Each year, the EU institutions celebrate Europe Day by organising activities on or near 9th May, the anniversary date of the Schuman Declaration.
The 31st session of the Council which took place from 29 February to 24 March brought solid results. At the same time it highlighted that the universality of human rights worldwide is far from achieved, and that individual States as well as the international community as a whole have a responsibility to act against human rights violations.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) – composed of Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the 28 Member States and chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini – adopted a document setting out EU priorities at the UN Human Rights fora in 2016.
EUDEL Geneva actively participated in the International Day for the Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust
On January 27, as in previous years, the EU has actively participated in various events marking the International Day of the Victims of the Holocaust, demonstrating the EU's commitment to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.
We are very pleased to announce that the EU Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva has been shortlisted for the Geneva Engage Award's top 10, category 'Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva'.
E3/EU+3 Deal with Iran: Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached
On Jan 16 2016, the Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was reached.
This game takes the traveller on a trip to discover the European Union, through the most important dates of its history, its Member States and symbols.
The 'All Equal Cup' takes place on 10 December 2015 at the Ariana Park of the Palais des Nations. The event, on the occasion of the 2015 Human Rights Day, aims to highlight the role of sport in fighting discrimination, intolerance, racism and xenophobia.
On Saturday 24 October, the EU Delegation to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva participated in the United Nations Office in Geneva's (UNOG) Open Day, which celebrated the UN's 70th anniversary.
A conference on the 8 October set out EU support for countries in the Western Balkans as well as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon who are the forefront of the Syrian refugee crisis.
On 8 October 2015 EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs met in Luxembourg to discuss further steps to manage the refugee/migration crisis.
From 25 September onwards, the EU High Representative Ms. Federica Mogherini and other key members of the EU institutions are in New York for the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly. During the Session, the European Union and its Member States will focus on three main priorities.
Yesterday, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk convened an extraordinary meeting of 28 EU heads of states or governments to advance a common EU strategy and long-term sustainable solutions to the ongoing refugee crisis.
The EU Delegation to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva co-sponsors the launch of a new handbook entitled 'Making Rights Work for People Living in Extreme Poverty', published by the two NGOs Franciscans International and ATD Fourth World. The event will take place on Monday 21 September 2015 at 6pm in front of Room XX in the Palais des Nations.
The 30th session of the Human Rights Council ("HRC30"), taking place from 14 September to 2 October 2015 in Geneva, will once again focus the international community on the issue of human rights across the world.
The European Union is committed to protecting humanitarian workers and supports World Humanitarian Day every year on 19 August. Today marks the day in 2003 when 22 humanitarians lost their lives in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. It is a day to honour the brave men and women who risk their lives while they provide help to people who suffer and to draw attention to the increasing dangers faced by humanitarian workers.
EU Foreign Ministers adopted during its latest Council meeting a new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for the period 2015-2019. The new Action Plan aims to reinforce the implementation of the EU's human rights policy with a special emphasis on strengthening ownership by local institutions, mechanisms and civil society actors, and on invigorating support to Human Rights Defenders.
The EU Delegation in Geneva was for the third time a co-organiser of the high-level event on 'The Power of Empowered Women', which took place on 23 June at the UN Palais des Nations. This year's event focused on women's leadership in peace and security. Women and men who have excelled in the arena of peace and security and who have moved the agenda forward in terms of breaking down traditional gender stereotypes and promoting equality shared their experiences during the interactive discussion.
From 18 to 26 May, the 68th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) takes place in Geneva. Discussions will focus on strategies to enhance the international community's preparedness, surveillance and response in view of global challenges and emergencies. Special attention will be given to communicable diseases such as the Ebola virus, the lessons learned from the outbreak, and the reform of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Every year on 9 May, the European Union celebrates 'Europe Day'. The event marks the anniversary of the day in 1950, when Robert Schuman, one of the founders of the EU, outlined his vision to unite separate European states into a single community. In order to mark the day and to celebrate it together with the international community and the inhabitants of Geneva, the EU in Geneva planned several activities.
The EU looks forward to the upcoming Diplomatic Conference on the revision of the Lisbon system of appellations of origin
From 11 to 21 of May, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) will hold a Diplomatic Conference for the revision of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration.
