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Peadar Tóibín TD raises concerns regarding EU/Colombia Free Trade Agreement with Colombian Ambassador

9 October, 2014

Speaking at today’s Joint Oireachtas Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee, Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín TD raised his concerns regarding the EU Colombia Free Trade Agreement with Mr Nestor Osorio Ambassador of Colombia to Ireland.

The Meath West TD said:

“Sinn Féin has repeatedly raised concerns regarding human rights issues associated with the EU Colombia Free Trade Agreement which due for ratification by Ireland before the end of the year.

“Earlier this week Minister Richard Bruton finally agreed to a request from the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committees that he facilitate a debate in the Dáil on the Agreement before seeking member’s approval on it.  

“Ratification of the Agreement requires advance approval by the Dáil and because of this it is critically important that TDs be given an opportunity to debate the devastating impact of free trade agreements on indigenous and peasant Colombian farmer who make up about 34% of the country’s population.

“Colombia has had 60 years of conflict, at the heart of which has been the question of land and land grabs.  Human rights violations in the country are directly linked to the extremely unequal distribution of land, power and wealth.  

“When debating the Agreement the European Parliament raised significant concerns on human rights, environmental rights and labour rights in Colombia.  

“Oversight and human rights provisions in the Agreement are not in our view sufficiently robust or independent and the EU Commission has failed to reflect the Parliaments concerns and recommendations in the final Agreement.

“Sinn Féin TDs look forward to setting out in detail our opposition to the EU Colombia Free Trade Agreement when the motion comes before the Dáil later this month.”

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