Tánaiste commends work of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights07 November 2013
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Eamon Gilmore, T.D., met UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, in Dublin today to discuss human rights issues in Syria and the Middle East and LGBTI issues.
The Tánaiste also briefed Ms Pillay on Ireland’s work as a member of the UN Human Rights Council.
Speaking after the meeting, the Tánaiste commended Ms Pillay’s efforts in highlighting the human rights violations occurring in Syria, which include war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, including sexual violence, arbitrary detention and violence against children:
“I commend the tireless efforts of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in highlighting the dreadful human rights violations taking place in Syria. We are reminded on a daily basis of the horror of this conflict, which has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced almost 6.5 million people.”
The Tánaiste also paid tribute to Ms Pillay for her work on LGBTI issues, adding:
“Ms Pillay has been a vocal advocate for the rights of LGBTI persons and for the principle of non-discrimination I strongly support her work, and that of her Office, in defending the universality of human rights, in particular in the area of LGBTI rights.”
The Tánaiste and Ms Pillay discussed the work of the UN Human Rights Council, of which Ireland is currently a member.
The Tánaiste highlighted the active role that Ireland has played at the Council since becoming a member.
Ms Pillay welcomed the leadership that Ireland had shown in the Council, both during our EU Presidency and in building support for the recent adoption of important Human Rights Council resolutions on addressing preventable mortality and morbidity of children under five, and ensuring rights and freedoms for civil society.
After meeting the Tánaiste, Ms Pillay participated in a meeting hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with a number of Irish NGOs.