Minister Cowen welcomes election of first Irish candidate to a major United Nations Treaty Monitoring Body
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Brian Cowen TD has welcomed the election of Michael O’Flaherty to the United Nations Human Rights Committee this week in New York. The UN Human Rights Committee comprises experts, serving in their personal capacity, who assess how states are meeting their obligations under the UN’s major human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Minister Cowen said “Mr O’Flaherty’s election represents the first occasion on which an Irish national has been elected to a major UN treaty body. We are delighted that our efforts on his behalf have borne fruit. He will bring to his new role a wealth of practical experience and a wide knowledge of human rights issues. He will also be an independent and impartial voice as required by the Covenant”.
Note for Editors
Michael O’Flaherty is currently Co-Director of the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre and Reader in Human Rights at that University. He advises a number of international organizations including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNICEF and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He has served previously as Coordinator of OHCHR programmes in Asia and the Pacific, and as manager of its field operation in Sierra Leone. He has written over thirty books and articles on human rights.
The UN Human Rights Committee examines reports submitted by states who are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the major UN treaty covering these issues. The Committee consists of 18 members who serve four-year terms.