Higgins, Michael D.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs Debate


Global Response to HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Discussion with UN.

I join the Chairman in welcoming Dr. Piot and applauding his work. It is salutary that a distinguished scientist can give such public service in a way that benefits humanity when so many scientist...More Button

Dr. Piot has achieved a great feat in co-ordinating ten agencies of the UN on the ground. For someone who has worked in the development area for a long time, one of the great disappointments to me...More Button

In the short time available, I would like to list a few points. My background is as a sociologist. There has been a failure regarding social sciences, which is based mainly on prejudice against h...More Button

We must also think about social policy issues. I very much agree with the suggestion made in the presentation with regard to the multifarious consequences of HIV infection — for example, it ...More Button

My final point is that when history comes to be written, no African leader will be respected for having used sovereignty as a basis for putting a barrier of ignorance between the people and the uni...More Button

Denial of the Holocaust: Motion.

I move:More Button

calls on the Irish Government to make explicit, and if necessary repeat as appropriate, its support of Commissioner Frattini’s views on this recent conference; stresses the need to remember t...More Button

I am delighted to move the motion. I imagine all members of the committee will be of the view that we should pass it. I was anxious the motion should be tabled as near as possible to Holocaust Me...More Button

I believe the motion expresses sentiments generally shared by committee members, because different Governments have signed up to the International Criminal Court, for example, which condemns the cr...More Button

We must be clear in identifying accurately and never making a false accusation in regard to anti-Semitism. That is important. Anti-Semitism had preceded what took place in the camps but we should...More Button

Members will agree it is important that after the different declarations made at a European level we should take the first available opportunity to express strongly our abhorrence of those who, by ...More Button

I am happy to accept any amendments members may offer but I made every effort to make the motion as complete as I could.More Button

While I appreciate the generous support from all sides for the motion, I also take Deputy Mulcahy’s point that we should still visit Iran and discuss the issues he mentions with the Iranians....More Button

Proposed US-India Nuclear Agreement: Motion.

I move:More Button

I am happy to accept the additional lines to the motion. They are useful in so far as the next meeting when the issue will be discussed will be held in Cape Town in April. The advisory note from ...More Button

I regard this issue as one of the most important to come before the joint committee. After the next general election, no doubt the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs will be re-established. It wi...More Button

The fundamental principle at stake is nuclear proliferation. The non-nuclear proliferation treaty is perhaps one of the instruments for which Ireland is best known internationally. It came at a s...More Button

Issues raised regarding the nuclear threat include security and the bogus concept of deterrence. It is suggested that one can secure one’s existence on the planet only by having the same des...More Button

However, the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs should never forget that the concept of deterrence through possession of nuclear weapons has been the biggest brake on the development of global secu...More Button

I say this as a friend of India, and the nuclear issue should in no way compromise friendly relations, including on issues of trade. However, if we gave way regarding the nuclear non-proliferation...More Button

I do not suggest that we should ask India to accept something that other countries have rejected regarding the use of nuclear materials. There are to be 22 installations, 14 of which will be civil...More Button

In that regard, to the Government’s credit, last October it finally ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It cannot come into existence as an effective instrument unless those who poss...More Button

When Hans Blix attended the committee, he gave a presentation including a discussion on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. He made several practical suggestions, for example, regarding the wide...More Button

A distinguished microbiologist who works for the United Nations on preventing AIDS, made a presentation to the committee. This person is a scientist working on a humanitarian endeavour dealing wit...More Button

In 1996 the International Court of Justice offered an advisory opinion that deterrence is illegal and immoral and that it is difficult to recommend possession of the capacity to implement destructi...More Button

It is wrong to follow this road. The US-India agreement does not offer inspections of the Indian installations. Some eight installations are uninspected, eight remain out of international discipl...More Button

I wish the people of India economic success and success in solving their problems. If they wish to use nuclear power as a means to produce energy that is their choice, though it would not be mine....More Button

Which is what Pakistan shows.More Button

I would like to reply to some of the points made. It should not catch anybody by surprise that we are discussing the issue, which has been discussed in both Chambers. A comprehensive reply to a q...More Button

One of these papers relates to US-India civil nuclear co-operation and another deals with the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. These are mostly factual. Another document is on ...More Button

I remind the committee that this motion expresses the opinion of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs. We are not imagining that we are the Minister for Foreign Affairs or the President of the E...More Button

If there was a suggestion that the non-signatory countries would join, sign up to protocols and change their attitude to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, any member of the committee could come ba...More Button

I take into account what people have in mind. I wish to be factual, but I do not go along with the idea of saying the non-proliferation treaty is dead or dying and needs to be replaced by somethin...More Button

There is another great advantage, before the expertise around nuclear capacity is allowed to leak into potential military usage. The agreement passed Congress on 9 December and there is no reason ...More Button

I thank the members for their comments.More Button

I respect that people are entitled to have reservations but we did discuss this before. Regarding the answers given to Dáil questions by the Minister, he suggested Ireland is raising the st...More Button

The Minister will be stronger going into the talks knowing the view of the committee. This motion was not sprung on the committee. Deputy Mulcahy has correctly drawn attention to this issue and I...More Button

I can accept that. However, I am not in favour of a decision on the motion being deferred and must ask that it be put.More Button

Yes, if it means we can pass the motion unanimously.More Button