Dáil debates

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Other Questions

International Agreements

2:25 pm

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide a list of international treaties, conventions and other international legal obligations which Ireland has signed but not ratified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8737/13]

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

As requested, I am providing the Deputy with a list of international agreements which Ireland has signed but not ratified. The list has been prepared according to the information available to my Department and aims to be as comprehensive as possible.

The two-step process whereby a state will first sign an international agreement, and then ratify it later, is the usual manner in which international agreements are concluded. This interval permits states to take whatever legislative or administrative measures are necessary to fulfil obligations assumed under the agreement. The signing of an agreement may be an important demonstration of a state’s support for it, pending its ratification when in a position to do so. The alternative would be to refrain from signing the agreement at all, which may be interpreted as a lack of support for the agreement.

Although my Department has an important role in relation to signing and ratifying international agreements, the necessary legislative or administrative measures required to implement them are for the line Department responsible for the subject matter of the agreement.

My Department annually publishes all international agreements that enter into force for Ireland in the Irish treaty series, which is available on the Department’s website, and lays them before this House. A notice of all agreements laid is also published in Iris Oifigiúil.

List of International Agreements signed by Ireland, but not Ratified

[1]Multilateral Treaties deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations

1Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, done on 10 December 2008Signed by Ireland on 23 March 2012.
2Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, done on 29 October 2010. Signed by Ireland on 1 February 2012.
3Universal Postal Union Convention and Final Protocol, done on 12 August 2008.Signed by Ireland on 12 August 2008.
4First Additional Protocol to the General Regulations (Universal Postal Union), done on 12 August 2008.Signed by Ireland on 12 August 2008.
58th Additional Protocol to the Universal Postal Union Constitution, done on 12 August 2008.Signed by Ireland on 12 August 2008.
6Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, done on 18 December 2002.Signed by Ireland on 2 October 2007.
7Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, done on 13 December 2006.
Signed by Ireland on 30 March 2007.
8International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, done on 20 December 2006.
Signed by Ireland on 27 March 2007.
9International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, done on 13 April 2005.Signed by Ireland on 19 September 2005.
10Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, done on 21 May 2003Signed by Ireland on 21 May 2003.
11Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, done on 15 November 2000.Signed by Ireland on 13 December 2000.
12Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, done on 25 May 2000.Signed by Ireland on 7 September 2000.
13Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution to abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground Level Ozone, done on 30 November 1999. Signed by Ireland on 1 December 1999.
14Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Persistent Organic Pollutants, done on 24 June 1998. Signed by Ireland on 24 June 1998.
15Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Lang-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Heavy Metals, done on 24 June 1998. Signed by Ireland on 24 June 1998.
16Agreement concerning the Adoption of Uniform Conditions for Periodical Technical Inspections of Wheeled Vehicles and the Reciprocal Recognition of such Inspections, done on 13 November 1997. Signed by Ireland on 13 November 1997.
17Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes, done on 24 April 1963. Signed by Ireland on 24 April 1963.
18Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes, done on 18 April 1961. Signed by Ireland on 18 April 1961.
19Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, done on 29 April 1958. Signed by Ireland on 2 October 1958.Signed by Ireland on 2 October 1958.
(This Convention has been superseded by a later agreement to which Ireland is a party.)
20Convention on the High Seas, done on 29 April 1958. Signed by Ireland on 2 October 1958.
(This Convention has been superseded by a later agreement to which Ireland is a party.)
21Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas, done on 29 April 1958. Signed by Ireland on 2 October 1958.
(This Convention has been superseded by a later agreement to which Ireland is a party.)
22Convention on the Continental Shelf, done on 29 April 1958. Signed by Ireland on 2 October 1958.
(This Convention has been superseded by a later agreement to which Ireland is a party.)

[2] Council of Europe Treaties

1Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, done on 25 January 1988. Signed by Ireland on 30 June 2011.2Protocol amending the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, done on 27 May 2010.Signed by Ireland on 30 June 2011.3Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, done on 16 May 2005. Signed by Ireland on 3 October 2008.4Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, done on 25 October 2007. Signed by Ireland on 25 October 2007.5Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, done on 15 May 2003. Signed by Ireland on 15 May 2003.6Convention on Cybercrime, done on 23 November 2001. Signed by Ireland on 28 February 2002.7Additional Protocol to the European Agreement on the Transmission of Applications for Legal Aid, done on 4 October 2001. Signed by Ireland on 5 October 2001.8Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, done on 4 November 2000. Signed by Ireland on 4 November 2000.9Civil Law Convention on Corruption, done on 4 November 1999. Signed by Ireland on 4 November 1999.10European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights, done on 25 January 1996.Signed by Ireland on 25 January 1996.11European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes, done on 18 March 1986. Signed by Ireland on 6 December 1990.12European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches, done on 19 August 1985. Signed by Ireland on 3 November 1986.13European Convention on Social Security, done on 14 December 1972. Signed by Ireland on 23 February 1979.14Supplementary Agreement for the Application of the European Convention on Social Security, done on 14 December 1972. Signed by Ireland on 23 February 1979.15European Convention on the Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms by Individuals, done on 28 June 1978. Signed by Ireland on 28 June 1978.16Convention relating to Stops on Bearer Securities in International Circulation, done on 28 May 1970. Signed by Ireland on 23 April 1974.17European Agreement on the Protection of Television Broadcasts, done on 22 June 1960. Signed by Ireland on 22 June 1960.18European Convention for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, done on 29 April 1957. Signed by Ireland on 29 April 1957.

