Home > Human Rights in the News > Renegotiating the Programme for Government: Whither Human Rights?

Renegotiating the Programme for Government: Whither Human Rights?

cla97sAs previously mentioned here, this week has seen the government partners engage in a renegotiation of the programme for government. While we were made aware before the commencement of the talks that the Green Party had an extensive ‘wish list’ and that commitment to human rights and rights-related organisations featured on that list, there has been something of a veil of silence surrounding developments since then (also noted by Ferdinand von Prondzynski this morning). This morning’s Irish Times, however, informs us that education (especially teacher:pupil ratios) and electoral reform (especially a reduction in the number of TDs) have moved to the centre stage of the negotiations. Of course, both of these areas have human rights implications too–effective education, effective representative political systems etc… are important for the creation of conditions in which people can exercise their rights to the fullest degree–but they are decidedly long-term in terms of having embedded human rights impacts. The early talk of insisting upon the adequate funding of the Equality Authority, for example, seems to have quietened to a whisper and it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that either agreement on this was easily reached or it has slipped to the bottom of the agenda. We continue to wait to see the details of the proposed agreement. The Green Party is scheduled to meet tomorrow to consider whether the renegotiated programme will be approved by 2/3 of the members (the margin needed to keep the Green Party in government) and we can expect to see some details tonight or in the morning.

UPDATE: RTE Radio’s 9am news informs me that Éamon Ryan (Green Party, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources) has announced that unless agreement is reached by lunchtime today the Green Partyministers will resign. They had not reached agreement by lunchtime. They did not resign…

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