The EU Delegation together with the Permanent Missions of France and Italy to the UN in Geneva hosted a side event on the added value of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications to developing countries. The event took place in the margins of the meeting of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property. It focused specifically on the role of Geographical Indications as a vector for growth.
During the 28th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), the European Union together with its 28 Member States pro-actively engaged with countries from all regions as well as civil society representatives in order to promote and uphold the universality and indivisibility of human rights.
The European Union in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Permanent Missions of Brazil, the Republic of Korea and Tunisia to the UN in Geneva launched in the margins of the 28th session of the Human Rights Council a public campaign to express support for and solidarity with the work of human rights defenders worldwide.
The spirit of dialogue: effectively addressing acts of intolerance, discrimination and incitement to hatred
The EU Delegation together with the Permanent Mission of Latvia organised today a side event to discuss how acts of intolerance, discrimination and incitement to hatred 'in the name of religion or belief' could be more effectively addressed.The event follows the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief that took place earlier today at the Human Rights Council session.
International Women's Day is a chance to celebrate women as pillars of our societies and the wonderful progress women have made towards greater equality. It is also a moment to note the immense work that still needs to be done in order to ensure that women have the same chances as men to study, to choose the careers they want, and to live free from threat of abuse and violence.
The 28th session of the Human Rights Council takes place in Geneva from 2 - 27 March 2015. During the four-week meeting the EU will uphold the universality and indivisibility of human rights and the freedom of expression. It will also protect the role of civil society, speaking up against all forms of harassment, intimidation and persecution of human rights defenders and civil society representatives.
In its latest Communication entitled “Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015" the EU set out its views on global efforts that will be needed to eradicate poverty and boost sustainable development. 2015 is a pivotal year for global sustainable development. Through the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals, the international community will respond to challenges facing the world today: eradicating poverty, achieving inclusive and sustainable development for present and future generations and ensuring the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental values as the basis for peaceful and prosperous societies.
After ten days of intense discussions, the WHO Executive Board meeting concluded on Tuesday. Following a special session on the lessons learnt from the Ebola epidemics, the Executive Board met for its 136th session. Over 40 topics were on the agenda, including the WHO reform, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), communicable and non-communicable diseases and International Health Regulations.
On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the EU Delegation, together with the Permanent Representation of Poland, will be opening an exhibition on Jan Karski and his legacy.
Today's Human Rights Day celebrations are a good opportunity to reflect on what the EU Delegation in Geneva has achieved in this area since last year, as well as to look ahead.
From 1-3 December, the three-day annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights takes place in Geneva. It brings together business leaders, government representatives, NGOs and civil society in a discussion about how business impacts human rights.
On the 25th of November, we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the campaign '16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence'.
Twenty years ago, world leaders came together in Beijing, China, to define a policy framework and roadmap to achieve gender equality and strengthen women's rights. In Geneva, States now gather at a regional review meeting to assess achievements and setbacks in the countries of Europe, North America, Central Asia and Western Asia.
West Africa is currently facing the largest and most complex Ebola epidemic on record. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the most affected countries. The disease has already claimed nearly 5,000 lives and has seen over 13,000 cases.The European Union has been monitoring its spread and taken collective action at home and abroad. It has mobilised political, financial and scientific resources to help contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat Ebola. On 24 October 2014 the European Council appointed Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, as EU Ebola Coordinator.
On 18 October the European Union marks the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, which aims at raising awareness on the issue of trafficking of human beings, a serious form of organised crime which happens all over the world. Trafficking is different from irregular migration or the smuggling of irregular migrants. People are trafficked for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation or the removal of organs.
10 October marks the World and Europe Day against the Death Penalty. In order to raise awareness about the latest trends in the fight against the death penalty, the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva, together with the Permanent Mission of Italy and the Graduate Institute, organised a panel debate on 9 October entiteld "Justice that kills - the death penalty in the 21st century".
Human rights, universal and indivisible, are a core value of the European Union. During the 27th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), the EU once again confirmed its stance as a strong and vocal defender of human rights around the globe, and an advocate of a responsive and independent UN human rights system.
