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Resolution on EU priorities for the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council


The European
Parliament ,


  having regard to the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and to the UN human rights conventions and optional protocols


  having regard to United Nations General
Assembly Resolution 60/251 establishing the Human Rights Council (UNHRC),


  having regard to the United Nations
Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000 and to the UN General Assembly
resolutions thereon,


  having regard to the European Convention on
Human Rights, the European Social Charter and the EU Charter of Fundamental


  having regard to the EU Strategic Framework
on Human Rights and Democracy and the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy,
as adopted at the 3179th Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 25 June 2012,


  having regard to its recommendation to the
Council of 13 June 2012 on the EU Special Representative for Human Rights(1) ,


  having regard to its previous resolutions on the
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), including Parliament’s priorities
in this context, and in particular that of 7 February 2013(2) ,


  having regard to its urgent resolutions on
human rights issues,


  having regard to its resolution of 11
December 2013 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World
2012 and the European Union’s policy on the matter(3) ,


  having regard to the EU Foreign Affairs
Council’s conclusions on the EU’s priorities in the UN human rights fora, adopted
on 10 February 2014,


  having regard to Articles 2, 3(5), 18, 21, 27
and 47 of the Treaty on European Union,


  having regard to the forthcoming sessions of
the UNHRC in 2014, in particular the 25th regular session, to be held from 3 to
28 March 2014,


  having regard to Rule 110(2) and (4) of its
Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas respect for, and the promotion and
safeguarding of, the universality of human rights is part of the European
Union’s ethical and legal acquis and one of the cornerstones of European unity
and integrity;


B.  whereas the EU’s credibility in the UNHRC
will be bolstered by increasing consistency between its internal and external
policies relating to human rights;


C.  whereas the EU and its Member States should
strive to speak out with one voice against human rights violations in order to
achieve the best possible results, and should in this context continue to
strengthen cooperation and enhance organisational arrangements and coordination
among the Member States and among the EU institutions;


D.  whereas the EU Foreign Affairs Council of 10
February 2014 set out its priorities ahead of the 25th regular session of the
UN Human Rights Council and the forthcoming UN General Assembly Third
Committee, which included the situation in Syria, the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea, Iran, Sri Lanka, Myanmar/Burma, Belarus, the Central African
Republic, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Mali and
Sudan; whereas the thematic priorities outlined by the Foreign Affairs Council
included the death penalty, freedom of religion or belief, the rights of the
child, women’s rights, the post-2015 global agenda, freedom of opinion and
expression, freedom of association and assembly, NGO cooperation with UN human
rights bodies, torture, LGBTI issues, racism, indigenous peoples, economic,
social and cultural rights, business and human rights, and support for UN human
rights bodies and mechanisms;


E.  whereas an EU Special Representative for
Human Rights (EUSR) was appointed on 25 July 2012, whose role it is to enhance
the effectiveness and visibility of EU human rights policy and to contribute to
the implementation of the Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights
and Democracy;


F.  whereas 14 new members were elected to the
UNHRC in October 2013 and took up their membership on 1 January 2014, namely
Algeria, China, Cuba, France, the Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Saudi
Arabia, South Africa, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Vietnam,
Russia and the United Kingdom; whereas nine EU Member States are now UNHRC


G.  whereas the priority theme of the 58th
session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be the challenges and
achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for
women and girls;


H.  whereas corruption in the public and private
sectors perpetrates and aggravates inequalities and discrimination when it
comes to equal enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural
rights, and whereas it is proven that acts of corruption and human rights
violations involve the misuse of power, lack of accountability and various
forms of discrimination;


I.  whereas the ratification of both of the
Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
(ICC) by states and the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of
aggression will further contribute to ending impunity for perpetrators of this


1.  Welcomes the priorities set out by the
Council with a view to the 25th regular session of the UNHRC; urges the
European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Member States to take into
account its recommendations when promoting the EU’s priorities in the UNHRC;


