Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

United Nations

Photo of Pauline TullyPauline Tully (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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42. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the actions he has taken to ensure that the United Nations Security Council brings pressure to bear on the leaders of the coup in Sudan to make way for the civilian government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and also use their influence with regional allies of the Sudanese junta to withdraw their financial support for the military regime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56504/21]

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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55. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the response to the recent coup in Sudan; the efforts Ireland is making at European Union level and at the United Nations Security Council to push for a negotiated return to democracy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56494/21]

Photo of Gino KennyGino Kenny (Dublin Mid West, People Before Profit Alliance)
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56. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he plans to raise the coup in Sudan at the United Nations Security Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56566/21]

Photo of Colm BrophyColm Brophy (Dublin South West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 42, 55 and 56 together.

Last month’s military coup was a major setback to Sudan’s hard-won democratic transition. The military leadership’s violent crackdown on the country’s civilian and civil society leadership, mass detention of protestors and methodical dismantling of transitional institutions are unacceptable.

It is vital that the international community send a strong message: the democratic transition must be restored and all those unlawfully detained must be released. Ireland continues to stress this at the United Nations and within the European Union. Sudan’s democratic transition is too important to fail, for the people of Sudan, and for the stability of the Horn of Africa region as a whole.

Ireland supported a Security Council Press Statement on 28 October condemning the coup, and was unequivocal in denouncing the action by Sudan’s military leaders at two Council meetings on Sudan, most recently on 11 November. We continue to keep further Council action under consideration, as we support the mediation efforts of the African Union, United Nations and EU envoys.

We have also pushed for a strong EU response. High Representative Josep Borrell issued a statement on 26 October on behalf of the 27 EU member States warning of serious consequences if the move to dismantle the transitional government was not reversed. At the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 15 November Minister Coveney discussed the need to incentivise a return to the path to democracy, including exploring all tools at our disposal.

Ireland is ready to consider further restrictive or financial measures, including under the EU’s Global Human Rights sanctions regime, while keeping in mind the increasing humanitarian needs on the ground.

We also remain concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation. At the Human Rights Council Special Session on Sudan on 5 November, Ireland urged the military authorities to respect the rights of peaceful assembly and return to the full implementation of the Constitutional Document and the Juba Peace Agreement.

As the crisis evolves, my officials, including through our Embassy in Nairobi accredited to Sudan, will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with our partners for a cohesive collective response and restoration of the democratic transition.

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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43. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the role the United Nations can usefully take to protect citizens and their rights in Myanmar; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55588/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland strongly condemns the coup carried out by the Myanmar military and its attempts to legitimise the military regime. The coup is a reversal of the progress made towards democracy and rule of law in Myanmar that has taken years to establish. Ireland is actively engaging in our role as an elected member of the Security Council to call on all sides to refrain from violence, and to fully respect human rights and comply with international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law.

The situation in Myanmar has been considered seven times by the United Nations Security Council, most recently on 8 November 2021, after which a Press Statement was issued. The Council has expressed deep concern regarding developments in Myanmar, condemning the use of violence by the military, and called for the release of all those detained. It is welcome that the Security Council has taken a united position on this crisis, sending a strong message to the Myanmar military. Ireland was also a member of the core group of nations who proposed the June 2021 United Nations General Assembly resolution which called for a stop to the flow of arms to Myanmar.

The situation remains on the agenda of the Security Council and we will continue to work with partners in search of a resolution. My officials also maintain regular contact with civil society organisations in Myanmar, and with those working to alleviate the humanitarian crisis there.

Military rule opens scope for further human rights abuses in Myanmar and Ireland has voiced its concern at four sessions of the Human Rights Council since February 2021. Ireland has consistently voiced support for international efforts towards ensuring accountability and justice in Myanmar, including the ongoing processes at the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

Ireland will continue to work actively to use our influence with partners and through our position on the Security Council to promote the rule of law and protect the human rights of the people of Myanmar.

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