Ahern, Dermot

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 596 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 199 Next Page Last Page

European Council Meetings: Statements.

I thank the Deputy for his statement. While I think I am answering a question on the matter later, I assure Deputy Allen that we will raise the specific issue to which he referred with the Israeli aut...More Button

The money is available in the Estimates immediately to open the missions in question. Work is ongoing in that respect and the Deputy may have seen recent advertisements for new staff. The Department o...More Button

The answer to the second question is simply “No”. The matter was made quite clear in the recent amendment to the constitution on common defence. As with its predecessors, the Government is not adoptin...More Button

While I was not in office prior to the accession of countries like Poland, my honest impression since I began to attend General Affairs and External Relations Council meetings has been that there is u...More Button

I am concerned that there could be difficulties regarding the communications of these documents but there is time. I assure the Deputy there will be a significant campaign. When the Referendum Commiss...More Button

There is no problem discussing EU issues in the House. It is a matter of time and it is up to the Whips to decide. The Government has not made a decision on a date for the referendum. Work is ongoing ...More Button

I cannot say. No discussion will take place at Cabinet until work is done in this regard.More Button

There was no discussion at the Council meeting about the co-ordination of the ratification of referenda. Each country is conscious of and takes account of what others are doing but each member state m...More Button

That is a hypothetical question.More Button

The issue of the Chinese arms embargo has been raised time and time again in the House, at the foreign affairs committee and by the public. It is on the table at EU level on the basis that a number of...More Button

We do not believe an arms embargo in this day and age, given how good our relations are with China, is an instrument to do business with or to hold as a bargaining chip in regard to other matters abou...More Button

The commissioner raised this issue at the meeting and there will be discussions between now and 17 March in this respect. However, our view is the discussions with Croatia should take place on 17 Marc...More Button

Priority Questions - US Military Intervention.

Was asked: if he has had discussions with his counterparts in the European Union regarding recent statements from the highest levels in the US Administration that military action may be taken against Iran to hal...More Button

There is widespread international concern about Iran’s development of its nuclear programme, in particular its uranium enrichment component, and its compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear N...More Button

As I said in my reply, discussions at EU level between the UK, France, Germany and the Iranian authorities have been extremely successful. I will not repeat that reply which outlines how far we have c...More Button

Part of my discussions with Condoleezza Rice will revolve around the Middle East and the Iranian situation. As far as the European Union and I are concerned there is no twin-track approach on this. Di...More Button

Priority Questions - Humanitarian Relief.

Was asked: the Government’s medium to long-term proposals with regard to aid for the victims of the recent tragic tsunami in south-east Asia and overseas aid in general; if the Government will reconsider its br...More Button

Priority Questions - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: the reason he has decided to produce a White Paper on development assistance.More Button

Priority Questions - Middle East Peace Process.

Was asked: if he has met or spoken with the new president of the Palestinian Authority; the steps the Government will take to assist in the development of improved relations between Israel and the Palestinian Au...More Button

I have not yet had the opportunity to speak directly to President Mahmoud Abbas. The Taoiseach telephoned President Abbas to congratulate him on his success in the elections and assured him of Ireland...More Button

We are aware of the incident and have been in contact with the Israeli authorities through our embassy. The portents have been good regarding last week’s contacts between the Israelis and Palestinians...More Button

Priority Questions - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if he will report on his discussions with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of other EU states regarding EU battlegroups; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The battlegroups-rapid response elements concept is one that has been under development in the European Union for some time. From the outset of the establishment of the European Security and Defence P...More Button

I must say as a preamble, I was intrigued by the discussion that took place this morning at the European Council meeting. On the one hand, the Deputy appears entirely wedded to the triple lock while, ...More Button

I would be very interested to hear about the negotiations on a Mullingar accord or a Dublin 4 accord.More Button

I am not asking questions; I am just making a point. I am entitled to make a point. It is a very interesting point, something the Deputy should articulate at some stage. While Deputy Kenny said recent...More Button

Most of the discussions with my Swedish and Finnish counterparts were not about battlegroups, they were about the civilian response in the aftermath of the tsunami. After expressing my sympathy, parti...More Button

It is the wish of the Irish people that——More Button

——our troops should be involved in humanitarian assistance worldwide. They expect the Army to be used in a positive way in that sense. They also want to be sure that if the Army goes abroad, it is wit...More Button

Other Questions - Humanitarian Relief.

