Question No. 172
Parliamentary Question - Oireachtas
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the actions being taken at national, EU and international level to protect the Yazidi people in northern Iraq; the supports that are being given to the Iraqi government to help it safeguard the Yazidis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 24th October, 2017.
Ref No: 45048/17 Proof: 206
I am appalled by the violence which Daesh have inflicted in Iraq and Syria, and the tragic suffering which their extremist and violent actions have brought on innocent people, including the Yazidi community.
Ireland has consistently called for inclusive, democratic solutions to the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa region. In the Iraqi context, we have emphasised that the security effort must be accompanied by the implementation of the programme for national reconciliation set out by Prime Minister Abadi in late 2014 to avoid further sectarian divisions.
The June EU Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Iraq reiterated the EU’s firm and active commitment to the preservation of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-confessional nature of Iraqi society, including the protection of its minority groups, and called for an inclusive process of reconciliation both at the national and at the local level. Ireland fully supports these conclusions.
Since 2015, €350 million has been dedicated by the EU to provide emergency assistance in response to the humanitarian consequences of the current conflict in Iraq.
Since 2012, Ireland has provided over €8.36 million in bilateral humanitarian assistance to Iraq and has also deployed four members of its Rapid Response Corps to Iraq to provide surge capacity to UN organisations working to respond to the humanitarian crisis.
Ireland strongly condemns all forms of persecution on the basis of religion or belief, irrespective of where they occur or who the victims are. We attach great importance to combating all forms of discrimination based on religion or belief and incitement to religious hatred. We firmly believe in tolerance, non-discrimination, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.
Ireland consistently raises the issues of racism and intolerance and advocates for inclusive societies at the UN Human Rights Council, during the Council’s Universal Periodic Review of the human rights records of UN Member States, as well as at the Council of Europe and the OSCE. The promotion of inclusive societies where the human rights of all individuals are respected is a core objective of our engagement on issues such as the promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief.
I would like to put on record my absolute and unreserved condemnation of the brutal atrocities committed against the Yazidis and other religious minorities in Iraq by terrorist groups including Da’esh.