[3] EU Agreements

1Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part, done on 11 July 2012.Signed by Ireland on 11 July 2012.2Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam of the other part, done on 27 June 2012.Signed by Ireland on 27 June 2012.3Common Aviation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one part, and Moldova, on the other part, done on 26 June 2012.Signed by Ireland on 26 June 2012.4Agreement Establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other, done on 29 June 2012.Signed by Ireland on 29 June 2012.5Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part, done on 26 June 2012.Signed by Ireland on 26 June 2012.6Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part, done on 11 May 2012.Signed by Ireland on 11 May 2012.7Agreement between the Member States of the European Union, meeting with the Council, regarding the Protection of Classified Information Exchanged in the Interests of the European Union, done on 25 May 2011.Signed by Ireland on 25 May 2011.8Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, on the one part, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the other part, done on 15 December 2010.Signed by Ireland on 15 December 2010.9Common Aviation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, on the one part, and Georgia, on the other part, done on 2 December 2010.Signed by Ireland on 2 December 2010.10Co-operation Agreement on Satellite Navigation between the European Union and its Member States and the Kingdom of Norway, done on 22 September 2010.Signed by Ireland on 22 September 2010.11Framework Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, on the one part, and the Republic of Korea, on the other part, done on 10 May 2010.Signed by Ireland on 10 May 2010.12Agreement on Air Transport between Canada and the European Community and its Member States, done on 17 and 18 December 2009.Signed by Ireland on 17 December 2009.13Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Indonesia, of the other part, done on 9 November 2009.Signed by Ireland on 9 November 2009.14Agreement between the European Community and its Member States and the Republic of South Africa amending the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation, done 11 September 2009.Signed by Ireland on 11 September 2009.15Convention on centralised customs clearance, concerning the allocation of national collection costs retained when traditional own resources are made available to the EU budget, done on 10 March 2009.Signed by Ireland on 10 March 2009.16Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and CARIFORUM, done on 15 and 20 October 2008.Signed by Ireland on 15 October 2008.17Convention on the Accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic to the Convention on the Law applicable to Contractual Obligations, opened for signature in Rome on 19 June 1980, and to the First and Second Protocols on its interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Communities, done on 14 April 2005.Signed by Ireland on 14 April 2005.18Decision of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the privileges and immunities granted to the European Defence Agency and to its staff members, done on 10 November 2004.Signed by Ireland on 10 November 2004.19Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other part, to combat fraud and any other illegal activity to the detriment of their financial interests, done on 26 October 2004.Signed by Ireland on 26 October 2004.20Agreement between the Member States of the European Union concerning claims introduced by each Member State against any other Member State for damage to any property owned, used or operated by it or injury or death suffered by any military or civilian staff of its services, in the context of an EU crisis management operation, done on 28 April 2004.Signed by Ireland on 28 April 2004.21Agreement between the EU Member States concerning the status of military and civilian staff on secondment to the Military Staff of the European Union, of the headquarters and forces which may be made available to the European Union in the context of the preparation and execution of the tasks referred to in Article 17(2) of the Treaty on European Union, including exercises, and of the military and civilian staff of the Member States put at the disposal of the European Union to act in this context (EU SOFA), done on 17 November 2003.Signed by Ireland on 17 November 2003.22Protocol established in accordance with Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union, amending, as regards the creation of a customs files identification database, the Convention on the use of information technology for customs purposes, done on 8 May 2003.Signed by Ireland on 8 May 2003.23Protocol, established by the Council in accordance with Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union, to the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union, done on 16 October 2001.Signed by Ireland on 16 October 2001.24Decision of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States on the privileges and immunities granted to the European Union Institute for Security Studies and the European Union Satellite Centre, and to their bodies and staff members, done on 15 October 2001.Signed by Ireland on 15 October 2001.25Convention, established by the Council in accordance with Article 34 of the Treaty on the European Union, on mutual assistance in criminal matters between the Member States of the European Union, done on 29 May 2000.Signed by Ireland on 29 May 2000.26Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in matrimonial matters, done on 25 August 1998.Signed by Ireland on 25 August 1998. (This Convention has been superseded by later measures.)27Protocol drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on the interpretation, by way of preliminary rulings, by the Court of Justice of the European Communities of the Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in matrimonial matters, done on 28 May 1998.Signed by Ireland on 28 May 1998. (This Protocol has been superseded by later measures.)28Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on the service of Member States of the European Union of Judicial and Extrajudicial documents in Civil and Commercial matters, done on 26 May 1997.Signed by Ireland on 26 May 1997. (This Convention has been superseded by later measures.)29Agreement between the Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Coal and Steel Community of the one part, and the Republic of Slovenia, of the other part, done on 5 April 1993.Signed by Ireland on 5 April 1993.30Agreement relating to Community Patents, done on 15 December 1989.Signed by Ireland on 15 December 1989. (This Agreement has been superseded by later measures.) 31Protocol on a possible modification of the conditions of entry into force of the Agreement relating to Community Patents, done on 15 December 1989.Signed by Ireland on 15 December 1989. (This Agreement has been superseded by later measures.) 32First Protocol on the interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Communities of the Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations, opened for signature in Rome on 19 June 1980, done on 19 December 1988.Signed by Ireland on 19 December 1988.

