Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:05 am, | International News
The European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council has decided to support calls for an independent probe into “alleged severe crimes” during the conflict and current human rights issues. Releasing a press release on 10 February 2014 it said that the the Council adopted the following conclusions on the EU’s priorities in the UN human rights fora:
“1. Ahead of the 25th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and following the conclusion of the Third Committee of the 68th UN General Assembly, the EU reaffirms its strong commitment to and support for the HRC and other United Nations bodies tasked with the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.
2. The EU is, and will remain, a vocal advocate of human rights, and lends its full support to the multilateral human rights system, which plays a critical role in the promotion and protection of universal human rights norms and standards and in the monitoring of compliance. This commitment, affirmed in the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Human Rights and Democracy, guides EU action in this area.
3. The EU pays tribute, at the end of her tenure, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and her staff for their dedicated work, including in raising awareness for the plight of victims of human rights violations worldwide, and mainstreaming human rights across the United Nations system. The EU supports
and defends the independence and integrity of the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which, over the 20 years of its existence, has greatly contributed to advancing the realization of all human rights for all.
4. Through close cooperation with all countries, institutions and stakeholders, the EU will be an active and determined participant in the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly sessions of 2014. The EU is committed to working at the UN to promote and protect the universality of human rights, to prevent and respond to serious human rights violations, and to express its concerns and positions, contributing to debates and pursuing thematic and country-specific initiatives.
5. The EU will continue to promote full cooperation with and support to the UN Human Rights Council Special Procedures, upholding the independence of the mandate holders and supporting their free and unhindered contact and cooperation with individuals and civil society. The EU also reaffirms its commitment to the Universal Period Review and calls upon all countries to effectively cooperate with this mechanism.
6. The EU reaffirms its unwavering support for the UN Human Rights Treaty Body system. Maintaining their independence remains a key objective for the EU, and the EU will seek to improve their capacity to fulfil their mandate effectively and efficiently, while ensuring their independence. The EU will encourage steps by all stakeholders in this regard.
10. The EU will actively support efforts to enhance accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, including a credible and independent investigation into the alleged severe crimes during the civil war, as well as to address the current human rights situation in the country.