This year's World Humanitarian Day pays tribute to humanitarian workers who risk their lives in bringing assistance to victims of wars and natural disasters worldwide. It is a time when we commemorate all those who were target of attacks and as a result were wounded, kidnapped or even killed. It is an opportunity to reiterate the importance to respect international humanitarian law (IHL).
At the 26th session of the Human Rights Council, which took place in Geneva from 10 - 27 June 2014, the EU has been actively pursuing its quest for a responsive and independent UN human rights system, defending the universality and indivisibility of human rights, freedom of expression and of the press, as well as the role of civil society and NGOs in the Council's work. The EU also engaged in discussion on the human rights situation in countries such as Belarus, Syria, South Sudan and Ukraine.
This week the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a series of special meetings that highlighted past accomplishments and remaining challenges ahead. The EU underlined the long history of fruitful cooperation between UNCTAD and the EU and its Member States.
On 12 June the Group of Women Ambassadors to the United Nations in Geneva and the International Trade Centre invited to the 'The Power of Empowered Women 2014'. The event was comprised of an Interactive Dialogue on Women's Empowerment and Economic Development and an ethical fashion show presentation.
The EU will participate in the 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) which opened on 28 May and will go on until 12th June. The International Labour Conference is the ILO's highest decision-making body that gathers annually the delegations from the 185 members of the Organisation. The Conference is composed of a plenary and of technical committees.
Under the header "Maputo+15" a series of activities will take place in Geneva from 19-22 May to highlight key disarmament, humanitarian and disability related issues of the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention in preparation of the Review Conference in Maputo in June.
As every year the European Union marked Europe Day on 9 May. In Geneva, the two Delegations of the EU have come up with a variety of activities ranging from an improvised concert of young musicians from the Spanish town of Valladolid on the "Place des Nations", to the decoration of the Mont Blanc Bridge with the European flag and the lighting of Geneva's symbol, the Jet d'Eau in blue.
Ten years ago, on 1 May 2004, the EU enlarged from 15 to 25 Member States (and with two subsequent enlargements to 28). It brought stability and reunited Europe after years of artificial division during the cold war; it made the EU the world's biggest single market and increased trade between Member States, thus contributing to economic growth and strengthening further Europe's weight in global affairs.
High Representative Catherine Ashton participated on 17 April in a meeting between the European Union, the United States, Ukraine and Russia to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. In preparations of the talks, she met with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia in the evening of 16 April. Ahead of the quadrilateral meeting, Ms Ashton also had a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
20 years ago, between April and June 1994, in just three months more than 800,000 men, women and children were brutally murdered in Rwanda. It was one of the worst atrocities in mankind's history. The start date of the 1994 genocide, 7 April, has been designated by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. This year, on the occasion of the 20 years, commemorative events are held in many countries around the world to mark and remember this tragedy.
The 4th EU-Africa Summit took place in Brussels on the 2nd and 3rd of April 2014 closing on the commitment to deepen and widen the cooperation between the two neighbouring continents. It brought together 30 African and European Heads of State and Government, as well as the leaders of EU and African Union institutions. The Summit promoted the political dialogue between the European Union and Africa to the highest extent and across various fields, from investing in people, to prosperity and peace.
Many Europeans are eager to help practically where it is most needed. The EU Aid Volunteers' initiative will provide them with the opportunity to do so. In the period 2014-2020, the initiative will create opportunities for 18,400 Europeans to be trained and deployed to the field and also for third country volunteers and staff to participate in capacity building experiences.
The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva and the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights put a spotlight on the human rights situation in Belarus
The Delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva partnered for the first time this year with the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, taking place from 7 – 16 March 2014. In this context, the EU co-sponsored a thematic evening on Belarus on 9 March 2014, aimed at raising the public's attention to the serious human rights violations that are still on-going in the country. The human rights violations in Belarus are of a systemic and systematic nature. They include limitations on the rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly and association, violations of electoral standards in Belarus' presidential elections (especially in 2010), as well as continuing harassment, intimidation and imprisonment of political opponents, human rights defenders, journalists and activists, and allegations of torture and ill treatment while in custody.