[4] Other Multilateral Agreements

1Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, signed on 19 February 2013.Signed by Ireland on 19 February 2013.2Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), done on 26 January 2009.Signed by Ireland on 26 January 2009.3Hague Convention on the International Protection of Adults, done on 13 January 2000. Signed by Ireland on 18 September 2008.4Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III), done on 8 December 2005.Signed by Ireland on 20 June 2006.5Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, done on 14 May 1954.Signed by Ireland on 14 May 1954.6Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, done on 27 July 1929.Signed by Ireland on 27 July 1929. (This Convention has been superseded by a later agreement to which Ireland is a party.)7Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 27 July 1929.Signed by Ireland on 27 July 1929. (This Convention has been superseded by a later agreement to which Ireland is a party.)

[5]Bilateral Agreements

1Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United States of America to Improve International Tax Compliance and to Implement FATCASigned on 21 December 2012.2Agreement between Ireland and Montserrat for the Exchange of Information Relating to Tax MattersSigned on 14 December 2012.3Convention between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on PropertySigned on 11 July 2012.4Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on Audio-Visual RelationsSigned on 9 July 2012.5Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the Republic of San Marino for the Exchange of Information relating to TaxesSigned on 4 July 2012.6Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the government of the State of Qatar for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital GainsSigned on 21 June 2012.7Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gainsSigned on 9 April 2012.8Protocol amending the Convention between Ireland and the Swiss Confederation for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, signed at Dublin on 8 November 1966, as amended by the Protocol signed at Dublin on 24 October 1980Signed on 26 January 2012.9Memorandum of Scientific and Educational Cooperation between the Department of Education and Skills and the Ministry of Higher Education in the Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaSigned on 14 June 2011.10Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the State of Kuwait for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on IncomeSigned on 23 November 2010.11Agreement between Ireland and Malta on cooperation in combating illicit drug trafficking, money laundering, organised crime, trafficking in persons, terrorism and other serious crimeSigned on 26 February 2009.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Tánaiste has answered much of what I would have asked in a supplementary question.

It is useful to have a list. Could the list be made available on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade? There is an issue of transparency regarding why an agreement would be signed but not ratified and what the delay might be. There may be a good reason that an agreement is not ratified.

The convention on human rights and biomedicine, for example, was declared open for signature in 1997. Not only did we not ratify it, a number of other countries did not do so either. I am curious as to why we did not go one stage further. It is something people would find useful to know. I am seeking a way to make that information available on an ongoing basis so that we do not have to scratch around for each individual agreement but have a comprehensive list and the reason each agreement is not signed or ratified.

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Is there a timescale for ratification of many of these agreements? The Government has accepted, in principle, the terms of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, the Istanbul Convention.

The Government said it accepted in principle the terms of the convention but it is almost a year since then and there has been no indication of any movement on that. Other countries, however, are moving ahead and while the Minister might say that is due to their system, there is also the optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Uruguay has become the tenth country to ratify that within three months. Last year, the Minister for Justice and Equality said we were determined to achieve full respect for human rights, but a year later there has been no movement on either of them. People would wonder what the delay is in ratifying something to which we have signed up. Is it due to cost?

2:35 pm

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

In some countries, once they sign the agreement, it automatically comes into force in domestic law. Our Constitution is different. It states that the signing of an international agreement can only have effect once a decision is made in the Oireachtas to ratify it and give it effect. Often legislation is required for the ratification process. Sometimes a Minister will await the next available opportunity. If there is legislation that embraces the subject matter of the international agreement, the opportunity will be taken to ratify it at that stage. In some cases it requires the putting in place of administrative or legislative arrangements to give effect to it, and that can take time. In terms of pursuing individual agreements, it is better to do that with the line Departments and Ministers.