directed to discontinue their remarks and such direction must be complied with. For witnesses attending remotely from outside the Leinster House campus - I do not think we have any witnesses attending remotely today - there are limitations to parliamentary privilege and, as such, they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as witnesses who are physically present in the room do.

Members are reminded that they are only allowed to participate in this meeting if they are physically located on the Leinster House complex. I do not see any members joining us online but it is open to members to take part in the meeting online and their questions, observations and submissions will, of course, be taken. I have received a note from Deputy Clarke that she may be late arriving to the meeting because she is in the Dáil Chamber.

I invite the Minister to make his opening statement.