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Cowen, Brian

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 Nbr. 4


Written Answers. - North-South Bodies.

Was asked: the number of offices which are set up for cross-Border purposes as a result of the Good Friday Agreement; the location of each office; the number employed in each office; if other offices are need...More Button

Decisions on the locations of the North-South bodies were taken jointly with our Northern ministerial colleagues at the inaugural plenary meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council in Armagh on...More Button

The following table shows the location of the head office and regional offices of each body and the number employed in each office. The Deputy will note that the Special EU Programmes Body has a re...More Button

Should the need for further offices for any of the North-South bodies arise at some future date, this will again be a matter to be considered jointly by Ministers from North and South, meeting in t...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: if he will identify by location, acreage and other details, the State properties in his Department which are being considered for sale or are available for sale at present.More Button

There are no State properties in my Department which are being considered for sale or are available for sale at present.More Button

Written Answers. - Official Language Equality.

Was asked: the additional costs which have arisen from the obligations on his Department in relation to the adoption by the Government in July 2002 of official language equality as one of the three new princi...More Button

The enactment of the Official Languages Equality Bill, An Bille Comhionnais um Theangacha Oifigiúla, places a statutory obligation on Depart ments to make specific provision for the delivery...More Button

Written Answers. - Foreign Conflicts.

Was asked: the Government's position on the right of the Tibetan people to self-determination.More Button

Was asked: the way in which he plans to promote negotiations following the resumption of contact between Chinese and Tibetan representatives.More Button

Was asked: if he plans to table a Dáil resolution on Tibet, such as that recently adopted by the Italian Parliament.More Button

Was asked: his views on the call for an EU special representative on Tibet.More Button

Was asked: if the Government plans to recognise the Government of Tibet in exile as the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people if no resolution to the present conflict is reached by 6 July 2003.More Button

Was asked: if the Government will sponsor a Tibet resolution at the UN Commission on Human Rights; and if the Government will raise the issue of the Tibetan right to self-determination at the next meeting of ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 to 215, inclusive, together.More Button

In common with its EU partners, Ireland regards Tibet as an integral part of China, and the Government of the People's Republic of China, as the only legal government of China. The Government belie...More Button

The Government, in bilateral contacts with China, and through contacts between the European Union and China, has consistently called on the Chinese Government to engage in meaningful dialogue with...More Button

The Taoiseach met Premier Zhu of China in September 2001, and I met my Chinese counterpart, Minister Tang, in January of this year. Both of us took advantage of these opportunities to highlight the...More Button

In September of this year, two special envoys of the Dalai Lama visited Beijing and Tibet. The purpose of their visit was to explain the Dalai Lama's proposal for a middle way and to allay Chinese ...More Button

On the issue of an EU special representative, in March last year the Dalai Lama sent a letter to the EU Presidency, and to Foreign Ministers of EU member states, asking the EU to appoint an EU spec...More Button

As regards the Commission on Human Rights, the EU, in its statement at this year's session on the question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world, expres...More Button

As part of this ongoing dialogue, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway participates in, and is the co-ordinator on the EU side, of the EU-China human rights seminar, which was establishe...More Button

I am aware that a resolution on Tibet was adopted by the lower house of the Italian Parliament on 9 October 2002. For the reasons outlined above, I would not envisage introducing a similar resoluti...More Button

Written Answers. - Colombian Trial.

Was asked: if his Department will send an official legal observer to attend the trials of persons (details supplied) as requested by the persons' families; the measures the Government will take to ensure that...More Button

The Irish Ambassador to Colombia is the official representative at this week's trial of the three Irish men in Bogota, and will report fully to the Department on it.More Button

I understand that, in addition to three Members of the Oireachtas, a number of international observers, including legal representatives, will be present at the trial. I would envisage that some or ...More Button

The Department, in providing consular assistance to the three men, has repeatedly expressed to the Colombian authorities the importance of ensuring that they receive a fair trial, that their safety...More Button

The Department will continue to follow this case closely, and will also continue to provide every possible consular assistance to the men and to their families.More Button

Written Answers. - International Criminal Court.

