I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*and Serbia* , the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, I wish to express our appreciation for the work of the High Commissioner's Office at the country level as well as for reports of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner presented to the Council.
The European Union reaffirms its strong support for the OHCHR’s work in providing technical assistance and capacity building in order to promote and protect human rights, as well as implement international commitments in the area of human rights. We regard the technical assistance and capacity building as essential elements for integration of human rights and fundamental freedoms in national policies and frameworks.
We commend the OHCHR for its standing commitment and responsive approach to the ever growing requests for assistance, despite of challenges it faces in terms of allocation of necessary resources. These mechanisms continue proving their value and vital role in enhancing human rights worldwide.
The EU invites States to respond positively to technical assistance and capacity building needs. We encourage States to fully cooperate with the OHCHR when receiving technical assistance and capacity building, including allowing the OHCHR full access to monitor and report on the human rights situation on the ground.
The European Union is deeply concerned about the crisis in Yemen and gravity of the alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. It will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a peace agreement that leads to a durable solution to the conflict. In this light, the explicit recommendations of the High Commissioner calling for the establishment of an international investigative body cannot be ignored. The OHCHR should continue to provide technical assistance and monitor the work of the national independent commission of inquiry. We also believe that the human rights situation in Yemen requires further oral update at the next Human Rights Council. In this regard, the EU has therefore tabled a draft resolution on Yemen under item 2. Nevertheless, the EU continues being engaged and works hard towards finding consensus on an item 10 resolution on Yemen.
The EU is also concerned about the deterioration of the human rights situation in Cambodia as addressed earlier in the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur. We commend the OHCHR for proceeding with a range of technical cooperation activities with the Government’s institutions, other duty-bearers, as well as with civil society organizations and community-based organizations. We encourage the Cambodian Government to renew the MOU with the OHCHR to allow the continuous functioning of the OHCHR field office in Phnom Penh. We call on the Cambodian authorities to allow the opposition to freely carry out their legitimate role, without threats or intimidation and to ensure a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders and civil society.
The EU also follows closely the human rights developments in Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Ukraine, which we have commented on in detail during the interactive dialogues.
I thank you, Mr. President.