Dáil debates

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

United Nations

10:10 pm

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I am familiar with it because we supported it. We were one of the few EU countries to do so. I believe we were one of only five. Others either abstained or voted against it. I wish to convey my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families of those killed or injured in the tragic fire in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza a few days ago.

Turning to the Deputy’s question, I welcomed the adoption by the UN Fourth Committee of the Resolution on "Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people on the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem". This resolution addresses a number of key concerns that are consistent with Ireland’s long-standing position, including calling for urgent measures to ensure the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians and demanding that Israel cease all of its settlement activities. It has been supported by Ireland in successive sessions of the General Assembly, including this year.

An important new element in this year’s resolution was a request to the International Court of Justice, ICJ, for an advisory opinion on issues arising from Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian territory. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

Advisory opinions of the court, while not legally binding, can nevertheless contribute to the clarification of international law and, therefore, given the authority of the court, may carry significant weight.

The deteriorating situation on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territory is deeply concerning and it is important that the international community supports Palestinian efforts in seeking legal responses to the occupation. Ireland is a firm supporter of the ICJ and welcomes the increased recourse of states to its advisory role in clarifying international law. 

In accordance with normal practice, there has been regular and structured co-ordination between EU member states on the ground in New York, on this and other resolutions to be acted upon by the UN General Assembly. While a common EU voting position was not possible for this resolution, I welcome the constructive engagement between the Palestinian observer mission to the United Nations and the EU and its member states on all resolutions related to the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.


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