• May 26, 2010

The Manx National Heritage initiative to seek United Nations World Heritage List status for key sites on the Isle of Man, such as the ancient Tynwald Hill site and the historically significant Laxey valley is to be applauded.

However, the decision of the Council of Ministers (COMIN) to support the move is somewhat hypocritical given the stance it takes in relation to other UN institutions.

Readers of Celtic News will know that the Celtic League recently pressed the Manx government over a number of United Nations standards.

We specifically asked when the “Paris Principles”, which encourage the establishment of national institutions to monitor human rights, would be actioned. The Manx government were, however, dismissive (see link below):


Even more damning was the Manx government response when we pressed them on specific recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child calling for the involvement of NGOs in the reporting process.

Chief Secretary, Mary Williams, told the Celtic League:

“Notwithstanding the comments from the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2000, the Isle of Man Government does not consider that it is necessary to establish specific conduits of communication with NGOs for human rights

She also said:

“Whilst countries to which UN conventions, such as the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), apply are obliged under international law to comply with the provisions of the convention, it is not uncommon for those countries to dispute or disagree with the comments from the Committee which monitors the convention.”

Related Celtic News article here:


It seems therefore the Isle of Man government has a somewhat cynical approach to its International obligations via the United Nations.

When it comes to the kudos that listed status UNESCO brings to Manx historical sites COMIN are enthusiastic. However when it comes to complying with Rights Standards or Recommendations they are more reticent.

Isle of Man news item about the UNESCO status bid here:


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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