Was asked: his views on the fact that the proper establishment of the International Criminal Court will be grievously undermined by any bilateral agreement under Article 98 of the Rome Statute, which will imm...More Button

Was asked: the steps he will take to protect the integrity of the International Criminal Court by ensuring that the EU adopts a strong response rejecting demands for so-called impunity agreements, or bilatera...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that some EU member and candidate states are using the EU's current ambivalent position on impunity agreements under Article 98 of the Rome Statute on th...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the grave concerns raised by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch regarding the EU's failure to take effective steps to prevent members from signing impun...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 220, inclusive, together.More Button

Ireland ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in April 2002 following a referendum to amend the Constitution. We remain fully committed to the court, in line with our politi...More Button

I am aware of the positions of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in relation to bilateral agreements under Article 98.2 of the Rome Statute. These organisations are in regular contact wi...More Button

The Government sees no prohibition within the Rome Statute itself to the adoption of certain types of bilateral agreement under Article 98.2 of the Statute provided that these are consistent with o...More Button

Written Answers. - Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Was asked: if the Government intends to support or co-operate with a war on Iraq if Iraq fails to comply with the latest UN Security Council resolution.More Button

Was asked: if Dáil Éireann will have the opportunity to both fully debate and vote on whether Ireland participates in a war in the event of any war on Iraq, be it unilateral or multilateral.More Button

Was asked: the reason there has been no debate to date in Dáil Éireann on the impending war on Iraq; the reason there was no debate in Dáil Éireann on this matter in advance of the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 221, 222 and 225 together.More Button

Security Council Resolution 1441, to which the Deputy refers, does not mandate military action against Iraq. The purpose of Resolution 1441 is to bring about the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of ma...More Button

Ireland, like all other UN member states, is bound under the UN Charter to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. If any resolution authorising the use of force were to be pass...More Button

Those circumstances do not arise at present. In determining Ireland's position, the Government is acting under Article 29.4 of the Constitution which provides that the executive power of the State ...More Button

The question of Iraq was debated on the adjournment of the House on 23 October 2002. In addition, the Dáil and the Joint Committee on European Affairs have discussed developments at the Secu...More Button

Was asked: if, in the event of war on Iraq, Dáil Éireann will have the opportunity to both fully debate and vote on whether to continue to extend or to withdraw permission for foreign military o...More Button

Was asked: if, in the event of military action against Iraq authorised by a UN Security Council resolution, Dáil Éireann will have the opportunity to fully debate and vote on the waiver of norma...More Button

Was asked: if, in the event of a UN Security Council resolution authorising the use of military force, he will be seeking the mobilisation and deployment of the EU's Rapid Reaction Force into battle for the f...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 223, 224 and 227 together.More Button

I have no doubt that in the event of military action against Iraq arising from its non-compliance with Security Council Resolution 1441, all aspects of the matter will be debated by this House. As ...More Button

I would not foresee the EU Rapid Reaction Force as having a role in a military offensive against the Iraqi regime and its forces, even where such action was sanctioned by the UN Security Council. S...More Button

Question No. 225 answered with Question No. 221.More Button

Written Answers. - Human Rights Abuses.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the major international human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International, maintain that the human rights situation in Iraq cannot and will ...More Button

The Government is aware that these views have been expressed. However, the current crisis with Iraq and the most recent UN Security Council resolution relate to the elimination of Iraq's weapons of...More Button

Question No. 227 answered with Question No. 223.More Button

Written Answers. - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: his views on the decision of the British Government to allow former political prisoners to serve on local policing boards in the North.More Button

The report of the Patten Commission recommended the creation of district policing partnership boards in every district council area across Northern Ireland. It also recommended that each DPPB shoul...More Button

These bodies are intended to be the key institutions for promoting community policing, and for delivering decentralised democratic accountability to policing at the local level. Because of its disp...More Button

Under the Police (NI) Act, 2000, DPPs are (i) to provide views to the local Police District Commander and to the Policing Board on any matter concerning the policing of the district, (ii) to monito...More Button

The Police Act included a disqualification clause which stated that: “a person is disqualified for being a member of a DPP if he has at any time been convicted in Northern Ireland or elsewhere of ...More Button

Following on from agreement at Weston Park and the publication of the Revised Implementation Plan in the summer of 2001, the British Government published draft clauses on 25 November last in advanc...More Button

In addition, the British Government also published a separate “Text for Consideration” which included draft clauses to expand the powers of the Belfast DPP sub-groups and to lift the bar on ex-pris...More Button

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr. Paul Murphy, has indicated that this clause will be introduced only “in the context of acts of completion” by paramilitaries. He spoke of the logic ...More Button

In welcoming the Patten Report, the Government agreed with its recommendation that paramilitary ex-prisoners could play a helpful role in building confidence and connections between their communiti...More Button

The criteria for that context are set out in the Good Friday Agreement. The arrangements regarding policing, including in regard to the structures of accountability, should ensure, inter alia,More Button