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.
The European Union and its Member States have progressively put in place a comprehensive external migration
policy and strengthened the work along the Central Mediterranean route. Saving and protecting the lives of
migrants and refugees, breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers and providing legal pathways,
while addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement are at the very heart of the EU's policy.
As part of President Juncker's State of the Union proposals earlier this week the European Commission announced a new 'Africa - Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs'. The package builds on the commitments taken during the African Union – European Union Summit of last year in Abidjan where the two continents agreed to strengthen their partnership. The Alliance will lead to the creation of up to 10 million jobs in Africa in the next 5 years alone.
The Office for Africa (OA), one of DCP regional offices, has developed the Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP). MARKUP aims to contribute to economic development in the East African Community (EAC) through boosting trade and regional integration. MARKUP’s outcome is to improve regional market access to EU and the East African region for five EAC partner countries for selected value chains: coffee, tea, cocoa, avocado, spices and horticulture. The project will cover activities in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi through the provisions of partnerships with national, regional and international institutions.
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.