Today, the European Commission is organising a conference on freedom of religion with regard to religious slaughter, in partnership with the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the UN. Commissioner Helena Dalli will deliver the opening remarks.
Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Chairman of Irish Muslim Council and Director of Department of Halal Certification Europe (DHCE), is also attending this meeting.
The conference is bringing together representatives of EU Member States and other national authorities, special envoys and coordinators on combating antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred, representatives of national Jewish, Muslim and other religious communities, international organisations and independent experts.
Received from Uachtarán na hÉireann – President of Ireland
Message from President Michael D Higgins
At the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan, as you prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, may I send my congratulations and best wishes to all members of the Islamic community in Ireland.
In normal circumstances, Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world can come together, to celebrate with their neighbours and loves ones, in mosques and cultural centres.
This year, as the covid-19 virus has forced the closure of so many public spaces, I hope that Ramadan can be an opportunity to reflect on our common humanity and our shared dependence, as the Islamic community has to try and celebrate its identity in a physically separated, but spiritually united, fashion.
Over the past number of months, our resolve as a nation has been tested and, as President of Ireland, I take heart from the countless demonstrations of solidarity between people of all backgrounds and their fellow citizens. May I thank the Islamic community in Ireland for its valuable contribution in this regard and send you my best wishes for your health and happiness in the year to come.
Greetings from the Department of Halal Certification Europe (DHCE)
DHCE continues to monitor advice to assess the developments and risks following the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). With the safety and wellbeing of our clients and colleagues our highest priority, we are contacting you to advise of our plans as an organisation during this global health issue.
Taking into consideration the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have reviewed our certification processes and put in place a contingency plan in line with the guidelines of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) on the management of Extraordinary or Circumstances affecting accreditation and certification bodies.
The objective of our contingency plan is to minimize the risk to DHCE clients and colleagues whilst at the same time maintaining certification requirements and mitigating potential global trade risks in these extraordinary circumstances.
On-site certification assessment visits/Halal audits that were due to take place in March and April will all be rescheduled to a later date
To ensure clients continue to have valid halal certification, renewals of the certification will be granted after successful remote assessment
These measures are being put in place to ensure the health and safety of our Clients and DHCE colleagues, as well as to maintain robust accredited conformity assessment activities and accredited services in the best possible way.
Should you require any further clarification on this matter, please contact us.
IAF continues to monitor advice to assess the developments and risks following the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The situation has led to safety concerns and travel restrictions in relevant economies that are likely to affect accredited conformity assessment activities.
Following the guidance set out in ID3:2011 (IAF Informative Document For Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting ABs, CABs and Certified Organizations), relevant Accreditation Bodies and Certification Bodies have introduced or are introducing alternative arrangements to conduct assessments. This may involve e.g. making arrangements to conduct assessments remotely or rescheduling activities if necessary. Both ABs and CBs can find the requirements on how to use information and communication technologies to support and maintain the integrity of the audit/assessment process in IAF MD 4 (Mandatory Document for the Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Auditing/Assessment Purposes).
These measures have been/are being put in place to ensure the health and safety of Accreditation Body and Certification Body staff, as well as to maintain robust accredited certification and ensure certified organizations are served in the best way possible.
The advice from governments in relevant economies and other sources to assess the risks will be continually monitored as the situation develops. Situation reports can be found on the WHO website.
Details of your local IAF member contacts can be found on the IAF website.
DHCE has received a new accreditation certificate by the Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC) for three years with additional scopes for lamb, beef and poultry products. This accreditation will facilitate more trade between the two countries in Halal meat products.
Ms Amina Ahmed Mohammed, Executive director of Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC) presented the accreditation certificate to Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Director of Department of Halal Certification Europe. His Excellency Ambassador Cronin, Ambassador of Ireland to the UAE was also present during this ceremony.