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McDonald calls on Government to support rights of poor at Geneva negotiations

28 March, 2008


Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has called on the Irish Government to join with the vast majority of world nations in supporting strong rights for people in poverty ahead of negotiations in Geneva next week. The Irish Government is due to attend negotiations on whether individuals who have had their rights violated should be allowed to appeal to the UN however they have failed to make clear whether they will support the proposal.

Ms. McDonald said today, "A draft Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights contains a provision to allow individuals to appeal to the UN if their social, economic or cultural rights have been violated.

"While the vast majority of world nations support a strong protocol to safeguard this right a small amount of some of the richer countries of the world are in support of an 'al a carte' type position which would allow them the cherry-pick which rights should be protected.

"The Irish Government has yet to announce its support for either position. I would call on them to join with the vast majority of world nations in supporting strong rights for people in poverty ahead of next week's negotiations and I would call on them to make that support public." ENDS

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