Minister for Foreign Affairs announces establishment of resident representation in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
Speaking at the Committee of Ministers meeting in Strasbourg the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews T.D., announced the establishment by Ireland of a resident representation to the Council in Strasbourg.
The Minister was speaking in response to the presentation to the Council of the report of the Committee of Wise Persons set up to examine how the Council should be reformed and strenghtened. The Minister went on to say that the political, economic and institutional changes which have taken place since 1989 have had significant implications for the future of the Council of Europe. Ireland will have a vital role to play in ensuring the future development of the Council when we assume the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers in November 1999.
While in Strasbourg the Minister also atteended the inauguration ceremony of the new Permanent European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Welcoming the setting up of the new Court the Minister expressed the hope that the new Court will expedite the hearing of cases, which are seriously backlogged.
The Government was very happy to nominate Mr. John Heddigan S.C. as the Irish Judge on the Court.
The Minister also availed of his visit to Strasbourg to brief his fellow Ministers on the latest developments in the Peace Process. The Minister explained that he travelled to Strasbourg directly from meeting with the parties in Belfast. The Minister said that he was very encouraged with the progress achieved at yesterday's meeting.