On December 9, the European Union and the United States held human rights consultations in Brussels. The European Union and the United States reaffirmed their strong commitment to the democratic principles and human rights as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They underlined the need for the transatlantic partnership to cooperate in addressing challenges to human rights around the world, and to effectively promote and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The consultations covered a broad range of issues including gender equality, women, peace and security, freedom of religion or belief including prisoners of conscience, business and human rights, labour rights, trade instruments and human rights defenders.
The European Union and the United States also discussed their cooperation in multilateral fora, particularly in the context of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, in 2020. They discussed how to strengthen the effectiveness of the United Nations to address global and regional human rights challenges. In this context, they agreed to intensify coordination ahead of important human rights meetings in multilateral fora.
They also discussed the human rights situation in third countries including in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The consultations took place one day ahead of Human Rights Day, and were co-chaired by the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Eamon Gilmore, and the Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State, Mr Robert Destro.