The UN Human Rights Council holds its 25th regular session from 3 to 28 March 2014 in Geneva. The first four days are devoted to the High-level Segment with a number of Ministers and high dignitaries speaking before the Council. A number of issues of high importance to the European Union will be addressed during the four weeks. On the thematic issues, the discussions on the mainstreaming of human rights, on the death penalty, the prevention of genocide, sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well the protection of the civil society are of particular relevance to the EU. The Council will also have to decide on the follow up action to the conclusions of the two Commissions of Inquiry on the human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as well as in Syria.
The EU is actively engaging in this year's activities at the UN on the occasion of the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. It is organising an exhibition on the girls in the ghetto of Theresienstadt in the Palais des Nations and has invited one of the girls who survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz to deliver her testimony at the official ceremony in the UN on 28 January. The EU also participates in the Holocaust Remembrance programme for schools on 29 January. The International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is marked each year on 27 January, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton attended, on behalf of the EU, the Geneva II peace conference on Syria in the Swiss city of Montreux on 22 January 2014.
2013 marked a significant year for the European External Action Service (EEAS). A landmark agreement in April between Serbia and Kosovo facilitated by the High Representative was welcomed internationally as a major diplomatic breakthrough overcoming ancient divisions. Later in the year patient and persistent diplomacy was again rewarded when talks between Iran and the international community over its nuclear programme - which have been chaired by Catherine Ashton, finally led to an historic interim agreement which was hailed internationally.
On 10 December the EU Delegation in Geneva commemorated the Human Rights Day. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action confirmed the universality of all human rights and led to historic advances in their promotion and protection. It continues to be a source of inspiration for the EU, which has human rights among its founding principles.
The Delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva gathered today to commonly honour a truly great man and to pay our respect.
The annual Meeting of the States Parties to the Anti-Personal Mine Ban Convention - also known as the Ottawa Convention – takes place for the 13th time in Geneva from 2-5 December 2013 (13MSP).
After four days of intensive negotiations an agreement was reached in the night of 24 November between the E3/EU+3 - France, Germany, United Kindgom, Russia, China and the US - led by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Iran.
The tropical cyclone "Haiyan", one of the strongest ever recorded, hit the Philippines on 7 and 8 November. In response, the European Union (EU) has been looking at the fastest and most effective ways to link immediate relief to longer-term rehabilitation of the affected areas, working closely with the Philippine government and other development partners. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, along with other representatives, expressed her sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims and stated that they "may count on the solidarity and assistance of the European Union".
What future for Europe? - The Geneva University invites to high-level conferences with European Commission President Barroso and European Court of Justice President Skouris
This year, the Institut européen, which was recently integrated into the Global Studies Institute, and the Centre d'études juridiques européennes of the University of Geneva celebrate their 50th anniversary. On this occasion the University invites to a series of conferences on European affairs with high-level European personalities, notably the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Court of Justice, Vasselios Skouris. More specifically on the subject of the EU in Geneva, a whole day will be devoted to the role of the EU in international organisations and in global governance.
On 15 and 16 October, the E3+3 and Iran, led respectively by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, held two intensive days of substantive and forward looking negotiations in Geneva. They agreed for the first time a joint final statement and decided to reconvene in Geneva on 7 and 8 November.
As every year, on 10 October, the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the EU will underline its strong and principled position against the capital punishment. The universal abolition of the death penalty represents one of the main objectives of the EU's human rights policy.
The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva and the European Commission's Directorate General for Internal Market and Services (DG Markt) organized on 26 September 2013 an event on "Intellectual Property, Economics and Development: the EU approach". The event took place in the margins of the 51st WIPO Assemblies.
From 9 - 27 September 2013 the 24th session of the Human Rights Council takes place in Geneva. The EU actively engages in the Council to address key human rights concerns and promote accountability for human rights violations.
The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva organized on 10 September a discussion on "The International Criminal Court after 15 Years: Prospects for the Future". The event took place in the margins of the 24th session of the Human Rights Council. It was an opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges of the ICC as the principal forum for international justice.
The EU Delegation and the Mission of Lithuania, in the context of the Lithuanian presidency of the Council of the EU, organised on 10 July 2013 a public discussion on the European Union's role in Afghanistan before and after 2014 at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. The keynote address was given by the EU Special Representative Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas, who has been the EU Head of Delegation in Afghanistan and Special Representative for the last three and a half years.
