Ahern, Dermot

Thursday, 29 June 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 622 No. 31

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Priority Questions - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the position with regard to the number of principal and senior development specialists with Irish Aid volunteering to take part in the Government decentralisation programme; if he will confirm that le...More Button

Priority Questions - Middle East Peace Process.

Was asked: if he or his colleague Ministers of the General and External Affairs Council of the European Union have received or commissioned a report on the consequences for the Palestinian people of the Union’s ...More Button

Priority Questions - Landing Rights.

Was asked: the circumstances surrounding the transporting of a handcuffed US marine through Shannon Airport without the necessary permission being obtained by the US from the Irish authorities; the subsequent di...More Button

Priority Questions - Human Trafficking.

Was asked: the steps he has taken to date to work with other countries in order to combat human trafficking; the talks that he has held with his counterpart European Union Foreign Ministers on this issue; and if...More Button

Priority Questions - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: the human rights and other criteria taken into consideration by him and by his Department when his Department is consulted by other Departments in relation to the countries of destination of certain g...More Button

Other Questions - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: the position regarding the Basque peace process; and if in his view the political party Batasuna should now be removed from the EU blacklist of so-called terrorist organisations.More Button

Other Questions - Aircraft Inspections.

Was asked: his views on instituting inspections of certain flights passing through airports here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Other Questions - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: the position of his Department with regard to the ongoing international efforts to ensure that a peacekeeping force is dispatched to Darfur; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position with regard to the establishment of a UN force for Darfur, Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position with regard to the establishment of a UN peacekeeping force in the Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Other Questions - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: the position in regard to all parties in Northern Ireland expressing their support for the PSNI; when he expects Sinn Féin to be in a position to take their seats on the policing board; the efforts he...More Button

Written Answers - United Nations Reform.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the position in relation to the proposed reforms of the United Nations Central Emergency Revolving Fund, aimed at providing United Nations agencies with the means to res...More Button

Written Answers - Middle East Peace Process.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the recent Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians which have been increasing in intensity; the steps he is taking to try ensure an end to these attacks.More Button

Was asked: the position of the European Union with regard to developments in the Middle East Peace Process; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made following the conclusion of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of the European Union Meeting in Luxembourg on 3 November 2005 in relation to settlement...More Button

Was asked: if the quartet partners have held recent negotiations with regard to the Middle East Peace Process; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when in recent times, as a principle of balance to its isolation of the Hamas Government in Palestine, the Irish government or the European Union has called on Israel to curtail its illegal settlement...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 11, 34, 65, 70 and 80 together. The Government shares the widespread concern about the lack of progress in the Middle East Peace Process and the serious situation in t...More Button

Written Answers - EU Enlargement.

Was asked: if he has had discussions with his Turkish counterpart with regard to the issue of recognition of Cyprus by Turkey; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the situation in Cyprus has or is being resolved in conjunction with other possible negotiations such as enlargement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 159 together. I last met the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2005 and he used the oppor...More Button

Written Answers - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: if he will report on the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting in June 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: If he will report on the most recent European Union Council of Ministers meeting.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 24 together. I represented Ireland at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) on 12 June. The Council heard a report by Commissioner Mandelso...More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Disarmament Initiative.

Was asked: the steps being taken to promote the updating of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty at international level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has held recent discussions with his European counterparts with regard to reform of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 15 together. Ireland has a particularly close association with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which came into being following an ...More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Programmes.

Was asked: the position with regard to the EU3 negotiations on behalf of the Union with Iran regarding nuclear development; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the Government’s position in relation to the confrontation between western Governments and Iran in relation to nuclear capacity.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 and 89 together. The question of Iran’s nuclear programme is kept under constant review within the European Union at official level and is also the subject of regul...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

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

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the position in East Timor; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

I propose to take Questions Nos. 17, 68 and 164 together. The crisis in Timor-Leste erupted in late April with the dismissal of some 600 soldiers, a third of the armed forces. Ensuing violence cost at...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: the number of projects currently funded by Irish Aid in Africa specifically directed towards combating HIV and AIDS; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the level of aid being directed to the Middle East by the Government in 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the level of humanitarian aid allocated to the Palestinian Authority in 2005; the level of aid allocated in 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Passport Applications.

