Question No. 148 answered with Question No. 137.

Questions Nos. 149 and 150 answered with Question No. 142.

Questions Nos. 151 to 155, inclusive, answered with Question No. 137.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (156)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

156. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the estimated full-year cost if the budget for the reconciliation fund increased by 10%. [13259/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Reconciliation Fund awards grants to organisations working to build better relations within and between traditions in Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between Ireland and Britain.

The annual budget for the Fund was €2.7 million in 2018. In May 2018, on the 20th Anniversary of the referendums on the Good Friday Agreement, I announced that it would be increased to €3.7 million from 2019 onwards reflecting the Government's unwavering commitment to the Agreement and to supporting the vital work of reconciliation being carried out by civil society and groups in Northern Ireland and across this island.

This represented an increase of 37%. If the fund were to be increased by a further 10%, this would bring the total budget to €4.07 million, an increase of €370,000.

Further details about the Reconciliation Fund and lists of grants issued previously can be found on my Department's website at www.dfa.ie/about-us/funding/reconciliation-fund/.

Election Monitoring Missions

Questions Nos. 158 and 159 answered with Question No. 137.

Questions (157)

Robert Troy

Question:

157. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a disability accommodation will be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13362/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I refer the Deputy to the response to Parliamentary Question No. 68 of 12 March 2019. The mustering in question has now been finalised. A detailed note in the following link accompanies this response.

Election Observation Roster

Questions Nos. 158 and 159 answered with Question No. 137.

Passport Applications

Questions Nos. 161 and 162 answered with Question No. 137.

Questions Nos. 163 and 164 answered with Question No. 142.

Questions (160)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

160. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the progress to date in the determination of an application for a passport via the foreign births registration process in the case of a person (details supplied); when the application is likely to concluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13395/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

This application for Foreign Births Registration, citizenship by descent, was received by my Department on 1 March 2019, and receipt was acknowledged to the applicant on that date.

At present it takes approximately six months to process a complete Foreign Birth Registration application. However, due to the complex nature of the Foreign Birth Registration process, certain applications may take longer.

Once citizenship is granted, then an application for a passport can be made.

Questions Nos. 161 and 162 answered with Question No. 137.
Questions Nos. 163 and 164 answered with Question No. 142.

Interdepartmental Working Groups

Questions (165)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

165. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the working groups currently established in his Department; the focus of their work; the membership composition of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13567/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The following interdepartmental working groups are currently established in which my Department has a role along with a number of intradepartmental working groups:

Name: Interdepartmental Working Group to the National Archives Amendment Act (2018).

Focus: Agree an implementation plan for the amendments to the National Archives Act (1986) and to move to release official records to the public from 30 years to 20 years.

Membership: National Archives of Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of the Taoiseach, Department of Justice and Equality and Office of the Attorney General.

Name: National Archives Interdepartmental Working Group.

Focus: Exchange of information on content of the annual transfer of 30 year qualifying files and related issues.

Membership: National Archives of Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of the Taoiseach, Department of Justice and Equality, Office of the Attorney General, Department of Defence, Military Archives, Department of Finance and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

Name: International Trade Coordination Working Group.

Focus: Trade and Promotion.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Finance, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Department of Education and Skills, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Department of the Taoiseach, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland, Culture Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.

Name: CDISC – Cross-Departmental International Sanctions Committee.

Focus: UN and EU sanctions, including domestic implementation.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Justice and Equality, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Finance, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Central Bank and An Garda Síochána.

Name: Communications Subgroup (of the Public Sector Coordination Group) on IFS2020.

Focus: The group’s work focuses on communications and messaging activities in support of the promotion of IFS2020, the Government’s strategy for the International Financial Services sector.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Department of the Taoiseach, Department of Finance, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and IDA.

Name: Oversight Group for the implementation of Ireland’s Second National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325.

Focus: The group’s work focuses on implementation of Ireland’s Second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Membership: Comprised of approximately 50% statutory representatives and 50% representatives from civil society, academia and other independent experts.

Name: Working Group on the development of Ireland’s Third National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Focus: The group’s work focuses on development of Ireland’s Third National Action Plan.

Membership: Comprised of approximately 50% statutory representatives and 50% representatives from civil society, academia and other independent experts.

Name: Interdepartmental Committee on Peacekeeping.

Focus: To provide bi-annual updates on Irish participation in UN Peacekeeping initiatives and EU Common Security and Defence Policy Missions

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Defence, Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, Department of the Taoiseach and Department of Justice and Equality.

Name: Interdepartmental Committee on Human Rights.

Focus: International and domestic policy related to human rights, including engagement at international multilateral fora.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Justice and Equality, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Department of Education and Skills, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Department of Health, Department of Finance, Department of the Taoiseach, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Office of the Attorney General and others as necessary.

Name: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee on Human Rights.

Focus: International policy and engagement at international fora relating to human rights.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NGOs, academic institutions and other bodies/individuals appointed in a representative rather than an individual capacity. Other government departments when and if required.

Name: Business and Human Rights (BHR) Implementation Group.

Focus: Progress of implementation of the national plan on BHR and priority areas outlined in the national plan.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Finance, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Department of Justice and Equality and nominated external representatives.

Name: Holocaust Education, Research and Remembrance Standing Committee.

Focus: Engagement with and implementation of Ireland’s membership of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Education and Skills, Department of Justice and Equality, Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI), the Irish Jewish Museum and academia.

