Dr. Manning elected to the chair of the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions

The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has been elected chair of the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions for the next two years, the first time Ireland has received this honour. The Commission was elected into this role at the European Co-ordinating Committee meeting on Friday (September 29th) in Athens. President of the IHRC, Dr. Maurice Manning, becomes chair of the co-ordinating committee of the network for this two year term.

Dr. Maurice Manning, said "We are honoured by the confidence and trust which our European colleagues have shown in electing the Irish Commission to lead the co-ordinating committee for the next two years. In the course of those two years we expect to see greater co-operation between the Commissions, the building of contacts with international and regional agencies and organisations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe in pursuing common human rights objectives. I also wish to record our gratitude to our predecessors, the French Human Rights Commission who have chaired the committee so effectively since 2002."

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Alpha Connelly, the Chief Executive of the IHRC. Dr Connelly stated "In view of our recent establishment and more recent membership of the European Co-ordinating Committee, the election of the IHRC is a welcome endorsement of our work, both domestically and internationally. We look forward in the next two years to steering European involvement in a wide-range of pressing human rights issues".

The European Co-ordinating Committee represents the European Group of national human rights institutions on a global co-ordinating committee. Similar regional structures exist for the Asia/Pacific area, Africa and the Americas. The European Group includes institutions such as commissions, human rights ombudsmen, institutes, advisory commissions and people’s defenders.

In addition to its regular meetings, the European Co-ordinating Committee provides a permanent forum for exchange between its members. It may adopt common positions or work collectively on a common area of concern. For example, the ECC worked collectively to develop a common position in relation to the drafting of key components of the recently agreed United Nations Treaty on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

"Involvement in the European Group has proven highly beneficial to all members in terms of informed debate and sharing of best practice," concluded Dr. Maurice Manning, President of the IHRC.

A spokesperson is available for comment.

For further information, please contact:

Mary Ruddy

Senior Human Rights Awareness Officer

Irish Human Rights Commission.

Jervis House,

Jervis Street,

Dublin 1.
Tel. 01 8589 601
E-mail: info@ihrc.ie
Website : http://www.ihrc.ie

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