Was asked: his views on the obligation placed on some Irish sports people to carry other than an Irish passport.More Button

Was asked: the contacts he had with FIFA regarding their initial ruling that all Northern Ireland players travel on British passports; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 20 and 81 together. I was approached by sporting figures in Northern Ireland who were concerned that the requirements for Northern Ireland players were to change under...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the number of principal development specialists, currently working with Irish Aid, volunteering to decentralise; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of development specialists, currently working with Irish Aid, volunteering to decentralise; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of senior development specialist, currently working with Irish Aid, volunteering to decentralise; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: the recent efforts he has made to request the release and restoration to liberty of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, the return to democracy in Burma and an end to human rights violatio...More Button

Was asked: the latest contacts that he has had with his European counterparts with regard to Burma and the continued holding of the most visible pro-democracy leader in that country; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Was asked: if there are proposals under consideration within his Department with regard to the extension of diplomatic relations to Burma; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position with regard to the diplomatic links between Ireland and Burma; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22, 56, 86 and 92 together. Ireland takes a consistently strong position on Burma, including in the European Union framework and at the United Nations. Together with o...More Button

Written Answers - Democratisation Initiatives.

Was asked: if he will report on such progress as has been made by the Mozambique President Chissano in his task as mediator at the initiative of the African Union in encouraging political dialogue in Zimbabwe.More Button

In the aftermath of Operation Murambatsvina launched by the Zimbabwean government in May 2005 and which resulted in an estimated 700,000 people being left homeless or without a livelihood, the former ...More Button

Written Answers - EU Enlargement.

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

Was asked: the status of Turkey’s bid for EU membership in view of the ongoing failure of Turkey to recognise the economic, maritime and navigational rights of fellow EU Member State Cyprus, and all other Member...More Button

Was asked: his views on the ongoing failure of Turkey to recognise the economic, maritime and navigational rights of fellow EU Member State Cyprus and of all other Member States trading or communicating with Cyp...More Button

Was asked: the position in regard to EU enlargement negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 25, 37, 88 and 158 together. Accession negotiations are underway with two countries — Turkey and Croatia. Negotiations were opened with both countries on 3 October 200...More Button

Was asked: if Bulgaria has dealt with issues relating to judicial reform in order to meet the criteria for accession to the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union will take place on 1 January 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the outstanding issues to be dealt with by Bulgaria before that State may become a member of the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the outstanding issues to be dealt with by Romania before that State may become a member of the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if the accession of Romania to the European Union will take place on 1 January 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 26, 41, 83, 97 and 101 together. The forthcoming accession of Bulgaria and Romania will mark the completion of the Union’s 5th enlargement — increasing its membership ...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: when Ireland will ratify the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention against Torture in view of the departure from equivalence as far as the Good Friday Agreement is concerned.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my response of 10th November, 2005. On 18 December 2002, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Draft Optional Protocol to the Convention against ...More Button

Written Answers - Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Was asked: the latest discussions he has held with his European counterparts with regard to the development of new EU battlegroup formations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made in negotiations to join the Nordic battlegroup; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 28 and 71 together. The ambition of the EU to be able to respond quickly to emerging crises has, and continues to be, a key objective of the development of the Europea...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: the position in relation to the draft United Nations proposal in relation to the rights of the disabled; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The United Nations has for some time been considering the question of a new international legal instrument aimed at the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities. The p...More Button

Written Answers - United Nations Agencies.

Was asked: when the new UN Human Rights Council will begin its work; the composition of the new UN Human Rights Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The UN Human Rights Council is at present holding its inaugural session in Geneva. The current session began on 19 June and will continue until the end of this week. The next session will take place i...More Button

Written Answers - Democratisation Initiatives.