The work
of the UN Human Rights Council


2.  Reiterates its belief that elections to the
UNHRC need to be competitive, and expresses its opposition to the arranging of
uncontested elections by regional groups; reiterates the importance of
standards for UNHRC membership as regards commitment and performance in the
human rights field, and urges the Member States to insist on such standards
when defining the candidates they will vote for; emphasises that UNHRC members
are required to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of
human rights; reiterates the importance of strong and transparent criteria for
reinstating suspended members;


3.  Expresses its concern about human rights
abuses in a number of newly elected members of the UNHRC, including Algeria,
China, Cuba, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam;


4.  Notes that Kazakhstan is currently one of the
47 members of the HRC; points out that the human rights situation in that
country has deteriorated further since the brutal police repression of peaceful
demonstrators and oil workers, their families and supporters in Zhanaozen on 16
December 2011, which, according to official figures, left 15 people dead and
over 100 injured; calls on the HRC to implement without delay the call made by
the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, for an independent
international investigation into the killing of oil workers in Kazakhstan;
calls on Kazakhstan, as a member of the HRC, to guarantee human rights, repeal
Article 164 of its penal code on ‘inciting social discord’, end the repression
of, and lift the administrative obstacles placed in the way of, independent
media, release political prisoners – including Vadim Kuramshin, a lawyer for
human rights defenders, Roza Tuletaeva, a union activist, and Vladimir Kozlow,
an opposition politician – and drop all requests for the extradition of
opposition politicians;


5.  Continues to oppose ‘bloc voting’ in the
UNHRC; urges the countries that are members of the UNHRC to remain transparent
in their voting;


6.  Regrets the fact that the space for
interaction between civil society and the UNHRC is shrinking and that NGOs are
being offered fewer opportunities to speak at these sessions; urges the EU and
the UNHRC to ensure that civil society is allowed to contribute as fully as
possible to the 25th session of the UNHRC, as well as to the Universal Periodic
Review (UPR) process and other UN human rights mechanisms, without fear of
reprisals upon return to their home country; condemns reports of such reprisals,
and urges the EEAS and the Member States to ensure that such cases are followed
up in a systematic manner;


7.  Commends the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights, Navi Pillay, for her continued efforts in the treaty body strengthening
processes; strongly reiterates the multi-stakeholder nature of the treaty
bodies and stresses that civil society needs to be included on a permanent
basis in these processes; emphasises, furthermore, that the independence and
effectiveness of the treaty bodies must be preserved and enhanced;





8.  Reiterates its strong condemnation of the
widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the
Syrian regime, including all acts of violence, systematic torture and
executions of prisoners; condemns all human rights abuses and violations of
international humanitarian law by armed groups opposing the regime; expresses
serious concern about the severe impact of the three-year conflict on the
civilian population, and the continued deterioration of the humanitarian
situation within the country and in the region; calls on all armed actors to
put an immediate end to the violence in Syria; fully supports the recent round
of talks initiated on the basis of the Geneva communiqué, which should be the
first step in a process that will lead to a political and democratic solution
to the conflict, so as to facilitate a Syrian-led democratic transition that
meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people;


9.  Urges all parties to the conflict, and in
particular the Syrian regime, to ensure comprehensive and secure cross-border
access for international humanitarian aid efforts, and to fulfil their promise
of allowing women and children to escape besieged cities such as Homs and the
Yarmouk camp; welcomes UN Security Council Resolution 2139 of 22 February 2014,
calling for humanitarian aid convoys to be allowed access throughout the
country in order to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population, and
calls for its rapid implementation; calls for the release of peaceful activists
in government detention and civilian hostages being held by armed groups;


10.  Stresses that, in view of the unprecedented
scale of the crisis, alleviating the suffering of millions of Syrians in need
of basic goods and services must be a priority for the EU and the international
community at large; reminds the EU Member States of their humanitarian
responsibility towards the Syrian refugees, and notes that tragedies such as
that in Lampedusa should not happen again; urges the Commission and the Member
States to aid the refugees fleeing the conflict; notes that in its resolution
of 9 October 2013, Parliament encouraged the Member States to address acute
needs by providing safe entry into the EU to allow temporary admission of
Syrians and through resettlement over and above existing national quotas, as
well as humanitarian admission;


