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Human Rights

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 March 2021

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Questions (107, 108, 118)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

107. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which Ireland, through the UN, has focused on various worldwide abuses of human rights including the use of child soldiers, trafficking in women and young girls, the use of rape as method of war, ethnic cleansing, genocide and total disregard for democratic principles; if the international courts are being used to the fullest extent possible to counter such activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12450/21]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

108. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which he expects Ireland as a member of the UN Security Council to be in a position to focus on the various worldwide abuses of human rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12451/21]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which he expects Ireland to use its position on the UN Security Council to highlight and challenge international trafficking in women and children, the suppression of human rights, the disregard for the rule of law and the imprisonment on spurious grounds of various ethnic or other groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12461/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 107, 108 and 118 together.

Ireland plays an active role in promoting and protecting human rights at the United Nations, including through our active engagement in the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the Third Committee of the General Assembly.

As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland assumed its seat on the UN Security Council on 1 January 2021. We are committed to actively mainstreaming human rights across the full Council agenda, which includes some 20 thematic files and 30 country and regional files.

Three core principles will frame our approach: building peace, strengthening conflict prevention and ensuring accountability. In our approach to ensuring accountability, Ireland will promote respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, prioritise the protection of civilians and support the fight against impunity and the International Criminal Court.

Many of the countries on the Security Council agenda face serious human rights challenges, which will be an important consideration in our work on country-specific items.

UN Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions play an essential role in protecting civilians and promoting respect for human rights, and Ireland will support their crucial work in this area.

We will promote accountability and compliance with international human rights law in our engagement on thematic issues, and in our work on Security Council subsidiary bodies, including sanctions committees, the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, and the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security, which we will co-chair.

We will also seek to promote interaction between the Security Council and Geneva-based UN human rights bodies.

We are consulting on a regular basis with civil society on a wide variety of human rights issues. Moreover, we are in regular contact with the Irish UN special procedure mandate holders on their areas of work, which encompass trafficking in persons, especially women and children; human rights defenders; the rights of persons with disabilities; and the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

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