From 1 - 26 July the ECOSOC, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, took place in Geneva. ECOSOC meets every two years in Geneva and gathers national cabinet ministers, chiefs of international agencies and other high officials to discuss major economic, social and environmental policy issues.
The President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, visited Geneva on 14th June. On the agenda: Meetings with representatives of International Organizations in Geneva, as well as a keynote speech at the International Labour Conference.
Poland joined on 1st June the Ottawa Convention, the landmark treaty banning anti‐personnel mines, becoming binding law throughout the European Union. That means that all EU Member States are now legally bound to, never under any circumstances, use, produce, stockpile or transfer anti‐personnel mines.
The 23rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) discussed from 27 May - 14 June 2013 a wide range of human rights issues, many of them of paramount importance to the EU, such as Belarus, Syria and women's human rights.
The 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Geneva from 19 to 23 May. Governments, international organisations, representatives from NGOs, civil society and the private sector convened to assess where things stand in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and in advancing the strategic goal of a substantial reduction of losses in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries when disasters strike.
From 20-28 May, the 66th session of the World Health Assembly is taking place in Geneva. The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). It provides a platform to discuss specific issues on the international health agenda.
On 9 May 2013 Europe celebrated the 63rd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. Sixty-three years ago, on 9 May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made the first move towards the creation of what we now know as the European Union (EU). Europe Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the EU’s achievements in promoting democracy, human rights, peace and prosperity on the European continent.
Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons: The Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference meets in Geneva
The second meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) takes place in Geneva from 22 April to 3 May 2013. The European Union is actively contributing to the global efforts to seek a safer world and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.
The EU Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, visited Geneva on Wednesday 17 April. He participated at the 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns and gave a public lecture on "Towards a Green Economy - Are we moving forward?" at the Graduate Institute.
Androulla Vassiliou EU Commissioner for Education recalled the commitment of EU to scientific excellence at CERN
Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. During the visit, Commissioner Vassiliou was accompanied by CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer and Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.
Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, went on his first official visit to Geneva on 22 March in an effort to strengthen the ties between the European institutions and the UN and to underline the EU's committment to multilateralism. During his trip he met with the Heads of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
'The Power of Empowered Women' was organized on 26 February during the High Level Segment of the 22nd Human Rights Council by a core group of women Ambassadors from the Permanent Missions of Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Qatar, Romania, the European Union, United Kingdom and United States. Dedicated to advancing the cause of gender equality and women’s empowerment, the event aimed at highlighting the transformative impact of women in societies around the world.
The 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which gathered in Geneva from 25 February to 22 March 2013, adopted several resolutions of paramount importance for the European Union: on Syria, Myanmar/Burma, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Freedom of Religion or Belief, Rights of the Child and Sri Lanka. Four of these resolutions were presented and led by the EU itself.
Claus Sørensen, Director-General of the European Union Office for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), attended the Syria Humanitarian Forum on 19 February, which is organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and co-facilitated by the European Commission/ECHO, as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva hosted on 23 January a full day meeting of the EU Permanent Representatives in Geneva as well as the Directors of Human Rights in capitals to prepare the EU action in UN human rights fora in Geneva and New York during 2013.
The Permanent Mission of the EU to the UN organised together with the Permanent Mission of the EU to the WTO a live broadcast of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo. Members of the international diplomatic corps in Geneva and representatives of the international organizations joined EU Ambassadors Zappia and Pangratis to consider the EU's contribution to peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The Heads of the UN Office in Geneva, IOM, WIPO and UNECE were also invited to say a few words about the European Union. In an op-ed [35 KB] published by Swiss newspaper Le Temps, EU Ambassadors Zappia and Pangratis argue why the EU deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
Stavros Lambrinidis, the newly appointed Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights, is visiting Geneva on 4/5 December 2012, where he will participate in the first ever Forum on Business and Human Rights.
The European Union was today awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 in recognition of its historic role in uniting the continent, transforming Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace" as the Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said when announcing the award on 12 October in Oslo.
On 5 November 2012, at the occasion of the Geneva launch of a study on principled humanitarian action funded by the EU and Norway, the EU Delegation to the UN hosted a roundtable to reflect on the ability of humanitarian actors to adhere to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in a context increasingly influenced by political and security strategies.
