Action Item: Have your say on Irish Foreign Policy
The Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is soliciting individual contributions for a “review of Ireland’s Foreign Policy and External Relations”. Note: The CLOSING DATE is 5pm on Tuesday 4th February.
According to the Department website:
“you are invited to have your say on what our foreign policy priorities and goals should be”. Further, it states that “Individuals making a submission can address any issue related to Ireland’s foreign policy which they consider to be of relevance, including any not explicitly raised in this document“
As the Department also believes that “respect for and the promotion of human rights has always been and will continue to be a cornerstone of [Irish] foreign policy”, we would encourage our supporters and supporters of Palestinian human rights to make submissions to the Department.
Please take half an hour this weekend to make a short submission to the Department, and let them know that you think human rights should be at the core of Ireland’s foreign policy, and not be secondary to other interests. In the words of the late Nelson Mandela, “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.
Some issues you might wish to raise in this context are:
* A ban on trade with entities in illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine, and companies complicit with activities in these settlements, which are grave breaches of Article IV of the Geneva Convention.
* An end to all links between Irish and Israeli state and publicly funded bodies, including universities and the Road Safety Authorities in both states (the Israeli RSA operates on the segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories).
* Refusal of all tenders for government schemes that come from Israeli companies (eg Israeli arms companies) or multinational corporations involved in aiding the occupation and/or violations of Palestinian human rights and/or international law (for example, G4S, CRH and Veolia).
* Support for a full enforcement of the EU Guidelines on banning funding to Israeli entities that operate in the occupied Palestinian territories, and the application of such guidelines by the Irish state.
* Support for an EU arms embargo on Israel.
* Support for suspending Israel from the Euro-Med agreement, as it is in constant violation of Article II (the human rights clause) of that agreement, an agreement that grants Israeli special trading privileges with the EU.
* Oppose any further EU treaties/cooperation agreements or upgrades in EU relations with Israel.
* Continuous public support and lobbying at an international level for realisation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including calling: for an end to the Israeli military occupation and dismantling of the illegal separation wall; for an end to the siege of Gaza; for full equality for all citizens of Israel regardless of ethno-religious background; for freedom for all Palestinian political and child prisoners; for the UN mandated Right of Return for all Palestinian refugees and their families, and for rights for, and the safety of, all Palestinian refugees in their host countries.
To make a submission
The official guide for submissions says that:
When and how should submissions be made? Submissions should be made in writing. The y should be sent to the review team at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade by email to ForeignPolicyReview@dfat.ie, or by post marked ‘Foreign Policy Review’ to the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, 79 – 80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, by 04 February 2014 . If you have any queries concerning the review, please contact Gerard Keown at the same email address or, for telephone queries, at 01 408 268 7.
The review team may release all or part of a submission, subject to data protection requirements. Please indicate if you are willing to authorise this release (indicate YES / NO) when making a submission. Please also indicate (YES/NO) if you are willing for your submission t o be published on the web site of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 3 The provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts will apply to submissions received , which may therefore be released in total or in part. When making a submission, please indicate if there are aspects of your submission that you seek to have withheld, and the reasons for same (more information here: www.foi.gov.ie).