Today we stand united in our determination to protect and to promote the rights of all children everywhere. These rights are universal, indivisible and inalienable. Every single child has the right to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment – free from any form of violence, abuse, harassment or neglect. It is our collective task to do everything we can to ensure that these rights are respected and ensured for every child, everywhere.
Democracy cannot live without free, diverse and independent media. Journalists and media actors across the globe hold states, government officials, corporations and society at large accountable for their actions. But far too many among them face threats and attacks simply for carrying out their work, while the perpetrators of these attacks often act with total impunity.
On the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the Council of Europe and the European Union (EU) reiterate their strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances and for all cases. The death penalty is an affront to human dignity. It constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and is contrary to the right to life. The death penalty has no established deterrent effect and it makes judicial errors irreversible.
Five months after the outbreak of social protests in Nicaragua, the situation in the country remains of serious concern to the European Union and its Member States. Basic principles of democracy, accountability and rule of law continue to be severely undermined by the authorities' repression, which creates a climate of fear and mistrust. The national dialogue with the aim of reaching political solutions to these problems is now stalled.
The decision by the Nicaragua government to terminate the presence of the mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) goes against the aim of full accountability for human rights violations and serving justice to the victims of violence.
We expect the authorities to seriously consider the findings of the report issued by the OHCHR and take urgent action to implement the report's recommendations, in particular the dismantling and disarming of pro-government groups, halting all unlawful arrests and release all those who have been arbitrarily detained.
On the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we celebrate the contributions of indigenous peoples to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures and indeed to our common heritage. It is also a day where we take stock of the many achievements in the recognition and realisation of their rights and identify the actions that the world community still needs to take, so that human rights are universally applied without any discrimination.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and from the European Union are in Brussels to discuss common priorities and challenges. "Building bridges and strengthening our partnership to face global challenges" is the theme of the meeting.