On this occasion we also take the opportunity to thank H.E. Zeid al-Hussein for his relentless efforts in the past years.
The European Union stands ready to support the new High Commissioner and her Office in the fulfilment of her mandate. Her role and that of multilateral bodies is all the more needed in these challenging times for human rights, with a shrinking civil society space, reprisals against human rights defenders, and profound shortcomings in the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights.
The European Union will continue to invest in strong multilateral institutions, including the United Nation's Human Rights Pillar. We reaffirm our support to the effective and efficient functioning of the Human Rights Council and remain committed to cooperating with all countries and with civil society, in order to strengthen the Council, while protecting its achievements.
We will also remain fully engaged and committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which we this year proudly celebrate the 70th anniversary, and whose values and principles are inseparable from those of the European Union itself.