Minister Conor Lenihan meets OHCHR and Red Cross Chiefs in Geneva and announces major increase in funding and that Ireland will sign Convention on Enforced Disappearances
Conor Lenihan, T.D., Minister of State Irish Aid and Human Rights, today met Louise Arbour, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and Jakob Kellenberger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, on a visit to Geneva.
During his meeting with Ms. Arbour, Minister Lenihan announced that Ireland’s contribution for 2007 to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) would increase by 15% to a record level of €3.9m.
“Ms. Arbour’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world is well known. Under her leadership, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has continued to go from strength to strength in meeting the undoubted challenges of fulfilling its mandate,” he said.
“Ireland has consistently been among the largest voluntary contributors to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and I am delighted to be able to announce that our contribution to the Office in 2007 will increase by 15% to a record level of €3.9m,” said the Minister.
During his meeting with Dr. Kellenberger, Minister Lenihan recalled the strong Irish support to the ICRC in recent years which saw funding in 2006 reach €4.8m, which was double the level of funding in 2005 and looked forward to further strengthening the partnership with the ICRC in the period ahead.
Minister Lenihan raised a number of urgent humanitarian crises where the ICRC is working. “The situation in Darfur is of particular concern and humanitarian access continues to be difficult. Ireland is working to improve humanitarian access and continues to believe strongly that the Sudanese authorities should agree to the provision of a strengthened hybrid UN/AU force in Darfur,” said the Minister
While in Geneva, Minister Lenihan also announced that Ireland will shortly sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.
“This Convention represents a landmark in the development of international law to fight against enforced disappearances and I am delighted to confirm that Ireland will be signing it,” said that Minister.
Note for Editors
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is a department of the UN Secretariat and is mandated to protect and promote all human rights and to prevent the occurrence or continuation of human rights abuses throughout the world.
The Office is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ireland is the largest voluntary contributor to the OHCHR when the contribution is expressed in terms of Gross National Income and we were the 7th largest contributor in absolute terms in 2006.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances aims to prevent and punish the enforced disappearance of individuals by Governments. States Parties to the Convention are obliged to make enforced disappearance a crime and to punish the perpetrators.
The Government has given its approval for Ireland to sign the Convention and this will happen in the coming weeks.Top