Was asked: if he will report on the Irish aid effort to Asia following the tsunami disaster; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his contacts with other heads of Government regarding the humanitarian crisis following the tsunami in south east Asia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the steps being taken to ensure that moneys pledged by the international community to assist countries affected by the Asia tsunami will be collected and used in the humanitarian effort; and if he wil...More Button

Was asked: if he has been in touch with the heads of Government of those countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, which suffered such serious devastation arising from the recent tsunami disaster; and if he will m...More Button

Was asked: if he has had made contact with other EU Heads of Government with a view to better coordination of the relief effort arising from the recent tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean; and if he will make a...More Button

Was asked: if he intends to increase the amount pledged by the Government in humanitarian assistance to the countries affected by the Asia tsunami; if further Government aid will be taken directly from the emerg...More Button

Was asked: the amount that has been dispersed by the Government to aid agencies working in response to the Asia tsunami; the agencies that have received moneys; the broad uses that these moneys have been put to;...More Button

Was asked: the amount which has been pledged by the Government to date to assist relief efforts in the aftermath of the tsunami in south Asia; the way in which this money will be spent; the countries in which Ir...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the humanitarian situation in Thailand, in view of the recent devastating tsunami; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the humanitarian situation in India, in regions affected by the recent devastating tsunami; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka, in view of the recent devastating tsunami; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the humanitarian situation in Indonesia, in view of the recent devastating tsunami; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has made representations to the Indonesian Government concerning the dispersal of aid to all areas of Indonesia affected by the tsunami disaster; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The contingency fund was intended to cover disasters.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his meeting with aid agencies to discuss the spending of the Government’s donation to the Asian tsunami disaster relief efforts.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his meeting with representatives of the overseas development aid agencies on 4 January 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to the tsunami-affected countries in south-east Asia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to south Asia in the aftermath of the tsunami; the groups and organisations he met during his visit; if he observed the manner in which Irish aid is being spent; ...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to the tsunami-affected countries in south-east Asia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his meeting with aid agencies on 4 January 2005 to discuss the aftermath of the tsunami in Asia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 93, 94, 135, 163, 236 and 239 together. On 4 January, the Taoiseach and I met several aid agencies to discuss the tsunami disaster in south Asia. The meeting provided ...More Button

On the issue of value for money, €540 million of taxpayers’ money will be spent this year in various regions, but particularly in Africa. There are mechanisms in place to ensure value for money and ac...More Button

That is not an issue to be discussed here.More Button

My Minister of State, Deputy Conor Lenihan, attended a significant conference on the impact of environmental issues on humanitarian situations. He was criticised to a certain extent for attending that...More Button

The Deputy is somewhat critical of the American response. I can only say from what I saw on the ground, and in Banda Aceh in particular, the people doing the most work was the American military.More Button

If they had not been there, the people of that area would have been in much greater difficulty.More Button

We have to make a statement and be fair to nations when they contribute. I do not want to be critical of other people who were there but from what I and the people who were with me saw, and in Sri Lan...More Button

They have agreed that they will work in partnership with the Government and in consultation with other NGOs and the general public who would have a view on this to put in place a realistic timetable——More Button

——which people know may or may not be reached depending on the growth rates that are possible.More Button

I assure the Deputy that it is a commitment of this Government to reach the 0.7% target.More Button

John O’Shea continually states that the percentage is not important and that the overall amount and how it is spent is vital.More Button

In light of the growth rates the country enjoyed in recent years, it has been acknowledged that we are chasing a target, 0.7%, which keeps moving away. It is accepted that we should work in partnershi...More Button

The Deputy should examine his record when he was in government. He made commitments and did not comply with any of them.More Button

We have the record.More Button

In terms of the previous question, Deputy Michael Higgins referred to some other countries which do not, in reality, match the pledges they make.More Button

I accept that and I am referring to the relief fund. It has been proven, in respect of previous disasters, that countries pledge certain amounts in the initial phases of responses to disasters but whe...More Button

Ireland’s position, regardless of the nature of the Government in office, has always been that if it makes a pledge, it fulfils it. Unlike some other major countries, we do not link our ODA to trade. ...More Button

There was a small amount of discussion about that matter at EU level. However, I am of the opinion that it is not a runner. Most of the larger countries were opposed to it and did not believe it would...More Button

Other Questions - EU Constitution.

