Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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192. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he and his EU and UN colleagues can alert and activate the international community to the alarming abuses of human rights across the globe affecting women and children and entire communities in which persons and groups are detained against their will and appalling atrocities are committed on a daily basis; if the perpetrators will face charges in the international criminal courts in the Hague thereby clearly indicating that such atrocities cannot go without punishment; if Ireland can use its position as a member of the UN Security Council to address this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18012/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland is a strong contributor to global efforts to prevent and resolve conflict, prevent atrocities, and eliminate human rights violations including against women, children and vulnerable groups. Central to this is our strong and enduring commitment to effective multilateralism, particularly through our membership of the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

Ireland is committed to actively promoting respect for human rights across our engagement on the UN Security Council and indeed, accountability is one of the three key themes of our membership.

We are actively promoting accountability and compliance with international law in our work on the Security Council and its subsidiary bodies, including the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security, which Ireland is co-chairing, and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.

We are also promoting respect for international law in our work on the broad range of country situations on the Security Council agenda.

As an example, on 3 February and 4 March, Ireland initiated Council discussions on the deeply concerning humanitarian situation and the ongoing lack of humanitarian access in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Myanmar has also been a particular focus of the Security Council since the coup in February. The Council agreed a Presidential Statement on 10 March, condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters and expressing its continued support for the democratic transition in Myanmar.

Ireland also continues to engage actively at the UN Human Rights Council. At the recently concluded 46th session of the Council, Ireland delivered over 20 National Statements on a number of country-specific human rights situations including Myanmar, Syria, Iran, Yemen, South Sudan, DPRK, Eritrea, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Ireland also supported a number of Joint Statements on Egypt, Ethiopia, Russia and Venezuela.

At EU level, Ireland is an active participant and contributor to the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy which works globally to support the preservation of peace, the prevention of conflicts and the strengthening of international security.

Accountability is important not only as a means of pursuing justice for victims, but also as a crucial component to create stability and peace in post-conflict situations.

Ireland regards the International Criminal Court as the cornerstone of the international criminal justice system. Ireland, together with its EU partners is a consistent and strong supporter of the Court and we will continue to support and defend the Court throughout our term on the UN Security Council.

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