Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss Irish EU Presidency objectives

July 17th, 2013 - Pat Breen

The Foreign Affairs Committee will be briefed on the achievements of Ireland’s EU Presidency in the area of foreign affairs at its meeting today, Wednesday 17th July 2013.

The Committee will also consider the objectives for Ireland’s membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore, examine the outcome of the meetings of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in the second quarter of 2013, and discuss the recommendations from the recent Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) conference which was held in Dublin on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June.

Committee Chairman Pat Breen TD said: “After what has been generally accepted as very successful EU Presidency, it is both timely and opportune that we discuss issues in the arena of foreign affairs that were addressed over the past six months. Among the issues which the Committee would like to address in more detail are: the achievement of Presidency objectives along with the outcomes of the Foreign Affairs Council in the second quarter of 2013. The Foreign Affairs Council meets once a month and deals with all aspects of the European Union’s external policy. The Council deals with issues such as Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), Foreign Trade Policy and Development Cooperation.

Also on our agenda tomorrow is a consideration of the objectives for Ireland’s membership of the Human Rights Council with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore. The Council is made of 47 Member States, which are elected by the majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot. Ireland is currently a member of the Council.

Finally, the recommendations from the recent AWEPA conference which brought together more than 150 parliamentarians, policy makers and experts from across Africa and Europe in the Irish EU Presidency seminar ‘Africa’s Development Future: land, hope and hunger’ will be considered. The seminar promoted dialogue and initiatives on the role, responsibility and efforts of both European and African parliamentarians concerning land ownership, water scarcity and chronic hunger. The focus was on Millennium Development Goal One to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.”

The meeting will start in Committee Room 1, Leinster House at 5pm on Wednesday, 17th July 2013.

Committee proceedings can be followed live at:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/