Was asked: the timescale within which the new EU constitution will be put to referendum; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the plans for the ratification procedure for the EU constitution in the various member states; the implications of any member state of the EU failing to ratify the constitution; and if he will make a ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 169 together. To enter into force, the European constitution must be ratified by all member states of the European Union in accordance with their own constituti...More Button

A decision has not been taken on when the referendum will be held. As stated earlier in respect of the discussion at the European Council meeting in December, when I leave the House I will attend a me...More Button

Written Answers - Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Was asked: if he will report on the ongoing developments at European level with regard to a common European security and defence arrangement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the context of the European security and defence policy, ESDP, the Union is increasing its ability to contribute to both the civilian and military dimensions of crisis management. There is great va...More Button

Written Answers - Iraqi Elections.

Was asked: his views on the outcome of the recent elections in Iraq; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The elections held in Iraq on Sunday, 30 January, marked a critical step in the process for the political reconstruction of Iraq laid down in UN Security Council Resolution 1546 of June 2004. It is no...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Recruitment.

Was asked: if his Department will be recruiting staff in 2005 for the general diplomatic service or related agencies; if the development section will be developed with such recruitment as was recommended by the ...More Button

A new open competition for the position of third secretary, the recruitment grade for the diplomatic service, was advertised in the national media at the end of last week, with a closing date for appl...More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to criticisms levelled by the SDLP at the comprehensive agreement document that some fundamental principles of the Good Friday Agreement in terms of the procedures for ...More Button

Was asked: his views on the failure to reach agreement on the restoration of the devolved institutions in the North as outlined in the proposals by the British and Irish Governments for a comprehensive agreement...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 176 together. The proposals for a comprehensive agreement that were published by the two Governments on 8 December covered the key issues that must be resolved...More Button

Written Answers - Situation in Uganda.

Was asked: if he will report on the situation in Uganda; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Uganda’s track record in poverty reduction and economic management over the last 18 years stands up favourably to comparison with much of Africa. The country has earned a good reputation in some areas...More Button

Written Answers - Ukrainian Presidential Election.

Was asked: his views on the re-run and outcome of the Ukrainian Presidential election; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he plans any initiatives to support the President elect in the Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on Ukraine’s ambitions to achieve EU membership in view of the enormous transitions brought about in Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he plans initiatives to support the Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 102, 123, 154 and 242 together. I take this opportunity to offer President Yushchenko and his incoming administration our sincere congratulations and to wish them ever...More Button

Written Answers - Identity Cards.

Was asked: if he has raised with the British Prime Minister the implications for Northern Ireland of the British Government proposal to introduce compulsory identification cards for persons in its jurisdiction; ...More Button

Discussions on the issue of national identity cards in the UK have been ongoing at official level for some time now, as my predecessor, the Minister, Deputy Cowen, outlined to the Dáil in two previous...More Button

Written Answers - Millennium Development Goals.

Was asked: his position in relation to the review being prepared at EU level with regard to meeting the world millennium development goals adopted in September 2000 at the United Nations General Assembly in New ...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that such sums as have been committed for the achievement of the world millennium development goals will not be affected by recent pledges in relation to the tsunami disaster in Sou...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the eight world millennium development goals can still be achieved by the 2015 target date; the precise details of the road map towards the achievement of these goals; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: the Government’s views on the recent report of the group of experts on world poverty to United Nations General Secretary, Mr. Kofi Annan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the millennium development goals will be achieved; the action being taken by the Government to progress the goals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Programmes.

Was asked: if he will report on the efforts being undertaken at European and United Nations level to examine the level of nuclear capability of North Korea; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The issue of the nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK, is kept under close and regular scrutiny within the European Union. There are, however, very few sources of relia...More Button

Written Answers - Iraqi Elections.

Was asked: his views on the outcome of the elections in Iraq.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 97 today.More Button

Written Answers - United Nations Recruitment.

Was asked: the method and procedures by which positions in the United Nations service in the European Union and similar agencies are advertised to the public; if he has proposals for reforming such systems; and ...More Button

I am advised that vacancies in professional grades in United Nations representative offices located in Brussels and accredited to the European Union are advertised on the central UN employment website...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representations.

