28th September 2011
I thank Dr. Manning for a very informative and enlightening address. I am strongly committed to the promotion and protection of human rights in Ireland, particularly children’s rights. I note that today is the 19th anniversary of Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – I am calling it national children’s day.
I wish to focus on commending all the national NGOs, civil society organisations and relevant stakeholders for their contributions to the UPR process. I would particularly like to congratulate the UPR cross-sectoral steering group for its innovative and inclusive national consultation process, which I believe is the model of best practice for NGO consultation and could be shared with others, particularly developing countries, after the report. I note also the act of engagement by the Department of Justice and Equality.
I wish to ask Dr. Manning the value of establishing a Department of Justice and Equality NGO standing committee, akin to the Department of Foreign Affairs NGO standing committee which was established in 1997, in order to provide a formal framework for a regular exchange of views between the Department and the NGO-civil society community on the follow-up and implementation of the UPR recommendations in Ireland over the next four years.