Written Answers. - Safety of UN Personel.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

76 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs when the Government will ratify the convention for the safety of United Nations troops and associated personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8254/98]

The adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel reflected the widespread concern felt at the growing number of deaths and injuries resulting from deliberate attacks against United Nations and associated personnel. Attacks against, or other mistreatment of, personnel who act on behalf of the United Nations are unjustifiable and unacceptable.

The current international position is that the convention is not yet in force and will not enter into force until 30 days after the deposit with the Secretary-General of the instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession of 22 countries. As of 30 March 1998, 43 states had signed the convention and 17 states were parties to the convention.

It is clear from an examination of the terms of the convention that domestic legislative measures will have to be enacted in order to give effect to the provisions of the convention in Irish law. I wish to assure the House that, once the legislation has been put in place, there will be no delay on the Department's behalf in taking the appropriate steps to lodge Ireland's instrument of accession.