Was asked: if the Government has had recent contact with the military regime in Burma; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position in relation to Burma, particularly in relation to the number of those who may have lost their lives or livelihoods in the recent tsunami disaster; his views on whether the recognition by ...More Button

Was asked: if he has made further representations to the Burmese Government in regard to the ongoing imprisonment of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the efforts being made to secure the release of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108, 124, 146 and 161 together. As has been stated previously, the Government has pursued a consistent line of support for democracy in Burma. Ireland and our EU partn...More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: his views on the state of the peace process in the aftermath of the Northern Bank robbery; his views on whether there is a realistic chance of the devolved institutions created under the Good Friday A...More Button

Was asked: the nature of his discussions with British Secretary of State, Mr. Paul Murphy, MP, in Dublin on 17 January 2005; if he maintains the view that the Provisional IRA was responsible for the Northern Ban...More Button

Was asked: if, in view of the failure to reach agreement with parties in the North on the restoration of the Assembly and Executive, he has given further consideration to SDLP proposals for the appointment of ci...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109, 128 and 151 together. I met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr. Paul Murphy, at Iveagh House on 17 January. This meeting was the first with the Briti...More Button

Written Answers - Government Apology.

Was asked: his views on whether the Government should apologise for the action of Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, in offering his condolences on the death of Adolf Hitler at the German Embassy; and if he will make a...More Button

The declaration of Irish neutrality by the then Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, during the Second World War was widely welcomed across the political spectrum. As a result, the security and safety of the I...More Button

Written Answers - Situation in Kosovo.

Was asked: if he will report on the political and security situation in Kosovo; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The new Kosovo Assembly, which was elected on 23 October, approved the formation of a new government on 3 December 2004. The government is a coalition between the Democratic League of Kosovo, the LDK,...More Button

Written Answers - Humanitarian Assistance.

Was asked: his views on the recent signing of a comprehensive peace agreement on Sudan between the Sudanese Government and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement; his further views on whether this new agreeme...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the situation in Sudan and the humanitarian assistance that is being given to those in Darfur; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the level of humanitarian aid that is being given by the Government to Sudan for 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he intends to initiate steps to alleviate starvation and war in Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 113, 136, 192 and 244 together. The overall prospects for establishing peace and promoting development in all parts of Sudan have been greatly enhanced by the signing ...More Button

Written Answers - European External Action Service.

Was asked: the implications for his Department of the establishment of the new European external action service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The European constitution provides for the creation of a European external action service, EEAS, the function of which is to assist the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs in the fulfilment of his or h...More Button

Written Answers - EU Enlargement.

Was asked: the potential timescale for Turkish accession to the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the situation with regard to Turkey’s application for membership of the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on EU accession negotiations with Turkey; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116, 121 and 189 together. Turkey has been a candidate for membership of the EU since the Helsinki European Council in December 1999, which agreed that it was destined...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: if he will report on the security and political situation in Iraq; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The security situation in Iraq has continued to be a source of great concern. After something of a lull following operations in Fallujah, violent attacks in Iraq have increased in intensity again. Thi...More Button

Written Answers - Emigrant Support Services.

Was asked: if he has met the Department of Social and Family Affairs to discuss his proposals on the provision of free travel facilities for Irish old age pensioners living in Britain; if this issue was raised w...More Button

The issue of whether the free travel scheme can be extended to older Irish people resident outside the State is one with which I am familiar and that has been raised with me, including at a recent con...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: if he has made representations to the US Administration in the past six months concerning the detaining of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government has, on a number of occasions, made known its concerns to the US Government regarding the treatment and status of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. I reiterated these concerns at a ...More Button

Written Answers - Shannon Airport Landings.

Was asked: the number of US military flights and US military personnel that passed through Shannon Airport during 2004; if he anticipates similar numbers of personnel and flights using Shannon in 2005; and if he...More Button

The regulation of matters relating to commercial air carriers, including the statistics for passenger transit numbers, is primarily a matter for the Department of Transport, whose records indicate tha...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Travel.

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to Finland and the matters discussed on this visit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to Sweden and the matters discussed on this visit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 126 and 190 together. I travelled to Sweden and Finland last week to meet with the Swedish Foreign Minister, Ms Laila Freivalds, and the Finnish Foreign Minister, Mr. ...More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Programmes.

Was asked: his views on the fact that the US Administration may choose a military response to the question of Iranian nuclear capability, in contrast with the consultative and diplomatic steps being taken by the...More Button

Was asked: the actions being taken to assess the nuclear capability of Iran; if he will report on the action at European level to work with Iran to address this nuclear concern; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 127 and 155 together. There is widespread international concern about Iran’s development of its nuclear programme, in particular its uranium enrichment component and i...More Button

Written Answers - Emigrant Support Services.

