Minister for Foreign Affairs Welcomes Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Announcement
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen T.D., welcomed as a good step forward today’s announcement by the British Government in relation to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. He said:
“The steps which have been announced represent an important opportunity for progress in the ongoing implementation of the Human Rights aspects of the Good Friday Agreement”. The Minister also said:
“It is vital that the applicants for the posts on the incoming Commission are of the highest calibre. I encourage all those with a commitment to the realisation of the human rights culture envisaged in the Agreement to put themselves forward for consideration, so that the Commission will, as the Agreement states, be both independent of Government and reflective of the community. In this regard, the participation of a human rights expert in the selection process should be helpful in generating confidence”.
Minister Cowen also acknowledged 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 satisfactory conclusion of the Review of Powers, and agreement on the establishment of a Forum on a Bill of Rights, involving civil society and the political parties in Northern Ireland.
In conclusion, Minister Cowen said
“I look forward to continuing dialogue with the British Government, the political parties and other key participants on the human rights agenda, which is a vital aspect of the Agreement, and is of relevance and concern to both communities”.
+++ENDS 5 May 2004 Top