Minister for European Affairs, Mr. Dick Roche T.D., stresses Ireland’s commitment to human rights in Madrid speech
Speaking today to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of
Europe, at their meeting in Madrid to mark the sixtieth anniversary
of its founding, Minister for Europe, Dick Roche T.D.,
“Ireland was among the ten founder countries which signed the Treaty of London creating the Council of Europe in 1949. The establishment of the Council was an important landmark not only in the history of Europe, but also in the diplomatic history of my own country. Ireland’s involvement, from the very beginning, in the work of the Council was a sign of our commitment to the reconstruction of Europe along firmly democratic lines. Since 1949, the Council has proved its worth, and its membership now extends to 47 countries, each of which has committed to be bound by its values and standards. This community of values has an important role for the future of democratic stability and for the development of state institutions in which our citizens feel they can have confidence”.
The Minister went on to say that while there were many worthy objectives to be pursued, the difficult economic circumstances and pressures on budgets suggested that we concentrate on core tasks identified at the Warsaw Summit of May 2005 – the preservation and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
“There is much to do in this core area,” the Minister said, “ranging from the human rights aspects of protracted conflicts to the problems of ethnic minorities and the socially excluded. In saluting the achievements of the Council of Europe, I hope that we will be able to chart a way forward that is both principled and realistic.”
Note for the editor
Full text of speech also attached.
12 May 2009