11.  Reiterates its call on the EEAS and the
Member States to ensure that the situation in Syria continues to be treated as
a matter of the highest priority within the UN framework, notably in the UNHRC;


12.  Highlights the fact that deliberate
starvation of civilians and attacks on health facilities are prohibited under
international law and will be regarded as war crimes; reiterates the importance
of ensuring accountability at all levels; commends in this context the work of
the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, including its latest report, to
be discussed at the UNHRC, and calls on the Commission of Inquiry to
investigate the recent report, which includes thousands of photographs of cases
of torture reportedly perpetrated by the Syrian military; reiterates its call
for the UN Security Council (UNSC) to refer the situation in Syria to the
International Criminal Court for a formal investigation; asks the
Vice-President / High Representative to take demonstrable action in this




13.  Condemns the human rights abuses perpetrated
in Egypt, including the harassment and detention of journalists, civil society
and political opposition activists and the excessive use of force resulting in
the deaths of a large number of civilians, for instance during the three-year
anniversary of the revolution and the days around the referendum in January
2013; urges the Egyptian authorities to ensure that full, transparent and independent
investigations are carried out into the deaths of civilians, in order to hold
all perpetrators accountable; condemns the fact that tens of thousands of
Egyptians are being held in prison and repressed, including the Muslim
Brotherhood, which is described as a terrorist organisation, hindering the
possibility of the inclusive reconciliation process that is necessary for the
country’s stability and development; calls on the UNHRC to condemn these human
rights violations, to monitor any investigations that are held and to consider
launching its own investigation in the absence of progress by the Egyptian
authorities; stresses the importance of the swift opening of a regional OHCHR
office in Cairo, as agreed by the Egyptian authorities;


14.  Takes note of the new Egyptian constitution;
notes the reference to the independence of Christian and Jewish religious
affairs, and recognises progress with regard to freedom of religion; welcomes
the constitution’s reference to a civilian government and the equality of all
citizens, including the improvement in women’s rights, the provision on
children’s rights, the ban on torture in all its forms and manifestations, the
prohibition and criminalisation of all forms of slavery and the commitment to
abide by international human rights treaties signed by Egypt; strongly deplores
the level of power the constitution places in the hands of the army and the
military courts;


15.  Is concerned about the fact that thousands of
people, mainly refugees from Eritrea and Somalia, including many women and
children, are losing their lives, disappearing or being kidnapped and held
hostage for ransom, tortured, sexually exploited or killed for the organ trade
by human traffickers in Sinai; recalls, in this context, that Article 89 of the
new constitution declares that all forms of slavery, oppression, forced
exploitation of human beings, the sex trade and other forms of human
trafficking are prohibited and criminalised by law in Egypt;




16.  Calls for the adoption of a resolution during
the forthcoming UNHRC session, building upon the OHCHR report and strengthening
the OHCHR’s mandate to monitor and report to the UNHRC on the human rights
situation and challenges faced in Libya; is concerned about the illegal
conflict-related detentions and the practice of torture and extra-judicial
killings, and welcomes in this context the recommendations of the UN Support
Mission report on torture; voices its concern about the targeting of media
workers and calls for the protection of media pluralism and freedom of
expression; urges that support be provided for conflict resolution and national




17.  Welcomes the adoption of a new constitution
by Tunisia on 26 January 2014, which could serve as a source of inspiration for
the countries in the region and beyond; encourages the Tunisian authorities to
conduct inclusive, transparent and credible elections later this year;




18.  Calls on Morocco, as a new member of the
UNHRC, to continue negotiations for a peaceful and long-lasting solution to the
Western Sahara conflict, and reaffirms the right of the Sahrawi people to
self-determination, which should be decided through a democratic referendum, in
accordance with the relevant UN resolutions;




