Visit of Minister Thomas Byrne to Norway
Press release05 May 2022
Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne T.D. will visit Norway from 4th-6th May. This will be the Minister’s first visit to Norway, a country with whom Ireland enjoys excellent bilateral relations and a strong economic relationship.
Speaking in advance of the visit, Minister Byrne noted “Norway is an important partner for Ireland in Europe and as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council in 2021-2022 we have worked very closely on important global security issues. I will thank Foreign Minister Huitfeldt for this cooperation and I look forward to sharing perspectives on the current crisis in Ukraine. I will also brief the Minister on Ireland’s ambitious Nordic Strategy.”
The Minister will begin his visit in the southern city of Kristiansand where, at the third European Conference on Democracy and Human Rights, he will deliver a keynote address on the importance of implementing judgements made at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Conference is an initiative of the Council of Europe’s former Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and current Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge, both of whom Minister Byrne will meet in Kristiansand. Ireland assumes the six-month Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 20 May.
The Minister said “As one of its ten founding members, Ireland attaches great importance to the work of the Council of Europe as a whole, and in particular that of the European Court of Human Rights. The work of the ECtHR, enshrining a firm commitment to the rule of law, underpins the values of the Council of Europe- values which Ukrainians and other human rights activists across the continent are currently defending”.
During the conference, Minister Byrne will meet with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarussian opposition leader during the August 2020 Presidential elections, currently exiled in Vilnius. In the aftermath of the election, Ms Tsikhanouskaya established the opposition Coordination Council, which received the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament and was one of the Chernobyl Children receiving respite in Ireland during the 1990s.
The Minister will conclude his visit in Oslo on Friday where he will hold a bilateral meeting with Norway’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Anniken Huitfeldt, who has been Foreign Minister in Norway’s Labour-led Government since late 2021.
5 May 2022