Human rights should take centre stage during Ireland’s EU Presidency

Fine Gael Press Office

Senator Martin Conway

Clare

Wednesday, December 12th 2012

Human rights should take centre stage during Ireland’s EU Presidency

Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Disability, Martin Conway, has said that human rights should be centre stage during Ireland’s upcoming Presidency of the EU. Senator Conway’s comments coincide with Human Rights Week 2012, which is running until Sunday, December 16th.

“Human Rights Week presents an opportunity, every year, to celebrate human rights and to advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone, everywhere. This year the focus is on making sure the voices of women, young people, minorities, people with disabilities, the poor and the marginalised are heard in public life.

“The human rights of freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in government have been at the centre of the historic changes throughout the world and particularly in the Arab world over the past two years, in which millions have taken to the streets to demand change.

“Ireland is contributing to this worldwide event by staging numerous events around the country to celebrate Human Rights Week which just shows how diverse and important human rights are to people countrywide. Ireland’s upcoming Presidency of the European Union is an ideal opportunity for the Government to put human rights centre stage.

“Ireland has a very proud record in advocating for human rights in a very practical way through our thousands of citizens who participated in missions in impoverished countries for decades.  Our Defence Forces have an excellent reputation in defending the human rights of people in conflict regions through its peacekeeping missions.

“Ireland already has a strong reputation on human rights, and I believe the EU Presidency provides us with an opportunity to improve our reputation even further.”

ENDS

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