Minister Dermot Ahern meets the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and representatives of the Human Rights Consortium in Belfast
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern T.D. in Belfast today met Monica McWilliams, Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Commission Members, to discuss current human rights issues in Northern Ireland. The meeting focussed in particular on the question of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.
The Minister said “The Government is strongly in favour of an open and inclusive debate on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, involving the political parties and civic society. We have consistently supported the establishment of an inclusive Round Table Forum to facilitate this, as outlined in the Joint Declaration published in May 2003.We will continue to work with the British Government to that end.”
The Minister also met representatives of the Human Rights Consortium, led by co-covenors Maggie Beirne, Director CAJ and Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International, to discuss the Bill of Rights issue. He acknowledged the Consortium's creative and committed work to date in support of a strong and inclusive Bill of Rights, and assured them of the Government's intention to remain actively engaged with the British Government, with the NGO Community and with the political parties on this important issue.
3 March 2006