EU Global Strategy

HRC 32 - EU Statement - Item 2: Other HC/SG country reports

Geneva, 29/06/2016 - 09:00, UNIQUE ID: 160707_1
Statements on behalf of the EU

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

The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[1], Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein align themselves with this statement.

  1. Sri Lanka

We welcome the High Commissioner's update on Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Government's continued engagement with this Council. We thank Foreign Minister Samaraweera for his presence and statement today.

We share the High Commissioner's appreciation for the positive steps which Sri Lanka has taken since the adoption of resolution 30/1 last October. Visits by Special Rapporteurs, ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances, additional land release and moves towards establishing an Office of Missing Persons all deserve our positive recognition.

Sri Lanka is still at the beginning of a long process. Much remains to be done to fulfil the commitments it has made at this Council and we urge the Government to fully comply with these commitments, including those relating to reconciliation, justice and accountability. It will be essential for the Government to conduct and facilitate consultations which are inclusive (also from a gender perspective) with all affected communities as it goes about establishing new mechanisms for truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. International participation in the accountability mechanism will also be important in ensuring that the process is both credible and perceived as such by all sides in line with the October commitments.

We urge the Government to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act as a matter of priority and abide by the National Human Rights Commission's directives on its implementation. We also call on the Government to continue taking steps to build the confidence of communities and normalize life in the North and East, including accelerating the prosecution or release of detainees, preventing and prosecuting sexual and gender based violence committed by members of the security forces, removal of the military from involvement in civilian activities, and returning the remaining land to its rightful owners.

Sri Lanka has come a long way through the Human Rights Council and the EU confirms its readiness to continue to support the Government in the full implementation of resolution 30/1.

  1. Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar

The European Union thanks the High Commissioner for his report on Rohingya Muslims and other Minorities in Myanmar [A/HRC/32/18]. The picture it paints of the human rights situation for many of the minorities is still concerning. However, we welcome the early steps the new Government have taken to start to address these longstanding issues. Tackling the challenges of Rakhine, including the situation of the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, will require inclusive development in all areas and a political process, including solving citizenship for stateless persons in a non-discriminatory manner through a transparent voluntary and accessible procedure and ending displacement.           

The EU reiterates its commitment to support the remarkable, peaceful and democratic transition in Myanmar/Burma. Building effective democratic institutions, including an independent and impartial judiciary and a strong civil society, and the promotion of good governance will require particular attention to achieve this objective. As reflected in last week’s EU Council Conclusions on Myanmar/Burma[2] the European Union stands ready to support the Government in this endeavour.

We commend the cooperation of the Government of Myanmar/Burma with the UN Special Rapporteur who is currently visiting the country, and urge the Government to increase the sustained engagement and cooperation with OHCHR to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights and to address challenges such as the those presented to this Council by the High Commissioner in his report. The EU urges the Government to implement the recommendations of the resolution adopted at the 31st session, including the establishment of an OHCHR country office.

Thank you, Mr President.


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