Visit to Ireland by the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
A delegation from the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) is visiting Ireland from 29-31 May 2006. The visit forms part of the monitoring of Ireland's implementation of the Framework Convention, and follows the submission by Ireland of its Second Report under the Framework Convention on 21 December 2005.
The Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is the first multilateral human rights instrument devoted to the protection of national minorities. Ireland ratified the Framework Convention in 1999 on foot of a commitment in the Good Friday Agreement.
In Ireland, the implementation of the Framework Convention has been primarily focussed on the Traveller Community, which is given specific protection and support under Irish legislation, but it is also relevant to other emerging minorities in Irish society.
The Government views the monitoring procedure of the Framework Convention as an important instrument in the ongoing dialogue between the State authorities, civil society, and the Council of Europe, and values this opportunity to continue this constructive cooperation.
During its visit to Ireland, which has been organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the delegation is meeting with the Equality Authority, the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Intolerance and the Human Rights Commission, relevant NGOs, as well as officials from Government Departments. The delegation will also meet with the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform with special responsibility for Equality Issues, Mr Frank Fahey T.D., as well as members of the High Level Group on Traveller Issues.
Note for Editors:
Ireland signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on 1 February 1995 and ratified it on 7 May 1999, and it entered into force with respect to Ireland on 1 September 1999. Ireland submitted its first State Report under the Framework Convention on 13 November 2001. The Advisory Committee last visited Ireland in March 2003.
The Committee is made up of 18 independent experts nominated by the states party to the Framework Convention, and elected by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers. The current Irish member of the Advisory Committee is Ms Anastasia Crickley.
All documents related to the Framework Convention including Ireland's reports, and the Opinions on Ireland by the Advisory Committee can be found on the Council of Europe website at: http://www.coe.int/T/E/human_rights/minorities
30 May 2006