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

HRC 42 - EU Intervention: Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the rights of older persons and the Special Rapporteur on the right to development

Geneva, 11/09/2019 - 15:33, UNIQUE ID: 190911_9
Statements on behalf of the EU

United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, 9-27 September 2019 EU Intervention: Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the rights of older persons and the Special Rapporteur on the right to development

The EU welcomes Ms. Kornfeld-Matte’s report and thanks her for all the work.


Emergency situations, be due to conflict or to natural disasters, expose all persons to difficult situations. Older persons, already in normal contexts face specific and intersecting challenges, both intrinsic and extrinsic ones. These increase tremendously in situations of emergency. Your report sheds light on the specific vulnerabilities that older persons are confronted with in such situations and we agree that targeted policy, legal or practical measures need to be adopted, in a comprehensive manner, to address older persons’ specific needs.


You mention the increased difficulties that older persons experience in understanding and mastering digital technologies and social media, tools which are normally very helpful to prepare for natural disasters. Could you elaborate further on those which, in your view, would be the most effective measures to adapt early warning systems based on digital technologies to the needs of older persons, bearing in mind inter alia their reduced visual and hearing capacities?


Finally, in your view, how aware are the UN humanitarian agencies of the need to adapt their action to the specific vulnerabilities of older persons and how can we, Member States, contribute to raise such awareness?


Turning on to the Special Rapporteur on the right to development

Mr Special Rapporteur,


I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.


The European Union reiterates its support for the Right to Development, as based on the indivisibility and interdependence as well as the universality of all human rights, the multidimensional nature of development strategies and the individuals as the central subjects of the development process. This right requires the realisation of Civil and Political Rights together with Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and we would like to emphasise that, while national development efforts should be supported, States, acting individually and collectively, owe the primary responsibility for ensuring that their citizens benefit from development.


We remain strongly committed to achieving sustainable development and eradicating poverty; promoting respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms at the international, regional and national levels; working towards ensuring security, conflict prevention and resolution; and encouraging good governance, gender equality, human development, accountability and equitable globalisation.


We must recognize that divergent views in the understanding of the Right to Development remain, with fundamental differences on issues such as the role of indicators, the content of the Right to Development, its implications as well as appropriate instruments to realize this right, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


We would like to re-state our position that we are not in favour of the elaboration of an international legal standard of a binding nature as we do not believe that this is the appropriate mechanism to realise the Right to Development.


We continue to be ready to engage constructively on the Right to Development in the framework of a truly consensual approach in discussions and negotiations, in order to achieve a positive, consensual outcome for all concerned.


Thank you.

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