Ireland elected to UN Human Rights Council

Ireland was elected to the UN Human Rights Council for the first time today.

Amnesty International Ireland said it gives the Government an opportunity to promote human rights for the next three years.

Colm O’Gorman, executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: "Today Ireland is among the 18 new members of the UN Human Rights Council. It gives the Government an opportunity to play a greater role in tackling some of the major human rights issues in the world today.

"But like any successful candidate, Ireland must abide by the commitments it made during the election campaign.

"We would particularly urge the Government to put in place a firm timetable to ratify the Enforced Disappearances Convention and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities signed in 2007.

"We also urge Ireland to ratify as quickly as possible the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to ensure that the new Human Rights and Equality Commission has adequate independence, remit, powers and resources."

Ireland was one of five states running for three seats reserved for the 'Western Europe and Others' group of nations.

The United States and Germany join Ireland on the Human Rights Council, while Greece and Sweden were unsuccessful.

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