Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (46)

Kevin Humphreys


45 Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if Ireland has been approached about joining the Open Government Partnership; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many of our EU partners are already members; if he will consider getting Ireland to sign up to this multilateral initiative to make governments better; if he will endeavour to make contact with the Open Government Partnership regarding joining; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34225/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an ad hoc international initiative which was launched in 2011 and which is overseen by a multi-stakeholder International Steering Committee involving Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as civil society representatives. The aim of the organisation is to promote progress by participating states in relation to enhanced transparency and anti-corruption measures. To my knowledge, the Government has not been in receipt of any approach by the OGP to join the organisation and the question of possible participation by Ireland has not yet been examined. It would be necessary as part of any such examination to consider, in conjunction with the other relevant Government Departments, the potential added value of membership as well as the resources implications.

Ireland participates at EU level and within the OSCE, OECD, Council of Europe and United Nations frameworks in efforts to promote cooperation on, and improvement in, transparency and anti-corruption measures. We ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2011 and are also a party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. During the Nineteenth Session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2012, Ireland co-sponsored a resolution on "The role of good governance in the promotion and protection of human rights", which was adopted by the Council. This encouraged States to ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption and emphasised the role of good governance in the full realisation of human rights, sustained economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.