Was asked: the progress made to date in implementing the recommendations of the task force on policy regarding emigrants; the latest work of the dedicated unit within his Department to deal with issues concernin...More Button

Was asked: the progress that is being made on the implementation of the recommendations of the task force on emigrants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 129 and 156 together. The task force on policy regarding emigrants contained many detailed recommendations whose implementation can best be brought about on a phased b...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights report for the week 13 to 20 January 2005, which stated that eight Palestinians, five of whom were civilians, including two c...More Button

I am aware of the report to which the Deputy refers. The Government, in common with its EU partners, has repeatedly called for all parties to bring an end to the cycle of violence. The Government has ...More Button

Written Answers - Irish Language.

Was asked: the progress made in negotiations with the European Commission regarding the status of the Irish language in the European Union; if he envisages movement on this issue during the Luxembourg Presidency...More Button

On 24 November, the Government tabled a formal proposal in Brussels requesting that official and working status in the EU be accorded to the Irish language. A copy has been forwarded to the Deputies. ...More Button

Written Answers - Lisbon Strategy.

Was asked: the action being taken by the Government to implement the Lisbon strategy, in view of the recent report by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Implementation of the Lisbon strategy is a priority for the Government. As the Deputy is aware, it is a ten year strategy covering a wide range of issues relating to economic, social and environmental...More Button

Written Answers - Zimbabwean Elections.

Was asked: the position regarding the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe on 31 March will represent an important test in determining the willingness of the Zimbabwean Government to effect genuine political ref...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: his views on the human rights standards that should apply to trading relationships; and his further views on whether Ireland should trade with persistent human rights violators and thus profit from th...More Button

Human rights are, and have always been, a priority of successive Irish Governments and a central part of our foreign policy. The Irish Government has consistently stated its belief that the protection...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representations.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); and if he has made representations to Germany in respect of this case.More Button

I understand that Mr. Remzi Kartal was detained in Germany on 22 January, on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by Turkey. Mr. Kartal is detained in Nuremberg and his case is currentl...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: if he has considered the findings of an Amnesty International report detailing unlawful killings in Nepal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of the findings of the Amnesty International report on Nepal and would like to make a statement on the matter. A rebellion against the monarchy of Nepal, led by the extreme left-wing Nepal ...More Button

Was asked: if the Government has committed specific assistance to the Turkish Government for putting in place new judicial and police procedures that will help to underpin human rights in Turkey; and if he will ...More Button

Turkey has made very significant progress over the past three years in the adoption of wide-ranging constitutional and legislative reforms. Prime Minister Erdogan has made it clear that his government...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Relations.

Was asked: the nature of the relationship between Ireland and Belarus; if he has had recent contact with the authorities in Belarus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Diplomatic relations between Ireland and Belarus were established on a non-residential basis in 1992, following the break up of the former Soviet Union. Ireland’s current ambassador in Moscow, Mr Just...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: if he has raised with his European and American counterparts the low levels of aid given to Afghanistan to assist in the rebuilding and restructuring of that country; the Government’s views on these l...More Button

Was asked: if he has discussed the level of Ireland’s overseas development aid with the United Nations since the budget 2005 statements on aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: if the Government has raised the issue of the detention and torture of prisoners in Peru with the Peruvian Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware that Amnesty International has stated that the treatment of prisoners in the Challapalca Maximum Security Prison in the department of Tacna, Peru amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading ill...More Button

Was asked: the efforts he has made on behalf of a person (details supplied); his views on whether the parliamentary procedures used to convict and sentence this person fell far short of internationally recognise...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 457 of 26 January 2005, a copy of which can be seen below for information.More Button

Was asked: if he will take all appropriate steps to urge the Zimbabwean authorities to secure the release of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of and have been closely following the case of Mr. Roy Bennett, the Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, opposition Member of Parliament, who was sentenced by the Zimbabwean Parliament last...More Button

Written Answers - Shannon Airport Landings.

Was asked: his policy with regard to the use of Shannon Airport by the US military for the transport of al-Qaeda suspects and prisoners; if his attention has been drawn to media reports that a US jet used to abd...More Button

I am aware of various reports claiming that an aircraft which has in the past landed at Shannon Airport was used in December 2001 by US authorities for the transportation of al-Qaeda suspects from Swe...More Button

Written Answers - Iraqi Elections.