19.  Welcomes the participation of Palestine as a
UN non-member observer state since November 2012; reiterates its support for
this endeavour; notes the support expressed by the EU for Palestine’s becoming
a full member of the UN as part of a political solution to the Israel-Palestine
conflict; reaffirms that the EU will not accept any changes to the pre-1967
borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the
parties; shares, in this regard, the EU Council’s conclusions on the Middle
East Peace Process of 16 December 2013 that deplored Israel’s continuous
expansion of settlements, which are illegal under international law and
constitute an obstacle to peace; deplores human rights abuses by the
Palestinian authorities as well as the continued firing of rockets from Gaza
into Israel;




20.  Welcomes Israel’s re-engagement with the
UNHRC, and the upcoming adoption of the second-cycle UPR report on the country;
calls on the Israeli authorities to cooperate with all Special Procedures,
including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the
occupied territories; supports the conclusions of the reports of the UN
Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in relation to
Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and calls on Israel to
implement the recommendations of the independent international fact-finding
mission on the implications of Israeli settlements for the human rights of the
Palestinian people; expresses its deep concern over the reported cases of
political detention of children in Israeli places of detention;




21.  Expresses concern about the situation of
human rights defenders and political opposition activists in Bahrain; welcomes
the statement of September 2013 on Bahrain in the UNHRC, signed by all EU
Member States; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all
prisoners of conscience, political activists, journalists, human rights
defenders and peaceful protesters; calls for the EU Member States to work
towards the adoption during the next session of the UNHRC of a resolution on
the human rights situation in Bahrain, focused on the implementation of
Bahrain’s commitments made during the UPR process and the recommendations,
including those concerning human rights defenders, of the Bahrain Independent
Commission of Inquiry, welcomed by the King of Bahrain;




22.  Calls on Saudi Arabia, as a newly elected
member of the UNHRC, to heed the recommendations of the 17th Universal Periodic
Review Working Group session to put an end to all forms of discrimination
against women in legislation and in practice and to allow women to participate
fully and equally in society; to take all necessary measures to combat domestic
violence and ensure victims have access to mechanisms of protection and
redress; to enact a law prohibiting all early and forced child marriages, and
establish the minimum legal age of marriage at 18 years; to adopt laws to
protect the freedoms of association, expression, peaceful assembly and
religion; to impose a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to its
eventual abolition; to allow for the registration of NGOs active in the area of
human rights; and to ratify key human rights instruments;




23.  Welcomes the resolution adopted by the UNHRC
in March 2013 on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
and the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights
situation in Iran; reaffirms its support for the continuation of the mandate,
and calls on Iran to allow the UN Special Rapporteur entry into the country as
a crucial step towards opening up a dialogue to assess the human rights
situation in Iran; reiterates its condemnation of the death penalty in Iran and
the significant increase in executions, with 40 people hanged in the first two
weeks of 2014, and the continued violation of the right to freedom of belief;
notes the early signs of progress that the Iranian Government has shown with
regard to human rights, including the release of political prisoners; calls on
the EU and the UNHRC to continue to monitor closely the human rights situation,
and to ensure that human rights remain a key priority in all dealings with the
Iranian Government;




24.  Strongly condemns the ‘Foreign Agent’ laws in
Russia, which are being used to harass NGOs through the use of office raids,
fines and other intimidating methods; calls on the EU and its Member States to
maintain pressure on Russia, both at the UNHRC and outside, to end these clear
violations of the freedoms of expression and of association; expresses strong
concern at other continued human rights abuses in Russia, such as repression of
the media, discriminatory laws towards sexual minorities, violation of the
right of assembly and lack of judicial independence;




25.  Reiterates its support for the UNHRC’s
Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus; calls for the
mandate of the Special Rapporteur to be extended for another year when it comes
to an end in June 2014; welcomes the resolution adopted on Belarus in June 2013
and the continued acknowledgement of, and attention paid to, the significant
human rights abuses in the country; urges the EEAS and the Member States to
maintain pressure on Belarus on the subject of human rights;




