Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

HRC 40 - EU Statement - Item 10: Technical assistance and capacity-building

Geneva, 20/03/2019 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 190321_4
Statements on behalf of the EU

40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, 25 February – 22 March 2019 EU Statement - Item 10: Technical assistance and capacity-building

Mr President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries North Macedonia[1], Montenegro* and Albania*, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.

The EU will continue to be a staunch supporter of the OCHCR’s work in providing technical assistance and capacity building at country level in order to promote and protect human rights.

The EU reiterates its call to States to respond positively to technical assistance and capacity building needs. We encourage States to fully cooperate with the OHCHR when receiving technical assistance and capacity building, including allowing the OHCHR full access to monitor and report on the human rights situation on the ground.

The EU appreciates the High Commissioner’s report and update on human rights situation in Afghanistan and commends the technical and financial support to the human rights mandate of UNAMA provided by the OHCHR. We encourage the Government to deliver on its pledges and commitments made before it became a member of the Human Rights Council and support the efforts to advance the women, peace and security agenda.

The EU would like to thank the High Commissioner for her report and update on the human rights situation in Libya and calls on all parties to cease hostilities and support the revised UN action plan to end the political stalemate. We are seriously concerned by the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law and urge that they cease immediately. The EU is particularly concerned about human rights issues including restricted access to justice and accountability, the conditions of detention and the situation of migrants, refugees and minorities, as well as women's rights, limited freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and the situation of human rights defenders, activists, journalists and media outlets. The EU encourages a broad-based national dialogue, led by the UN, aimed at facilitating the election process that will be organized this year.

In Haiti, the human rights situation is continuing to deteriorate. In general, the economic and social rights of the majority of the population continue to be neglected, without adequate policies being adopted by President Jovenel Moise. Violence perpetrated by gangs continues to occur, allegedly linked to the authorities, resulting in a high number of deaths, particularly during the repression of opposition demonstrations. The EU encourages the Haitian Government to undertake concrete actions to address the demands of the population, such as anticorruption measures, including through a constructive dialogue with civil society and the opposition.

The EU welcomes the cooperation of Georgia with the OHCHR and the technical assistance provided through its office in Tbilisi. We are concerned that internally displaced persons and refugees continue to be deprived of the right to return to their homes in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. The recent death of another Georgian citizen in Abkhazia once again demonstrates the gravity of the security and human rights situation on the ground. The EU urges those exercising effecting control to grant unimpeded access for the OHCHR and other international human rights mechanisms to these regions of Georgia.

The EU also follows closely the human rights developments in Ukraine, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, which we have commented on in detail during the interactive dialogues.

The EU thanks the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights for the report. We appreciate the Board's contribution to ensuring a strengthened UN human rights capacity in the field, and commend OHCHR for facilitating, through the Fund, efforts to incorporate international human rights standards into national laws, policies and practices.

I thank you.


[1] North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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