I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
As we are approaching the end of the second cycle of this unique and valuable peer-review mechanism, let me reiterate the EU's continuous support of the UPR, which has the potential to make a real difference on the ground, by bridging the gap between commitments and implementation. A key feature of its success lies in the principle of universality: The UPR mechanism addresses all human rights and applies to all UN Member States.
Looking towards the next cycle of the UPR, we reflect on how to further strengthen the commitment to this mechanism and its effectiveness. We note how voluntary practices and tools, such as implementation plans, mid-term reports and follow-up mechanisms contribute positively in this regard. We also encourage States to strengthen the focus on implementation of previous recommendations both in the national reports and in the presentations of these, also as a means to better measure progress made.
We acknowledge the importance of providing technical assistance in view of the implementation of UPR recommendations and are fully committed to do our share in this regard.
We are pleased to witness the active role of the Independent National Human Rights Institutions in the UPR process. Their assessment on progress made and challenges ahead enrich the dialogue of the UPR process.
Likewise, the NGOs are contributing significantly to the UPR mechanism by speaking up and helping to document human rights violations on the ground. While in many cases the relations between States and NGOs are exemplary, we remain concerned by reported incidents of reprisals towards civil society and NGOs, and call on all States to enable and encourage their legitimate participation in the UPR process.
Finally, let me reiterate the EU's strong appreciation of the support provided by the OHCHR in the UPR process, especially in the area of technical assistance and capacity building.
 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.