Delegation of the European Union 
to the United States
 

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The execution by the US State of Texas, on 29 January 2015, of Robert Charles Ladd, in spite of the evidence that he was affected by an intellectual disability, is contrary to international human rights law. 

The death penalty is cruel, inhuman and irreversible, and does not serve any deterrent purpose. The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances and aims at its universal abolition, seeking a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step.

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The execution of Warren Lee Hill in the US State of Georgia on 27 January 2015, in spite of the indications that he suffered from a mental disability, is contrary to widely accepted human rights norms and to the minimum standards set forth according to international human rights law.

We regret that the numerous calls for clemency, including those of the EU, went unheeded.

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The week started with the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini chairing the Foreign Affairs Council. It focused on fighting global terrorism and on relations with Russia. It was agreed that security cooperation and cultural communication are key to fighting terrorism.

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE MOGHERINI: Thank you, John. You’ve said it all. As my first trip as a minister was to Washington, my first trip, my visit as a high representative for the European Union outside of our immediate region is in Washington. In think that’s natural and that is exactly because we work every day on common challenges in a very united and common way.

On her first trip overseas, Federica Mogherini visited Washington to discuss key areas of cooperation on global issues and current high priorities as well as the future of the transatlantic partnership.

Thank you very much for the memories.  For the warm welcome, and also for the joint invitation.  It's a pleasure to be back here in Brookings.  Actually, I was in, I think, in another room next door less than a year ago.  It's a pleasure to meet again, friends.  Not only at Brookings.  I have to say, my student, a fellow in 2007, was one of the best and most important experiences of my life, and I would say that shows that the fellowship works. 

Some steps in the right direction have been taken during this week's round of talks hosted by the UN in Geneva. This initial progress is a start and should be welcomed even if there's still a long way to go. The participants have shown a constructive attitude and expressed commitment to finding, through dialogue, a peaceful solution to the crisis in Libya.  I encourage all invited representatives, including those who did not attend this round, to participate in the second round of talks next week with the same spirit of respect and consensus.

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The Commission, which I represent here today for this matter is, like you, appalled by the findings of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Programme, part of which was released on 9 December (most of the inquiry remains classified).

This report raises important questions as regards serious violations of fundamental rights by the US authorities and by other persons at the service of the CIA between late 2001 and January 2009.

Today's adoption of the resolution "moratorium on the use of death penalty" by the UN General Assembly is a great and encouraging achievement for the abolitionist cause worldwide. The record number of 117 votes in favour clearly shows that consensus is growing within the international community.

The EU, together with all partners, governmental and non governmental, will spare no efforts and will continue to strive for the abolition of this cruel form of punishment.

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