Was asked: the pro-democracy initiatives which are funded by his Department in different parts of the world; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: the progress of efforts to deal with war, starvation, HIV and AIDS throughout Africa; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the EU and UN are engaging to alleviate war and starvation in Africa; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: the position of his Department with regarding to the recent Council of Europe report on rendition; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his objections to the criticism levied by the Council of Europe on Ireland regarding CIA extraordinary rendition flights and the use of Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on the criticism levied by the Council of Europe on Ireland regarding CIA extraordinary rendition flights and the use of Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 53 and 148 together. I would refer the Deputies to my statement in Dáil Éireann on 13 June 2006, in which I addressed in some detail the most recent Council of Eur...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: his views on whether Somalia has been neglected by the international community in the years following its famine; and his further views on recent developments and their human rights implications in th...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the situation in Somalia has been resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 163 together. The famine of 1991 occurred in the same year as the overthrow of the government of Said Barre. For 15 years, civil war raged and Somalia was widel...More Button

Written Answers - Debt Relief.

Was asked: the extent to which he or his EU and UN colleagues have monitored the impact and extent of debt write-off to developing countries; if commitments entered into by the IMF or World Bank have been honour...More Button

Was asked: the countries to which commitments entered into under debt relief or debt write-off have to date been delivered; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - EU-US Summit.

Was asked: his views on the implications of the most recent EU-US summit text and in particular the declaration of an intention to intensify their efforts promoting peace, human rights and democracy worldwide an...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the EU-US Summit; the discussions which took place on the issue of CIA extraordinary rendition flights; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the EU/US Summit in Vienna; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 38, 103 and 149 together. The EU-US Summit, which took place in Vienna on 21 June 2006, provided an opportunity for both sides to underline the strength of the EU-US r...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: Ireland’s position in relation to Agreement for the Application of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America, and such correspondence as he may have received in this regard from the si...More Button

The Agreement for the Application of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America was signed between the Governments of Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela following a meeting of their Presidents...More Button

Was asked: if Ireland has arrived at a conclusion as to the position it will be adopting as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and the expected request for an exception in order to facilitate the US-India ...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the proposed US-India nuclear agreement is not reconcilable with the spirit or the letter of the non-proliferation agreement of the United Nations, of which Ireland was author.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 51 together. Agreement on the basis for US-India civil nuclear cooperation was reached on 2 March 2006 between President Bush and Prime Minister Singh during th...More Button

Written Answers - EU Constitution.

Was asked: the timeframe for the extension of the EU Constitution period of reflection; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the most realistic timescale for the possible ratification of the EU Constitution, following the recent European Council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the timeline for the ratification of the European Constitution throughout the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position with regard to the proposal that a deadline for the ratification of the EU Constitution by all Member States be imposed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42, 64, 79 and 118 together. The European Council on 15/16 June accepted that more time and further work are needed before firm decisions can be taken on the future of...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: if he will report on the visit of the Royal Navy warship, the HMS Ocean to Dublin Port in June 2006; the purpose of this visit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In keeping with the friendly relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom, incoming and outgoing visits by our respective Naval Services are organised from time to time. Proposed visits are examin...More Button

Written Answers - Debt and Development Coalition.

Was asked: the progress which has been made in achieving the objectives of NEPAD; and his views on the capital flight from heavily-indebted countries in Africa.More Button

NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, is an African-owned and led initiative which is intended to eradicate poverty and promote and achieve sustainable development in Africa in the 21st...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: if his Department will have a lead role in the Rapid Response Initiative to strengthen Ireland’s ability to respond to emergency and disaster situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position with regard to the establishment of a voluntary humanitarian corp; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: if he will report on his attendance at the June 2006 EU Council meeting, in particular on developments with the EU Constitution; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent attendance at the European Council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent attendance at the June 2006 European Council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 46, 62 and 102 together. I attended the European Council on 15/16th June in place of the Taoiseach. The Taoiseach reported to the Dáil on the outcome of the Council ...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: if a report in a newspaper (details supplied) is accurate.More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government has rejected the advice of the Irish Commissioner for Human Rights in relation to inspection of such flights at Shannon Airport as are necessary for full positive compliance ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 52 together. I would refer Deputies to my statement to Dáil Éireann of 13 June 2006, in which I addressed the question of aircraft inspection comprehensively. T...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: the educational initiatives which are funded by his Department; the location of such initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are a number of programmes within my Department which support educational initiatives. While some of the supported activity takes place within Ireland, most of the monies are expended on educati...More Button

Written Answers - Human Trafficking.

Was asked: the steps he will take to cooperate with other countries in order to combat human trafficking and to support the victims of human trafficking; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to date in cooperating with other countries in order to combat human trafficking and to support the victims of human trafficking; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 66 together. As stated to the House, most recently on 24 May 2006, the Government is fully committed to the active promotion of full observance of universal hum...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the position with regard to a premises to accommodate the decentralisation of Irish Aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the Government’s decentralisation programme, the Development Cooperation Directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is the Headquarters of Irish Aid and currently based in Dublin, w...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: his views on whether the right of access to clean water is a fundamental human right; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: the latest timetable for the full re-establishment of the Assembly and the Executive in Northern Ireland; the latest meetings he has had with political parties in the North and with the British Govern...More Button

When the Taoiseach and Prime Minister Blair met at Farmleigh on 26 January, they said that 2006 would be the decisive year for the peace process. On 6 April in Armagh, they set out the Governments’ jo...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme.

Was asked: the human rights criteria taken into consideration when he designates countries for the purposes of legislative provisions contained in the Transfer of Execution of Sentences Act 2005.More Button

Section 5 of the Transfer of Execution of Sentences Act 2005 provides that the Minister for Foreign Affairs may, by order, designate for the purposes of that Act a country that has become party to, or...More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Plants.

Was asked: if he has raised the issue of the development of a network of nuclear facilities in the United Kingdom with his UK counterpart; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The UK Government is in no doubt as to the Government’s views in relation to the risks posed to Ireland by nuclear facilities on the west coast of Great Britain, including Sellafield and Wylfa. Our vi...More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: his views on the latest report of the Policing Oversight Commissioner in Northern Ireland; if he shares the Commissioner’s concern regarding the proposed primacy of MI5 in certain security matters in ...More Button

The 16th report of the Policing Oversight Commissioner issued earlier this month was an encouraging reminder of the progress that has been made in the reform of policing in Northern Ireland. Some 124 ...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: his views on the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison camp, which was called for at a recent meeting of European Union Foreign Ministers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position of his Department with regard to the continued use of Guantanamo Bay detention centre by the US administration; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has had recent contact with his US counterpart with regard to the continued use of the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp by the US administration; if he has conveyed his concerns to the US administ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 67, 82 and 147 together. I have made it clear that I believe that the Guantánamo Bay camp should be closed as soon as possible. More generally, the Government has rais...More Button

Written Answers - Democratisation Initiatives.

Was asked: if it proposed to send observers to the forthcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The EU will be deploying a 250-strong Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) to the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Recruitment.

Was asked: the date of the last open competition for recruitment into his Department; the arrangements being made for recruitment to Irish Aid; and the position in relation to future recruitment into his Departm...More Button

I presume that the main part of the Deputy’s question relates to recruitment to the diplomatic service. Third Secretary is the recruitment grade for the service, and is the first step towards more sen...More Button

Written Answers - Development Aid Principles.

Was asked: if the European Union cotton regime is consistent with good development aid principles; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Was asked: the position with regard to security and defence cooperation at European Union level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the latest discussions he has held with his European counterparts with regard to cooperation in the matter of security and defence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75 and 113 together. The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) is an integral part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and serves the Union’s genera...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: if he will report on recent developments in relation to the incarceration and trial of opposition members in Ethiopia.More Button

On 23 February 2006, the trial began of a group of 129 people, including members of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), journalists and civil society activists. Several of the CUD members on ...More Button

Written Answers - Arms Trade.

