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.
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.
On the occasion of the Day of International Criminal Justice the European Union reaffirms its commitment to the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes and violations of international humanitarian law.
On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the European Union reaffirms once again its strongest commitment to prevent, condemn and eradicate all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, it continues to be practiced around the world either in isolated cases or systematically, through different forms. Torture can target everyone – men, women, and children. Torture is an inexcusable crime for which each perpetrator has to be prosecuted and brought in front of justice.
Every minute, every day, nearly 31 people are forcibly displaced. Today, more than 68.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflicts and violence, persecution, natural disasters or the very real consequences of climate change –25.4 million of them are refugees.
In 2017 every 2 seconds one person was forced to flee their home due to war, persecution or violence. With millions of people in need on a record high the European Union continues its work with partners around the world to address the humanitarian challenges and to provide long-term support. Last year, €2 billion of the EU's humanitarian budget was allocated to help displaced people and host communities in 49 countries. And EU Member States have granted protection to more than 538 000 people.
Ten years after the EU's first landmark report on climate change and security, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, will host the high level event Climate, Security and Peace: The Time for Action on 22 June in Brussels. The high level event will bring together ministers, leading international figures, parliamentarians, think tanks and civil society to highlight the ongoing and new threats posed by climate change, consider progress made in making essential policy and operational linkages between climate and security and look at options to drive forward action. You can join and follow all the discussions using the hashtags #united4climate and #climadiplo