Ireland has adopted an international declaration aimed at providing greater global cooperation in the fight against online child abuse.

A meeting of Ministers of Justice from around the world in Washington DC heard that no country is immune from this crime, including Ireland.

The Global Alliance Against Online Child Sexual Abuse met to today, to agree a plan to help law enforcement officials, who face significant challenges from a borderless crime.

The Head of Operations from the Europol CyberCrime centre, Garda Detective Inspector Paul Gillen, was one of those addressing the gathering.

He appealed to the ministers to have their Governments take action to give police forces global jurisdiction.

He said criminals could move disturbing evidence around the world at the click of a button, but law enforcement agencies had to go through multiple police forces and court systems to try to catch them.

The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that Ireland could be a global leader in the fight against child exploitation given the special access Ireland had to online companies and internet service providers.

She warned that people needed to realise that personal pictures they posted online for private use could be accessed and resold without their knowledge.

She said there were online child sex abuse users in Ireland and the authorities would continue to pursue them.

The Ministers of Justice today are signing a declaration which focuses on working efficiently with Internet service providers and on ensuring all countries have timely access to the material they need to combat online child abuse.

The US Attorney General Eric Holder is hosting the special conference.