Was asked: if he has raised with the Chinese Government the Amnesty Report suggesting that China has sold weapons to conflicts in Sudan, Burma and Nepal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand that the report, referred to by the Deputy, was only released on 11 June 2006. It is still being studied by my Department. While I could not, therefore, have raised the Report with my Chi...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

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

On 21 May, the Iraqi Parliament approved the new national unity Government presented by Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. The formation of the Government was completed when the crucial positions of Defen...More Button

Written Answers - Human Trafficking.

Was asked: the meetings he has held with his counterparts from EU and non EU Member States to discuss tackling human trafficking; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has discussed the issue of human trafficking with his counterpart Foreign Ministers across the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 84 and 96 together. Human trafficking is an important issue for the European Union. It was mentioned in the conclusions of this month’s European Council, having previo...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: the Government’s views on whether the British and American Governments’ interpretation of UN resolutions which both Governments assert gave UN sanction to military attacks on Iraq were valid interpret...More Button

On the outbreak of the war in Iraq, the Taoiseach moved a motion which was adopted by the Dáil on 20 March 2003, which reaffirmed Ireland’s commitment to the United Nations as the guarantor of collect...More Button

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

Was asked: the extent to which the international community is in a position to monitor the situation in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 160 together. The significant progress achieved in Afghanistan over the past four years should be acknowledged, although clearly considerable challenges still r...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation.

Was asked: if his Department has paid court-imposed bond for an Irish citizen in 2006; the number of Irish people for whom his Department has paid a court-imposed bond since 1997; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Was asked: if his Department has paid a court-imposed bond for an Irish citizen in 2005; the number of Irish people for whom his Department has paid a court-imposed bond since 1997; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 and 105 together. As I outlined in my reply of 24 May 2006 to a parliamentary question on this issue, consular assistance is provided by the Department of Foreign A...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: the level of contact between the Government and the regime in Cuba; if he has communicated his concern at human rights abuses in Cuba to the Ambassador of Cuba to Ireland; and if he will make a statem...More Button

The EU’s policy on Cuba is as set out in the Common Position agreed on 2 December 1996, during the then Irish Presidency. The General Affairs and External Relations Council reaffirmed the Common Posit...More Button

Was asked: the circumstances surrounding the transporting of a handcuffed US Marine through Shannon Airport without the necessary permission being obtained by the US from the authorities here; the subsequent dis...More Button

Was asked: the latest contacts he has had with the US Ambassador with regard to the transport of a US Marine through Shannon Airport without the correct notification to the Government; and if he will make a stat...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 93 and 114 together. I would refer the Deputy to my statement in Dáil Éireann of 13 June 2006, where I gave the House a detailed account of the matter to which the Dep...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the reason the decentralisation of Irish Aid will take place on a phased basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the timescale for the decentralisation of divisions within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made in the decentralisation of his Department’s overseas aid division, Irish Aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of staff, working with Irish Aid, volunteering to decentralise; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the decentralisation of his Department and it’s overseas aid division, Irish Aid; if he will clarify reported remarks that his Department are pursuing a very strong integrationist...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: the position in relation to the continuing struggles for independence of the Sahara Arab people; the assistance Ireland has offered or will offer in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

The Government has consistently been a strong supporter of the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people. Ireland played a prominent role in seeking a solution to the Western Sahara dispute d...More Button

Written Answers - International Criminal Court.

Was asked: the number of signatories to the charter of the International Criminal Court; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court entered into force on 1 July 2002 and to date has been ratified or acceded to by 100 states. An additional 43 states have signed the Statute, subje...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); his views on the incarceration of this person; and if he will ask the United States authorities to release them.More Button

I am aware that Leonard Peltier is a US citizen who was convicted in 1977 of the murders of two FBI Agents and was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment. I also understand that a cam...More Button

Written Answers - Emigrant Support Services.

