Fine Gael Press Office Senator Martin Conway Clare
Tuesday, November 20th 2012

Conway welcomes securing of Ireland’s seat on UN Human Rights Council
Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad spokesperson on Disability and Equality, Martin Conway, has today (Tuesday) welcomed Ireland’s success at securing a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.
“I am absolutely delighted that Ireland has secured a three year term on the UN Human Rights Council.  This is a very important international body and it gives Ireland a voice and an influential position at a crucial time in the advancement of human rights both at European level and throughout the world. This opportunity, which coincides with our six month Presidency of the EU, will give us a unique opportunity to shape policy on international human rights.
“Ireland’s success in securing this prestigious position is largely down to the determination and hard work of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore TD, who has been working with our diplomatic and embassy network around the world.  This is a historic achievement, as it is the first time Ireland has ever held a seat on the Human Rights Council.
“I wish to commend all involved in making this happen and I have no doubt that we will take full advantage of this unique opportunity in our country’s history to make a real difference in the very important area of human rights.  Our reputation in the area of human rights is very strong, not least because of the very successful international peace keeping missions carried out by our Defence Forces. 
“I am positive that 2013 is going to be a very successful year for Ireland in the area of human rights at home and abroad.  The long awaited capacity legislation, which is due shortly and is a key commitment in the Programme for Government, will pave the way for our ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.  This together with the proposed amalgamation of the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority into one powerful agency which will be known as the Irish Human Rights and Equality Authority, will ensure the structures will be in place for the protection and development of human rights into the future.”