Ireland takes over OSCE chairmanshipSunday 01 January 2012 22.28
Ireland has taken over the chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe this year.
Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore said Ireland would promote peace, security and respect for human rights in line with the values of the organisation.
Mr Gilmore said Ireland would draw on its experience to promote conflict resolution.
A priority, he said, would be the freedom of expression and freedom of the media in the digital age.
He said the potential of the internet to inform and empower people was clear, but that there was a growing threat to freedom of expression online.
Mr Gilmore said "as an Internet capital of Europe, Ireland is strongly committed to safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms in the digital age, and our OSCE Chairmanship will draw attention to this important issue."
The Tánaiste pledged to build on the results achieved by Lithuania's 2011 OSCE Chairmanship and the decisions taken at the Vilnius Ministerial Council in December, notably in the area of conflict prevention.
Mr Gilmore is to present Ireland's plans and priorities for its OSCE Chairmanship to the Permanent Council in Vienna on 12 January.