Ireland to be member of the UN Commission on Human Rights
Ireland was today elected to the UN Commission on Human Rights for a three-year term from 1 January 2003. The United States, Australia and Germany were also elected from the Western European and Others Group (WEOG).
Brian Cowen, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, today warmly welcomed Ireland's forthcoming membership of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
“Ireland has always been committed to the aims and principles of the UN Charter and has played a distinctive role in the area of human rights, which has long been a central concern of our foreign policy. We attach great importance to the Commission on Human Rights, which has proved itself an essential forum for the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.”
“I am looking forward to the challenges and responsibilities which membership of the Commission will bring. These will be particularly important when Ireland assumes the Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2004 and we will be acting on behalf of the Union at the Commission. Ireland intends to play a constructive role on the Commission and to make a real contribution to vindicating human rights worldwide.”
The Minister also welcomed the return of the United States to the CHR next year, after its absence this year, and looked forward to working closely with the US delegation on the human rights agenda.
Note for Editors.
The 53-member Commission on Human Rights meets annually in Geneva for six weeks in March/April. The members are elected by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),of which the Commission on Human Rights is a subsidiary body, for three-year terms on the following basis: 15 from African States, five from Eastern European states, 11 from Latin American and Caribbean states and 10 from Western European and Other States (WEOG).
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is the main UN forum for substantive discussion of human rights issues. The CHR, at its six-week session in March and April each year, deliberates, and passes resolutions, on the full range of human rights concerns, including country situations and thematic issues.
In advance of today's election, WEOG agreed on four candidates for the four seats available for the 2003-5 term, Ireland, Australia, Germany and the United States and the list was formally agreed today by ECOSOC.
Ireland previously served on the Commission for Human Rights from 1983-88 and from 1997-99.