THE Government must "expedite" its plans to provide for legal abortion, according to the Council for Europe.
The council said it was concerned for women whose lives were at risk and who were faced with uncertainty about their right to abortion.
It underlined "concern regarding the situation of women who are of the opinion that their life may be at risk due to their pregnancy".
And it "invited the Irish authorities to take all necessary measures in that respect".
The statement follows a meeting in Strasbourg, which discussed the report submitted to the Government last month by the expert group on abortion.
It again ramps up pressure on the Coalition to come to a decision amid intense international scrutiny on the issue.
The Government will decide before Christmas which option in the expert report to implement, which may include primary or secondary legislation, guidelines, or a combination of legislation and guidelines.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties welcomed the statement last night.
But the Pro Life campaign said that there was a lack of understanding as to Ireland's legal obligations.