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Foreign Affairs | Addressing human rights and conflict areas across the globe

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which he can use his good offices to address human rights abuses across the globe, with particular reference to well-known conflict areas; if the international community can use its influence to bring to bear on the various factions the need for change and modernisation of thinking; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The promotion and protection of human rights is a foreign policy priority for Ireland. As well as bilaterally through our mission network, Ireland contributes strongly to United Nations and European Union efforts to prevent, monitor and eliminate human rights violations and abuses.

Human rights violations are a root cause of conflict and insecurity, while a commitment to, and respect for, human rights is critical to ensuring peaceful, equitable and just societies.

Ireland is committed to the promotion of international peace and security and active across the full range of human rights concerns, including in the UN Human Rights Council and at the General Assembly. During our 2021-2022 UN Security Council tenure, Ireland strongly promoted the rule of law and the upholding of human rights, in particular international humanitarian and human rights law. This has included prioritising the protection of civilians in conflict, ensuring humanitarian access to those in need of assistance, and fighting against impunity.

Accountability for human rights violations is a priority for Ireland, including for the heinous crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing. A strong international criminal justice system is central to fighting impunity. While states bear the primary responsibility to investigate the most serious international crimes, including war crimes and genocide, Ireland regards the International Criminal Court as the cornerstone of such a system. We are a consistent and strong supporter of the Court.

At EU level, Ireland is an active participant and contributor to the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, which works globally to support the preservation of peace, the prevention of conflicts and the strengthening of international security. Human Rights issues are frequently discussed at the EU Foreign Affairs Council. Ireland strongly support the EU’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, which strengthens the EU’s ability to take collective action against perpetrators of human rights violations.

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