Was asked: the position regarding the elections undertaken in Iraq; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 97 today.More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: if there has been a change in the Government’s position on the re-imprisonment of a person (details supplied) who had expressed an interest in seeking residency here.More Button

I share the Deputy’s concerns about the situation of this person and the background to the case. My understanding is that the person in question was arrested when he attempted to cross the Israeli bor...More Button

Was asked: the topics discussed in the general and regional areas of foreign policy on the recent trip to the People’s Republic of China; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if Government representatives discussed human rights concerns with representatives of the Chinese Government during the recent trade mission to that country; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 181 together. The Taoiseach undertook an official visit to China from 17-22 January 2005. Official talks took place between Premier Wen Jiabao and the Taoiseac...More Button

Written Answers - Middle East Peace Process.

Was asked: if he has had contact with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, with regard to the Middle East peace process; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have not yet had the opportunity to make direct contact with President Abbas. The Taoiseach telephoned President Abbas to congratulate him on his election victory shortly after the result was formal...More Button

Written Answers - Arms Trade.

Was asked: the basis on which the Taoiseach supports ending the EU ban on arms exports to China; the basis on which the Taoiseach is impressed with China’s commitment to change its human rights record; and if th...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government is in favour of lifting the EU arms embargo on China; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 and 178 together. China has for some time been seeking the lifting of the EU arms embargo on that country. China has argued that the embargo is discriminatory and ...More Button

Written Answers - Tsunami Disaster.

Was asked: if his Department is still advising Irish tourists not to travel to the Maldives, eastern parts of Sri Lanka and the west coast of Thailand in the wake of the tsunami disaster in the region; and if he...More Button

My Department is no longer advising against travel to the Maldives, the eastern parts of Sri Lanka and the western coastal areas of Thailand. However, because of disruption to tourists and public serv...More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the proposal of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons to hold an inquiry into Reconciliation: Dealing with Northern Ireland’s Past; ...More Button

In November 2004, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons announced that it would hold an inquiry entitled “Reconciliation: Dealing with Northern Ireland’s Past”. The Ir...More Button

Written Answers - Humanitarian Assistance.

Was asked: if he will consider the establishment of a special unit to train and resource appropriate personnel for service abroad and at home in the area of disaster relief logistics; and if he will make a state...More Button

Written Answers - EU Enlargement.

Was asked: the progress being made by all countries seeking membership of the European Union in meeting accession criteria; the timeframe for accession in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Was asked: his preferred options for the future enlargement of the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 167 and 246 together. With regard to Bulgaria and Romania, the European Council noted the formal closure of accession negotiations at the European Council on 16-17 Dec...More Button

Written Answers - Tsunami Disaster.

Was asked: the number of Irish citizens who remain unaccounted for following the Asia tsunami; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the efforts made by the Irish Ambassador and Embassy staff in Malaysia to assist in the search for Irish victims of the tsunami disaster in South Asia; and if he will make a state...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 and 182 together. So far, there are two confirmed Irish casualties. There are two other Irish people still missing in Thailand and who I very much regret to say se...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: if he will report on the political and security situation in Liberia; the level of aid given by Ireland to Liberia for 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the terms of the comprehensive peace agreement of August 2003, Liberia is currently administered by a transitional government under the chairmanship of Mr. Gyude Bryant until parliamentary and p...More Button

Written Answers - Middle East Peace Process.

Was asked: his views on the outcome of the recent Presidential election in the Palestinian Authority; his further views on whether the election of President Abbas represents an opportunity for peace in the regio...More Button

The Government, in common with its partners in the European Union and the wider international community, has welcomed the recent victory of Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian presidential elections. The...More Button

Written Answers - Iraqi Elections.

Was asked: his views on the results of the Iraqi elections; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 97 today.More Button

Written Answers - United Nations Reform.

Was asked: his views on the recent United Nations report on the reform of the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy is referring to the report of the high level panel on threats, challenges and change, which issued on 2 December 2004. The high level panel was established in November 2003 by the United Na...More Button

Written Answers - Natural Disasters.

Was asked: if he intends to propose any initiatives at EU level with a view to creating a contingency force or body with the capability of a rapid response to issues such as the natural disaster in south east As...More Button

The General Affairs and External Relations Council, GAERC, on Monday, 31 January, discussed the issue of enhancing the EU’s capacity to respond to emergency situations such as the Asian tsunami, inclu...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: the position regarding the security situation in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 10 January 2005, Mr. Jean Arnault, the special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, UNSRSG, for Afghanistan reported to the UN Security Council. The special representative...More Button

Written Answers - Middle East Peace Process.

