Written Answers. - UN Conventions.

Jack Wall


64 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the plans, if any, he has to ratify the UN Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18094/98]

The Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1994. The adoption of the Convention reflected the widespread concern felt at the growing number of deaths and injuries resulting from deliberate attacks against UN and associated personnel. Attacks against, or other mistreatment of, personnel who act on behalf of the UN 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 UN Secretary-General of the instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession of 22 countries. As of October 1998, there were 43 signatories and 20 states parties to the Convention. Given that the Convention remained open for signature only until 31 December 1995, Ireland is not now in a position to sign the Convention. In order to become party to the Convention, Ireland will have to proceed by way of accession.

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 assure the House that, once the legislation has been put in place, there will be no delay on the part of the Department of Foreign Affairs in taking the appropriate steps to lodge Ireland's instrument of accession.