On this first International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, we pay tribute to all those around the world who lost their lives and suffered attacks because of their religion or belief. Persecution as a response to religious belief or affiliation, or lack thereof, is a violation of international law and requires joint work to combat it.
On the eve of a possible agreement to end the war in Afghanistan, more than 60 people lost their lives and more than 150 were wounded in an attack targeting a wedding ceremony in Kabul. What should have been a joyous and festive occasion has been tragically taken away by this act of terror, which again targets the ethnic and religious communities of the Hazara and Shia.
With European prosperity and Asian peace and security closely connected, the European Union has decided to strengthen its security cooperation in and with Asia. This is also in line with the steps taken by the EU in the past years to strengthen its role as a global security provider.
We the Heads of Missions of the European Union, its Member States based in Kabul and Norway are very concerned by attacks on health facilities in Afghanistan, particularly most recently in Wardak province. We are also concerned by the subsequent closure by the Taliban of 42 health clinics affecting more than 5000 patients daily.
Although the clinics have now re-opened, these developments affect the civilian population, leaving them without much needed medical care and treatment.
As we mark the International Criminal Justice Day, the European Union reaffirms its longstanding support towards the international criminal justice system and in particular its unwavering commitment to the International Criminal Court (ICC), as part of the EU's wider commitment to a rules-based international order.
The Council today adopted conclusions on the EU's priorities at the 74th UN General Assembly(September 2019 – September 2020). These conclusions complements the Council conclusions on strengthening multilateralism which were adopted on 17 June 2019.