26.  Welcomes the outcome of the UPR of
Uzbekistan; views as regrettable the continued refusal by the Government of
Uzbekistan to respond favourably to visit requests by UNHRC Special Procedures;
urges the EU Member States to strive for the creation of a dedicated monitoring
mechanism at the UNHRC on the situation of human rights in Uzbekistan;


African Republic


27.  Reiterates its profound concern at the
situation in the Central African Republic; calls on the international community
to support as a matter of urgency the UN humanitarian appeal, which is severely
underfunded, and calls for an improved security situation with a view to
ensuring access to humanitarian assistance for the population; hopes that the
rapid deployment of the EU CSDP mission will contribute to an improvement in
the situation on the ground; welcomes UNSC Resolution 2136 (2014), the UN Human
Rights Council resolution, its Special session on the situation in the Central
African Republic of 20 January 2014, and the appointment of an Independent
Expert on the human rights situation in the country; urges new interim
President Samba-Panza to do all that she can to end the violence and calm
sectarian tensions in the country;


Republic of the Congo


28.  Highlights the UN’s call for continued
support for the conflict-torn eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC), so as to ensure that it does not become a forgotten crisis; is
seriously concerned about the recent massive displacement of population in the
Katanga region; strongly condemns the attacks by rebel forces in the east of
the country on the civilian population, including women and children; strongly
condemns the systematic use of rape as a weapon of war; expresses deep concern
about the ongoing use of children as soldiers and calls for their disarmament,
rehabilitation and reintegration; considers that the UN Peace, Security and
Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region remains a key framework for
the achievement of sustainable peace; welcomes UNSC Resolution 2136 of January
2014, which renews the arms embargo imposed on the DRC;




29.  Urges continued attention and vigilance on
the part of the EU and the UNHRC with regard to the human rights situation in
Eritrea, as serious human rights violations are creating high numbers of
refugees and migrants; welcomes the UNHRC resolution on the human rights
situation in Eritrea adopted unanimously in June 2013; commends the first
report by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the country;
calls for the renewal of the mandate of this Special Rapporteur during the 26th
UNHRC session;




30.  Welcomes the appointment of an Independent
Expert on the human rights situation in Mali, the continued monitoring of the
human rights situation post-conflict, and the strong leadership role played by
other African states in improving the human rights situation in the country;
calls for the renewal of the mandate of the Independent Expert;




31.  Expresses its deep concern about the situation
in South Sudan, including the political fight for leadership of the country,
which has provoked increasing ethnic clashes and the displacement of more than
650 000 people; calls on the EU Member States to raise this matter in the
UNHRC, in order to keep the issue of the situation in South Sudan high on the
international agenda; welcomes the agreement on cessation of hostilities signed
on 24 January 2014, but underlines the fact that this is only a first step
towards peace and reconciliation; condemns the widespread human rights
violations and abuses committed, and underlines that those responsible must be
held accountable; welcomes the engagement of the African Union in creating a
Commission of Inquiry to serve as a basis for justice and accountability and
future reconciliation;




32.  Condemns the ongoing attacks on religious
minorities, and the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders,
lawyers and journalists; acknowledges the progress made in reconstruction and
the implementation of some of the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt
and Reconciliation Commission, but regrets the fact that the Government of Sri
Lanka continues to fail to provide for independent, credible investigations
into past violations of international human rights and humanitarian law;
strongly supports the recommendation by the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights to establish an independent international inquiry mechanism which would
contribute to establishing the truth if domestic inquiry mechanisms fail;




33.  Welcomes the resolution adopted by the UNHRC
on Burma/Myanmar and the continued work of the Special Rapporteur; calls on the
UNHRC not to discontinue or modify the mandate of the Special Rapporteur as
long as an OHCHR country office with a full mandate is not established inside
the country, and calls on Burma/Myanmar to ensure that the prisoner review
committee continues its work on resolving all pending cases and repealing the
controversial law affecting freedom of expression and of association (in particular
the 2011 Peaceful Assembly and Processions Law); condemns the continued
violence and abuses perpetrated against the Rohingya minority in Rakhine State
and attacks against Muslim and other religious minorities, and calls for a
full, transparent and independent investigation into such violations;


