The European Union would like to thank the former Special Rapporteur, Mr Baskut Tuncak, for his valuable work done during his tenure. We would also like to thank the incoming Special Rapporteur, Mr. Marcos A. Orellana, for the presentation of this report to the Council [A/HRC/45/12]; we look forward to working constructively with you.
The EU welcomes this report focussing on the ‘’Duty to prevent exposure to COVID-19’’ and takes note of the severe implications that the ‘’silent pandemic’’ has on human rights. As stated in the report, chronic exposure to hazardous substances may exacerbate the risk of diseases and, therefore, preventing people from being exposed to those substances is vital in enhancing the protection of human rights.
In the EU, the European Green Deal aims at making the European economy sustainable by means of moving towards a clean and circular economy, where waste is reduced, biodiversity restored and pollution cut. The EU aims to be climate neutral by 2050. Outside the EU, we remain committed to helping the most affected regions through financial support and technical assistance to move towards green economy.
Mr Special Rapporteur,
Some of your priorities will focus on the implications of the exposure vulnerable peoples, such as workers, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities to hazardous substances. Could you elaborate on how you intend to engage with other relevant OHCHR Special Procedures so as to avoid duplication and ensure the complementarity of your mandate with the other human rights mechanisms?
I thank you.