Was asked: the efforts being undertaken to support legislative proposals in the United States which would benefit the undocumented Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government attaches the highest priority to the welfare of the undocumented Irish in the United States. We emphasise our strong support for measures that would enable the undocumented to regularis...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation.

Was asked: the new embassies it is proposed to open during the lifetime of this Government.More Button

Was asked: if it is planned to open further new embassies; the places where it is planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 107 and 153 together. Ireland has a small diplomatic service and any expansion of its network of resident Missions abroad must be approached on a phased basis, having ...More Button

Written Answers - Arms Trade.

Was asked: if the issue of supply and sale of arms by European Union Members to conflict zones in Africa has been discussed at the General Council of Foreign Ministers; if the volume of such trade is as estimate...More Button

There has been no recent discussion on the sales of arms to Africa at the General Affairs and External Relations Council but the European Council, at its meeting on 15-16 December 2005, adopted an EU ...More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: if he has had meetings with authorities in Northern Ireland and political parties regarding the security situation surrounding the 2006 marching season; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In recent months the Government has had discussions with various parties to the Parades issue, including the leadership of the Loyal Orders, the political parties, residents groups and the relevant Br...More Button

Was asked: his view on the latest proposals from the British Government for community restorative justice schemes in Northern Ireland; if he has viewed the latest NIO proposals; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The Criminal Justice Review, established pursuant to the Good Friday Agreement, considered the question of community restorative justice schemes in the context of strengthening support for the crimina...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: the reason the Government has rejected the advice of the Irish Commissioner for Human Rights in relation to the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Protection of all Migrant Workers a...More Button

As indicated to the House, most recently on 24 May 2006, the case for ratification of this Convention has been examined by my Department in conjunction with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Emp...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation.

Was asked: the position pertaining to the ongoing incarceration of a person (details supplied); and the Government’s views on this ongoing situation.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a case where a person (details supplied) has been detained without charge and without disclosure of evidence which would back up its alleged security reasons for the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 151 together. I refer the Deputy to my replies of 30 May and 14 June 2006 to Questions on this matter. I remain concerned about this case, which has been raise...More Button

Written Answers - Middle East Peace Process.

Was asked: the position of the three year plan presented by former chairman of the World Bank (details supplied) for the revitalisation of Gaza.More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Relations.

Was asked: if he has made contact with Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, following Montenegro’s recent vote for independence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While the Government has in the past had contact with Prime Minister Djukanovic, most notably during the visit which my predecessor Minister Cowen made to the region in May 2003, I have not myself bee...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: if Ireland will ratify and implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when Ireland will ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120 and 121 together. I refer the Deputies to my answer to a similar Question on 24th May of this year. As indicated on that occasion, the Convention was opened for si...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: if, in view of humanitarian work carried out by many Irish groups in providing respite visits to nationals from Belarus since Chernobyl, he has plans to establish an embassy in Minsk to cater for the ...More Button

In 2005, a decision was taken that children travelling from Belarus for recuperation visits under the auspices of various Chernobyl groups would require visas to enter Ireland. This requirement was ma...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: the applicant countries currently deemed to have the most serious human rights violations in the past five years; the degree to which the international community is dealing with the situation; and if ...More Button

The EU currently has three candidate countries, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. Accession negations have begun with both Croatia and Turkey. In line with the conclusions...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid.

Was asked: if the EU and UN will accelerate a programme to combat HIV and AIDS in the African countries most severely affected; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: the extent to which the situation in Darfur is being resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the degree to which the situation in the Sudan is being monitored by the international community; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 and 165 together. On 5 May 2006 the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), negotiated under the auspices of the African Union with active support from the EU, UN and US, wa...More Button

Written Answers - Democratisation Initiatives.

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

Presidential and parliamentary elections are now scheduled to take place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 30 July 2006. These will be the first multi-party elections in the DRC in over...More Button


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