Name: Reference Group for the Civil Society Policy Update.

Focus: The focus of their work is to review the Civil Society Policy which is due to be renewed later this year.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and representatives from Ethiopia, Palestine and Tanzania.

Name: The Interdepartmental Committee on EU Engagement (ICEE).

Focus: The ICEE focuses on encouraging and monitoring engagement with the EU Institutions, particularly the European Commission and European Parliament; and monitoring the implementation of EU legislation, including transposition of EU legislation and handling of infringements.

Membership: Senior official representatives of all Government Departments and the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

Name: The Interdepartmental Group on European Union and Brexit (IGEUB).

Focus: The IGEUB focuses on a) Preview upcoming sectoral Councils and European Councils and b) Current issues on the EU agenda, including Brexit.

Membership: Senior official representatives of all Government Departments and the Office of the Attorney General.

Name: Interdepartmental Committee on Placement of Irish Staff in International Organisations.

Focus: The IDC focuses on a) Co-ordinating and supporting the broader effort to improve Ireland’s representation in international organisations and b) Advising on the operation of the Central Funding Scheme to support the placement of Irish staff in international organisations.

Membership: Senior official representatives from a number of Government Departments and the Public Appointments Service.

Name: Interdepartmental Committee on the EU post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Focus: The group focuses on Ireland’s positions in the ongoing and future negotiations on the Post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework and to ensure the dissemination of information from EU working groups.

Membership: Membership consists of representatives from each Government Department and body who have an interest in the Post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Name: Legislative SOG.

Focus: The group which is co-chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Taoiseach focus on the domestic primary and secondary legislation required in the event of Brexit.

Membership: All Government Departments are invited to attend.

Name: Assistant Secretary Group on no-deal Brexit Contingency Planning.

Focus: The group which is co-chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Taoiseach focuses on contingency planning for a no deal Brexit scenario.

Membership: All Government Departments are invited to attend.

Name: Landbridge Project Group.

Focus: The focus of the work of the Landbridge Project Group is facilitating the transit of goods across the landbridge after Brexit.

Membership: Involves all relevant Government Departments, including the Department of Finance, the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Department of Health, and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Name: Brexit Coordinators Group.

Focus: The focus of the work of this group is Brexit Coordination on a whole of Government basis.

Membership: All Government Departments are invited to attend.

Name: Brexit Communications Group.

Focus: The focus of the Group’s work (Initially established by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and now chaired by Department of the Taoiseach) is no-deal communications planning and implementation.

Membership: All Government Departments are invited to attend.

Name: The Working Group on Equality and Diversity.

Focus: The focus of the Working Group is to create an inclusive and diverse working environment that encourages a culture of respect and equality to benefit staff, the Department, and those whom we serve.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff members.

Name: The Gender Equality Action Plan Working Group.

Focus: The focus of the Working Group is to progress implementation of the action points in the consolidated Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Gender Equality Action Plan, particularly those actions that are linked to the Department’s HR Strategy.

Membership: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff members.

Name: Data Champions Network Working Group.

Focus: Exchange of information on implementation of GDPR across the Department and Embassy network.

Membership: Business Units in Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and throughout Embassy network.

Human Rights Cases

Questions (166)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

166. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the ongoing concerns relating to the treatment of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13616/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland attaches great importance to the fundamental human rights of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. I am well aware of the vulnerable situation of persons belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan and will continue to raise the issue with the Pakistan Government as well as through the framework and mechanisms of the European Union and the United Nations.

I am aware of the particular case. Following an appeal, the Supreme Court of Pakistan recently overturned the conviction. Since the Supreme Court decision, my Department has continued to follow developments in the case.

I have asked officials in my Department, including in the Embassy of Ireland in Ankara, which is also accredited to Pakistan, to continue to monitor the situation and to keep me updated on developments.

Consular Services

Questions Nos. 168 and 169 answered with Question No. 142.

Questions (167)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

167. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which an Irish citizen who is due to marry a Filipino citizen in the Philippines fulfils the person's obligations under the CENOMAR rules; the office here in which the person can process a CENOMAR application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13619/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through its Consular offices in Dublin and Cork and through its network of missions abroad, may issue a civil letter of freedom to Irish citizens getting married abroad. It is important to note that this is not an Irish requirement, but is based on the requirements of the country where the marriage will take place. Each country has its own requirements governing marriage and I would advise Irish citizens who plan to marry abroad to contact the civil registration office in the country of marriage to ensure that they are fully informed of all requirements.

In this instance I would advise the citizen involved to lodge an application for a civil letter of freedom to my Department. Applications should be submitted at least four months ahead of the date of marriage. The application process consists of an online questionnaire, which can be found on the Department’s website, and the submission of certain documentation as required. For those living abroad, applications can be submitted to the nearest Embassy or Consular office to where the citizen is residing. For citizens living in Ireland applications should be submitted by registered post to our offices in Cork or Dublin at the contact details listed. My officials will be happy to answer any further questions and can be contacted in Cork or in Dublin as outlined below.

Consular Services,

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

1A South Mall,

Cork

Tel: 021 494 4763 (10am – 1pm)

Consular Section,

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

Marriages Abroad Section,

80. St. Stephen's Green,

Dublin D02 VY53

Tel: 01 408 2523 (10am – 12pm)

Questions Nos. 168 and 169 answered with Question No. 142.