Minister Sherlock chairs First Meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Human Rights25 March 2015
Minister Sherlock chairs First Meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Human Rights
The Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North-South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today chaired the first meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Human Rights.
The Committee was one of the innovations arising from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Foreign Policy Review, “The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World”, launched in January 2015.
The objective of the new Inter-Departmental Committee is to improve the coherence of the promotion and protection of human rights in Ireland’s Foreign Policy. It will also assist progress towards ratification by Ireland of key international human rights treaties and reporting to United Nations and Council of Europe human rights monitoring bodies.
Speaking today, Minister Sherlock said:
“I am delighted to chair this first meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Human Rights, which I am determined will provide an impetus towards enhancing our reputation internationally in terms of our commitment to human rights.
“The “Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World” committed us to improving the coherence of the promotion and protection of human rights in our foreign policy, and the Committee will serve as a forum for this.”
Today’s first meeting will see agreement on the Terms of Reference of the Committee. There will also be an overview of where Ireland stands on its reporting obligations under the United Nations and Council of Europe treaty obligations and a discussion on progress towards ratification of international human rights treaties. The Committee will hear an update on the development of Ireland’s National Plan on business and human rights. It is envisaged that the Committee, which will meet two to three times a year under the Chairmanship of Minister Sherlock, will help to create a dynamic for ensuring better coordination and coherence across government departments on human rights issues in the foreign policy context.
The key Departments represented on the Committee are: the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Finance, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.