People’s Republic of Korea


34.  Welcomes the planned extension of the mandate
of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the resolution adopted by consensus in March
2013, and the presentation of the report by the Commission of Inquiry on human
rights in that country; reaffirms its call for the Government of the DPRK to
cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and to facilitate his visit to the
country; urges the UNHRC to heed the recommendations of the International
Commission of Inquiry, with a particular focus on the need to condemn
international crimes committed in the DPRK, to step up the UN’s capacity to
document human rights violations in the country, and to set up appropriate
international mechanisms to ensure accountability for international crimes
committed in the DPRK;


Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan


35.  Welcomes the extension of the mandates of the
independent experts on Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Somalia, and Sudan;
urges the authorities of these countries to cooperate fully with



of the child


36.  Welcomes the work of the UNHRC on the rights
of the child, such as the resolution of September 2013 on preventable mortality
and morbidity of children under five years of age as a human rights concern,
and the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; calls on states to
ratify the 3rd Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child, which will allow children to submit their complaints to the Committee;
commends the upcoming UNHRC resolution on the rights of the child as an
excellent example of cooperation between the EU and the Group of Latin American
and Caribbean Countries in the United Nations (GRULAC); expresses its deep
concern over the cases of torture and detention of children reported by
organisations such as UNICEF and Amnesty International; calls on the UN to
further explore such cases and to formulate recommendations for actions;


and girls


37.  Calls for the EU to participate actively in
the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in order not to
undermine the ‘acquis ’ of the UN Beijing Platform for Action, such as access
to education and health as a basic human right, including sexual and
reproductive rights; strongly condemns the use of sexual violence against women
as a tactic of war, including crimes such as mass rape, sexual slavery,
enforced prostitution, gender-based forms of persecution including female
genital mutilation, trafficking, early and forced marriages, honour killings
and all other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity; calls again on
the EU and all the Member States to sign and ratify the Council of Europe
Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic




38.  Reiterates the importance of fighting torture
and other forms of ill-treatment and the priority that the EU gives this issue,
especially with regard to children; calls on the UNHRC to use the annual
resolution on torture to renew the Special Rapporteur’s mandate for another
three years, and to ensure effective follow-up to past resolutions on torture;
urges the EEAS, the Commission and the EU Member States to demonstrate their
shared commitment to eradicating torture and to supporting victims, notably by
continuing or, where applicable, starting to contribute to the UN Voluntary
Fund for Victims of Torture and the Special Fund established by the Optional
Protocol to the Convention against Torture;




39.  Reaffirms its strong condemnation of the use
of the death penalty, and strongly supports the moratorium as a step towards
abolition; calls on the EU, its Member States and the UNHRC to continue to push
for abolition worldwide; strongly urges countries still carrying out capital
punishment to publish clear and accurate figures on the number of sentences and


of religion or belief


40.  Condemns the continued violations of the
right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide; reiterates the importance
which the EU places on this issue; calls on the Member States to continue
working on this; welcomes the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special
Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; restates once again that freedom
of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to change or abandon
one’s religion or belief, is a fundamental human right; stresses therefore the
need to effectively combat all forms of discrimination against religious
minorities around the world;




41.  Expresses concern about the recent increase
in discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals
on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity; encourages close
monitoring of the situation in Nigeria and Uganda, where new laws seriously
threaten the freedom of sexual minorities; condemns the introduction of
discriminatory laws and repression of free speech in Russia; reaffirms its
support for the continued work by the High Commissioner on Human Rights to
combat these discriminatory laws and practices, and the work of the UN more
generally on this issue; recommends active participation by the EU Member States,
the Council and the EEAS in combating the attempts to undermine these rights;




42.  Condemns caste-based discrimination;
expresses deep concern about the continued widespread human rights violations
on the basis of caste and the acts of violence, including sexual violence
against women belonging to the communities concerned; welcomes the work of the
OHCHR and UN Special Procedures mandate-holders on combating this form of
discrimination; urges the EU Member States to promote the endorsement of the
draft UN Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of
Discrimination based on Work, and calls on the UNHRC to adopt this framework;


