Minister Dermot Ahern welcomes Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission appointments
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., today welcomed the appointment of a new Chief Commissioner, Professor Monica McWilliams, and seven new Commissioners to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
He said: “These appointments represent a significant step in the ongoing implementation of the human rights provisions of the Good Friday Agreement. The incoming Chief Commissioner, and indeed all Commissioners appointed, bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to their task. I am confident that they will make a strong contribution towards promoting a vibrant human rights culture in Northern Ireland. I wish the Commissioners every success in their endeavours.”
Minister Ahern also noted the importance of a number of key issues to the successful operation and development of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in the future, including the granting of further powers to the Commission, and agreement on the establishment of a Forum on a Bill of Rights, involving civil society and the political parties in Northern Ireland. These issues have previously been discussed with the British Government within the framework of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.
He added: “We will continue to raise these issues with the British Government, the political parties, and other key participants, as we believe that the human rights agenda is one which is relevant and important to both communities in Northern Ireland”.
Note for Editors:
The Good Friday Agreement provided for the setting up of Human Rights Commissions, North and South. It also provided that there should be a joint committee of both Commissions, as a forum for consideration of human rights issues in the island of Ireland.