1. The European Union Delegation would like to thank Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, for her presentation and congratulate her once again for her appointment.
2. We would like to specifically address the support given to human rights defenders, since this is one of the major priorities of the EU's external human rights policy. We would also like to take this opportunity to salute the work of the Commissioner in this field.
3. 2018 is an important year for human rights, as we mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of defenders. Countless human rights defenders have been incredibly effective to give a voice to those who suffer from repression and challenge injustice, oppression and brutality in many parts of the world.
4.. In June 2017 Council conclusions on EU engagement with civil society in external relations, reaffirmed that CSOs are both actors of governance and development actors in their own right and are, as such, key partners for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
4. The EU believes that States and societies can only be resilient and have long term sustainable security when democracy is strong and human rights are respected and deeply rooted throughout our societies. The EU will continue to relentlessly support human rights defenders, to speak out against the shrinking civil society space, and to use political and financial action to support human rights defenders.