Was asked: the action being taken by the Government and the European Union to progress the Middle East peace process; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government stands ready, in concert with our EU partners, to assist the parties to the conflict in their efforts to move forward on the basis of the road map. Ireland, through its membership of th...More Button

Was asked: the meetings he envisages taking place at Irish or European Union level as would advance the road map for peace in the Middle East; if he proposes to meet the new President of the Palestinian Authorit...More Button

The European Union will meet with the US President on 22 February. This meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for the EU and US to consider how best to support further progress in the implemen...More Button

Written Answers - Debt Relief.

Was asked: if he has had talks with the Department of Finance about Ireland and the European Union’s approach to the debts of such countries in which debt service imperils poverty reduction and impedes sustainab...More Button

Written Answers - Emigrant Support Services.

Was asked: if, during the course of his recent visit to Irish emigrant groups in London, the issue of providing RTE television for Irish persons living in England was raised; his views on whether such a service ...More Button

I am aware of the interest of some Irish people living in Britain in seeing Irish television programmes and will keep my colleague the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources advised...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to Sweden and Finland to discuss EU battlegroups; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My discussions with Swedish foreign minister, Laila Freivalds, and Finnish foreign minister, Erkki Tuomioja in Stockholm and Helsinki last week covered a wide range of issues. These included the ongoi...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: his views on whether there have been improvements in China’s human rights record; if so, if he will report on those improvements and the way in which such improvements will impact on Irish foreign pol...More Button

As stated on many occasions, the Government continues to take concerns about human rights in China very seriously. Human rights issues are a constant point of discussion with the Chinese authorities a...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: the priorities for Development Co-operation Ireland for 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representations.

Was asked: if he has discussed with the British Prime Minister the jailing of a person (details supplied) in the context of the Bloody Sunday tribunal; if he has called for this person’s release; and if he will ...More Button

While my officials have been examining this case, I do not propose to comment on its particular circumstances. The person concerned has been convicted of contempt of court. My officials have, however,...More Button

Was asked: if he has raised with the British Prime Minister the recent admission by a person (details supplied) that they had planted electronic listening devices in the offices of Sinn Féin at Connolly House, B...More Button

The incident to which the Deputy refers was initially raised by the Government with the British authorities through the British-Irish intergovernmental secretariat in Belfast in September 2004 at the ...More Button

Written Answers - Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Was asked: if he will report on the ongoing developments at European level with regard to a common European security and defence arrangement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the context of the European security and defence policy, ESDP, the Union is increasing its ability to contribute to both the civilian and military dimensions of crisis management. There is great va...More Button

Written Answers - Iraqi Elections.

Was asked: his views on the results of the Iraqi elections; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 97 today.More Button

Written Answers - Illegal Immigrants.

Was asked: his plans to help undocumented Irish citizens now trapped in the USA; the number of Irish persons in this situation; if his attention has been drawn to the hardship, inconvenience and worry this probl...More Button

Immigration controls and procedures are a highly sensitive issue in the United States, particularly since the tragic events of 11 September 2001. We can anticipate a vigorous debate in the US Congress...More Button

Written Answers - Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Was asked: his intentions in regard to the participation in EU battlegroups and emergency relief initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the degree to which he expects to support or contribute to an EU rapid reaction or relief force or group; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 241 and 243 together. A major challenge for the EU is to ensure that it is able to respond rapidly and flexibly to crisis situations overseas. In this context the Unio...More Button

Written Answers - Humanitarian Assistance.

Was asked: his views as to how best to co-ordinate and deliver famine or disaster relief; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if, at EU or UN level, he has voiced opinions on the best way in which the logistics of disaster relief can be delivered expeditiously; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views as to how best to combat starvation and war in Africa, through the EU or UN; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the ten most serious starvation or war-torn trouble spots; and his views as to how best to assist.More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: his plans to enhance the work of the international community with the programme to combat AIDS in Africa; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Passport Applications.

Was asked: the procedure for an Irish citizen to obtain an Irish passport when the person has no birth certificate or baptismal certificate.More Button

Where a person’s birth in Ireland has not been registered, there is a late registration procedure where this may be regularised through the General Register Office, Joyce House, 8-11 Lombard Street Ea...More Button


Last Updated: 04/11/2010 08:25:34 First Page Previous Page Page of 199 Next Page Last Page