Right to
peaceful assembly


43.  Calls on the EU to support the follow-up of
the OHCHR report on effective measures and best practices to ensure the
promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests,
notably by supporting efforts to develop the international legal framework
relating to the right of peaceful assembly;




44.  Restates its welcome for the importance
placed by the UNHRC on the right to housing; reiterates also its call on the
Union and its Member States to promote access to adequate housing as a
fundamental right;


and sanitation


45.  Welcomes the resolution adopted in September
2013 by the UNHRC on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, and the
work of the UN Special Rapporteur on this issue, specifically through the
development of a handbook on how to implement the right to safe drinking water
and sanitation; calls on the EEAS, the EU Member States and the UNHRC to
maintain focus on this often neglected but vitally important human right to
water and sanitation;


and human rights


46.  Strongly supports the implementation of the
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; calls on the EU and its
Member States to take an active role in the 7th session of the UN Working Group
on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business
enterprises and to support efforts to align their policies with the OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and with the UN Guiding Principles on
Business and Human rights; reiterates its request to the European Commission to
report by the end of 2014 on implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on
Business and Human Rights by the EU Member States; notes the emerging
initiative to call for a legally binding international instrument on business
and human rights to be concluded within the UN system;


and human rights


47.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to
support the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on financial crime,
corruption and human rights;




48.  Welcomes the resolution adopted in September
2013 on promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal; expresses
concern about the situation of migrant workers in Qatar, particularly in the
build-up to the 2022 World Cup; takes note of Qatar’s initiative to address
this concern; calls on the Qatari authorities to reform their labour law, to
abolish the sponsorship law (‘kafala system’) in place throughout the region
and to ratify relevant international conventions; urges the EU to ensure that
EU companies working in the construction industry in Qatar are not contributing
to the human rights abuses faced by migrant workers; emphasises the importance
of scrutinising all major sporting events and their interaction with human
rights, such as the February 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia and the
continued suppression of freedom of assembly and the rights of sexual
minorities, and the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil, where there are reports of
house evictions and population displacements throughout the country;


Use of
armed drones


49.  Is concerned about the violations of human
rights and international humanitarian law arising from unlawful targeted
killings carried out by armed drones, which have led to unknown numbers of
civilians being killed, seriously injured or traumatised outside declared
conflict zones; supports the efforts under the relevant UN Special Procedures
to promote transparent and accountable use of armed drones by states in line
with the established international legal framework; calls on the EU, its Member
States and the UNHRC to continue to support investigations into unlawful
targeted killings and to follow up on the recommendations by the UN Special
Rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and on counter-terrorism
and human rights;


Criminal Court


50.  Reiterates its full support for the
International Criminal Court, and remains vigilant regarding any attempts to
undermine its legitimacy; requests the active development of an EU position on
the crime of aggression and the Kampala amendments;


Periodic Review


51.  Reaffirms the importance of universality of
the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), with a view to arriving at a full
understanding of the human rights situation in all UN member states, and
reiterates the continued importance of this second cycle of review focusing on
the implementation of the recommendations accepted during the first cycle;
calls again, however, for the recommendations that were not accepted by states
during the first cycle to be reconsidered in the continuation of the UPR


52.  Calls on EU Member States participating in
the UPR interactive dialogues to put forward recommendations that are specific
and measurable, in order to improve the quality of the follow-up to, and
implementation of, accepted recommendations; underlines the importance of the
Commission and the EU Member States providing technical assistance in order to
help the states under review to implement the recommendations to present mid-term
updates in order to help improve implementation;


53.  Stresses the need to include the UPR
recommendations systematically in the EU’s human rights dialogues and
consultations and in EU human rights country strategies; reiterates its
recommendation that Parliament raise these recommendations during its own
delegation visits to third countries;