10 October is the International Day against the Death Penalty. The fight for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty has attained significant achievements over the past years. Today, 141 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice however challenges remain. This year will mark ten years of joint efforts. At that occasion, the European Union together with Mexico, Mongolia and Switzerland have organised in Geneva at the UN a high-level panel discussion with panellists from all over the world - politicians, activists and members of victims' families - to dicuss the progress made, the experience gained and the challenges remaining in the campaign against the death penalty.
The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union adopted on Monday 25th June two fundamental documents for the development of the human rights policy of the European Union: a Strategic Framework and an Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. The Council also appointed Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, former Vice-President of the European Parliament and Foreign Minister of Greece, as the first EU Special Representative for Human Rights.
HIGH-LEVEL FORUM ON SYRIA IN GENEVA WITH THE PRESENCE OF UN COMMISSIONER PILLAY AND SYRIAN ACTIVISTS
A year and a half after the beginning of the uprising in Syria, the human rights situation continues to deteriorate, triggering a spiral of violence and a humanitarian crisis. To draw attention to the situation, hear the direct testimonies of the victims and help identify ways to promote and ensure justice, the Diplomatic Missions of the European Union, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Qatar, the United States of America, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia organised on Monday 10 September 2012 in Geneva, on the very first day of the 21th Session of the Human Rights Council, a High-Level Forum on Syria. The Forum was opened by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Pillay, and the President of the Human Rights Council, Ms Dupuy Lasserre. Prominent Syrian human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers delivered their testimonies.
IOM, the European Commission (EC) services and the European External Action Service (EEAS) formally strengthened their partnership on 13th July in an exchange of letters between IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and EU Ambassador Mariangela Zappia in Geneva.
This year's celebrations in Solferino highlighted the 20 years of existence of the European Humanitarian Office and its contribution in providing assistance for humanitarian projects worldwide.
The EU Delegation to the UN and the Mission of Brazil jointly organised on Tuesday 19 June 2012, in the margins of the Human Rights Council, a side-event on Women Human Rights Defenders.
The 101st annual session of the International Labour Conference took place in Geneva between the 30th May and 14th June 2012. Almost 5000 delegates from ILO's 185 member states and from regional organizations attended. Each delegation has a tripartite composition, formed by governmental delegates as well as representatives from the employers and from the workers.
Public support for humanitarian aid has gone up in the European Union in spite of the economic crisis. This is one of the key findings of the latest Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid and civil protection. Nine out of 10 citizens (88 %) believe it is important for the European Union to continue funding humanitarian aid, a rise of nine percentage points since the last survey in 2010. Almost as many, 84 %, support maintaining humanitarian aid funding in spite of the current economic crisis and pressures on public finances.This year the European Commission marks the 20th anniversary of delivering humanitarian aid through ECHO, its humanitarian aid and civil protection department. The EU as a whole — the European Commission together with the Member States — is the world's leading humanitarian aid donor.
The World Health Assembly met in Geneva from 21st to 26th May 2012 for its annual meeting. It concluded its work on a number of important decisions.
The year 2012 marks ECHO's first 20 years of existence. Throughout this time, ECHO has brought help to people in need all over the world. While it will continue to do so it also focuses on improving its effectiveness and response capacity. ECHO has contributed around €14 billion for the relief of victims of conflict and disasters in over 140 countries around the globe. Since 2007, an average of €1 billion has been provided annually, helping nearly 150 million people each year. Support ranges from life-saving medical assistance in the hours following a disaster, to water and food assistance, or sanitation and schools for the long-term displaced in refugee camps.
Thirteenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII, 21-26 April 2012, Doha/Qatar)
The Conference is the most important high-level event within UNCTAD, meeting only every four years at ministerial level. The Doha Conference was the first to be held in the Arab world. It adopted UNCTAD's mandate and work programme for the next four years (2012-2016). Attendants included representatives of the highest level from the 194 UN Member States and renowned figures from business and civil society.
The Human Rights Council 19th session ended on Friday 23rd March 2012 after four weeks of intense deliberations with the adoption of 40 resolutions. The European Union was fully engaged and tabled five resolutions on Syria, Burma/Myanmar and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Freedom of religion and belief and Rights of the child, which were all comfortably adopted.