Written Answers. - International Agreements.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

269 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the proposed international multilateral agreements under the auspices of his Department being negotiated or prepared; the international organisation, if any, in each case through whose machinery the agreement is being negotiated; if it is proposed to ratify or accede to the agreement, if adopted; if so, if legislation will be required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19542/00]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

270 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the international multilateral agreements under the auspices of his Department which have not been signed by the State; the date and place it was opened for signature in each case; the international organisation, if any, through whose machinery the agreement was negotiated; if it is proposed to sign the agreement; if so, when; if legislation is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19557/00]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

271 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the international multilateral agreements under the auspices of his Department which have been signed but not ratified or acceded to by the State; the date and place it was opened for signature in each case; the international organisation, if any, through whose machinery the agreement was negotiated; if it is proposed to ratify or accede to the agreement; if so, when; if legislation is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19572/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 269, 270 and 271 together.

As I have pointed out in previous replies to similar questions on this subject, there is a very large number and variety of international agreements, both bilateral and multilateral, already in existence going back over a number of years. New proposals for draft international agreements are constantly being put forward for discussion and negotiation.

Consideration is given on an ongoing basis to the desirability of Ireland signing, or becoming a party to, those agreements which it has not already signed. In addition, it is often the case that the subject matter of an international agreement relates to the area of work of other Government Departments whose views must be taken into consideration in deciding whether or not Ireland should sign or become party to a particular international agreement. In many cases it will be necessary for other Departments to introduce new domestic legislation or put in place new administrative arrangements in order to allow Ireland to fulfil its obligations under an international agreement. In some cases an amendment to the Constitution may be required.

Given the large number and range of international agreements in existence or under negotiation, signature or accession may not necessarily be under active consideration in respect of all such agreements at any given time. The situation is kept under review in the context of the ongoing assessment and prioritisation of Ireland's international commitments.

If the Deputy has a query concerning Ireland's position with regard to a particular international, or proposed international agreement, I will be happy to provide him with more detailed information.