The European Union thanks the Advisory Committee for its work and the presentation of the reports on its 22nd and 23rd sessions.
Regarding your work related to the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, I would like to underline that diversity, respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law are the founding values of the EU, and we see clearly the need to continue to do more in the fight against these phenomena.
On the issue of national policies and human rights we concur with the importance of helping States to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by integrating human rights into national policies aiming at the promotion, protection and full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We in the European Union are ready to consider further action on the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of new and emerging technologies, including studying how we can manage the human rights challenges arising from them in a holistic and pragmatic manner while recognizing their possible contribution to the full enjoyment of human rights.
We are firmly committed to advancing gender equality, to promoting and protecting the human rights of women and to empowering them at all levels around the world. We therefore encourage efforts by States, and the compilation of good practices, in nominating, electing and appointing candidates to ensure balanced gender representation in human rights organs and mechanisms, in line with the system-wide strategy on gender parity, while bearing in mind the necessity to secure the highest standard of efficiency, competence and integrity, as well as equitable geographical distribution.
To conclude, the European Union wishes to reiterate the importance of guaranteeing the election of independent experts to the Advisory Committee. Independence is key to the good functioning and added value of the Committee.
I thank you, Mr. President.