Department of Foreign Affairs 6th Annual NGO Forum on Human Rights, Saturday, 4 December 2004
Conor Lenihan, T.D., Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Development Cooperation and Human Rights will address the Annual Department of Foreign Affairs/NGO Forum on Human Rights on Saturday, 4 December.
Commenting on the significance of the upcoming Forum, Minister of State Lenihan highlighted the importance of maintaining and building on the links between non-governmental organisations and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Forum was established by the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1998 to allow discussion on a wide range of human rights issues with the emphasis on foreign policy. The Forum will be held at Croke Park.
The theme for this year’s Forum is “Women and Human Rights”. Issues that will be addressed include trafficking in women and girls, violence against women in conflict situations and women as human rights defenders.
The Forum will be addressed this year by key individuals from the national and international human rights community, from the United Nations, and from government circles.
Ms. Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International will deliver the keynote address.
Other international speakers include Prof. Feride Acar, Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and Ms Carolyn Hannan, Director of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. They will participate in the plenary panel debate entitled “Ireland’s International Human Rights Obligations” where discussion will focus on Ireland’s next reports under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which are to be examined in July 2005.
Dr. Helga Konrad, the Special Representative on Combating Trafficking, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe will participate in the discussion on Trafficking in Women and Girls. NGO and Gárda representatives will also examine the issue of trafficking in an Irish context
Women human rights defenders from Zimbabwe, India and Belarus will contribute to the discussion on women as human rights defenders, as well as Ms. Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders.
Approximately 300 people are expected to attend the conference on 4 December including representatives from most leading human rights organisations, academia and the diplomatic corps together with leading members of the Judiciary and the Houses of the Oireachtas.