54.  Welcomes all steps that allow a wide range of
stakeholders, including civil society, to participate fully in the UPR process;
stresses the importance of the EEAS and the Member States highlighting in the
UNHRC the worrisome issue of the shrinking NGO space in a number of countries
around the world;




55.  Reiterates its strong support for the Special
Procedures; stresses the fundamental importance of the independence of these
mandates and urges all UN states to cooperate fully with the Special
Procedures, including by receiving mandate-holders for country visits, replying
to their urgent requests for action and in connection with allegations of
violations and ensuring proper follow-up to the recommendations made by the
mandate-holders; supports the statement released on 10 December 2013 by the 72
Special Procedures experts and is concerned that states’ lack of cooperation
with Special Procedures hinders their capacity to implement their mandate;


56.  Strongly condemns all forms of reprisal
against human rights defenders and activists who cooperate with the UPR process
and the Special Procedures, particularly in the case of China; calls on the
UNHRC to investigate reports that indicate that a Chinese activist, Cao Shunli,
who advocated civil society involvement in the UPR, has been detained since 14
September 2013; urges the UNHRC President actively to follow up on this and
other similar cases, and for all states to provide adequate protection against
such acts of intimidation; stresses that such acts undermine the whole UN human
rights system;




57.  Reiterates the importance of the EU
participating actively in all UN human rights mechanisms, including the UNHRC;
encourages the EU Member States to do so by co-sponsoring and leading on
resolutions, by actively participating in debates and interactive dialogues,
and by issuing statements; strongly supports the increasing practice on the
part of the EU of cross-regional initiatives;


58.  Reaffirms the importance of integrating the
work being done in Geneva in the context of the UNHRC into the relevant
internal and external activities of the EU, including those of Parliament, such
as the committee and interparliamentary delegations, and UN Special
Rapporteurs’ contributions to committee meetings;


59.  Encourages the EUSR to continue to enhance
the effectiveness, coherence and visibility of the EU’s human rights policy in
the context of the UNHRC and in further developing close cooperation with the
OHCHR and the Special Procedures, and regrets the absence of the VP/HR in the
High-Level Segment of the UNHRC;


60.  Stresses again the importance of effective
coordination and cooperation between the EEAS, the Commission and EU Member
States on human rights issues; encourages the EEAS, in particular through the
EU Delegations in Geneva and New York, to increase EU coherence by means of
timely and substantive consultation and to deliver a ‘one-voice message’;


61.  Stresses the importance of the EU Member
States supporting the UNHRC, by working together towards the fulfilment of the
indivisibility and universality of human rights and, in particular, by
ratifying all the international human rights instruments that this body has
established; reiterates its regret that no EU Member State has ratified the
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members
of their Families; reiterates the fact that several Member States have not yet
adopted and/or ratified the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced Disappearance, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, or the Optional
Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
reiterates its call for all the Member States to ratify these conventions and
protocols; stresses the importance of the Member States’ submitting their
periodic reports to the UN monitoring bodies in a timely manner; calls on the
EU to actively develop an EU position on the crime of aggression and the
Kampala amendments;


62.  Reiterates the importance of continued EU
support in defending the independence of the OHCHR so as to ensure it can
continue to exercise its task in an effective and impartial manner; highlights
that it is essential to the OHCHR’s impartiality and functioning for it to be
assured of sufficient funding, especially in view of the current need to open
new OHCHR regional offices as a result of emerging situations; underlines the
importance of securing sufficient funding to cover the treaty bodies’
increasing workload; calls on the EU to take a leadership role in ensuring the
effective functioning of the treaty body system, including with regard to
adequate funding;


63.  Reaffirms that the protection of human rights
defenders is a key priority within the EU’s human rights policy; values,
therefore, the practical and financial support allocated to the urgent
protection of, and support for, human rights defenders under the European
Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR);


64.  Instructs its President to forward this
resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission
/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the
EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of
the Member States, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the
President of the 68th UN General Assembly, the President of the UN Human Rights
Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EU-UN Working Group
established by the Committee on Foreign Affairs.




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