Motion for a resolution - B8-0229/2015Motion for a resolution

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the EU’s priorities for the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015

    4.3.2015 - (2015/2572(RSP))

    to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
    pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

    Marie-Christine Vergiat, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Kostas Chrysogonos, Javier Couso Permuy, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Paloma López Bermejo, Ángela Vallina, Sofia Sakorafa on behalf of the GUE/NGL group

    Procedure : 2015/2572(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
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    European Parliament resolution on the EU’s 2015 priorities for the United Nations Human Rights Council


    The European Parliament,

    –       having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1953 European Convention on Human Rights,

    –       having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000 (A/Res/55/2) and the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly,

    –       having regard to its previous resolutions on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC),

    –       having regard to its urgent resolutions on human rights and democracy,

    –       having regard to the 28th session of the HRC, taking place from 2 to 27 March 2015 at the United Nations Office in Geneva,

    –       having regard to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Action Programme of the International Conference on Peoples and Development (Rio+20) and the Beijing Action Platform,

    –       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

    A. whereas, 60 years after the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the fight against discrimination and for the full realisation of all human rights – social, economic and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights – remains a daily struggle;


    B. whereas economic, social and cultural rights are an integral part of human rights and whereas their observance leads, as a minimum, to full implementation of the eight Millennium Development Goals from the year 2000, namely: eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, STD, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development; whereas an ambitious timetable was set for these goals to be achieved by 2015, but the goals are far from having been attained;


    C. whereas, as a result of the financial crisis in the OECD countries, the world is facing the most serious slowdown in economic activity since the 1930s; whereas the WHO has estimated that, as a result of increases in the cost of foodstuffs and energy, more than 100 million people have fallen into poverty; whereas what is commonly known as ‘the financial and economic crisis’ is in fact a global systemic crisis which is affecting all sectors of society and having an impact in all areas: political, social and environmental areas, food, energy, etc.;


    D. whereas the European Union (EU) and its Member States should guarantee respect for human rights in all their policies, both internal and external, and ensure that they are consistent, in order to enhance and render credible the position of the EU and its Member States in the HRC;


    E. whereas a delegation from Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights will travel to Geneva for the 28th regular session of the HRC, following the practice of previous years for previous HRC sessions and, before that, for those of the UN Commission on Human Rights;


    F. whereas eight Member States now have a seat on the HRC: Germany (until 2015), Estonia (until 2015), France (until 2016), Ireland (until 2015), Latvia (until 2017), the Netherlands (until 2017), Portugal (until 2017) and the United Kingdom (until 2017); whereas in addition, at its organisational meeting on 8 December 2014, the HRC elected the members of the Bureau for the Ninth Cycle, which will run from 1 January to 31 December 2015, in particular the President of the Council, Joachim Rücker (Germany);


    G. whereas the work done by the EU and its Member States with and in the HRC should be enhanced, not only to promote an indivisible vision of human rights but also to take better account of the HRC recommendations and to implement them in the EU’s human rights policy, both internally and externally;


    H. having regard to the agenda of the 28th session, in particular item 3 (Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development) and item 7 (Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories);


    The work and organisation of the HRC


    1.  Reiterates its call that EU Member States should actively oppose any attempt to undermine the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, and should actively encourage the HRC to address discrimination on all grounds in the same way;


    2.  Warns against politicising the HRC; emphasises the importance of its country-specific resolutions in addressing serious human rights violations; underlines the importance of evaluating human rights situations in an objective, transparent, non-selective, constructive and non-confrontational manner, on the basis of reliable information obtained by means of interactive dialogue, and in keeping with the concepts of universality and equal treatment for all states; calls on the Member States to contribute actively to the implementation of these agreed principles concerning the HRC;


    3.  Underlines the importance of tackling the root causes of political instability in certain states by means of development policies that are in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other socio-economic, political and cultural measures which can create an environment conducive to preventing the resurgence of conflict, and which aim to eliminate poverty, foster economic, social and cultural development, create institutional and administrative capacities, improve the quality of life of the population and consolidate the rule of law solely by peaceful means;


    4.  Takes note of the list of candidates to be presented by the Consultative Group for the mandates of the HRC; deplores the resignation of a member of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises and stresses the importance of this Working Group in putting in place binding human rights standards for businesses; welcomes the thematic priorities set out in the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: strengthening international human rights mechanisms; enhancing equality and countering discrimination; combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law; integrating human rights into development and in the economic sphere; widening the democratic space; and early warning and protection of human rights in situations of conflict, violence and insecurity; stresses the importance of the priority given to migration;


    5.  Welcomes the establishment of a subsidiary expert mechanism, consisting of five independent experts, to provide the HRC with thematic expertise on the rights of indigenous peoples; notes that the Consultative Group will present the President of the Council with a list of candidates to replace one of the Mechanism’s five independent experts from the Group of African States, whose mandate ends in March 2015;


    6.  Notes that Saudi Arabia is a member of the HRC until 2016; strongly condemns the widespread human rights violations committed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; calls again for universal abolition of the death penalty and calls for an immediate moratorium on the implementation of death penalties in Saudi Arabia; condemns the fact that Saudi Arabia continues to apply the death penalty for a wide range of reasons that are treated as crimes, such as homosexuality, drugs offences, apostasy and witchcraft; urges the Saudi authorities to end all corporal punishment in the country and to incorporate international human rights standards into national legislation; calls, likewise, on the Saudi authorities to immediately release all prisoners of conscience, in particular the blogger Raif Badawi;


    7.  Notes also that Kazakhstan is a member of the HRC until 2015; is deeply concerned by reports of the continued pressure on civil society organisations and independent trade union organisations in Kazakhstan, as highlighted in the statement by Mr Maina Kiai, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, after his recent visit to Kazakhstan in January 2015; deplores the continuing imprisonment of political prisoners, particularly Vladimir Kozlov, leader of the Alga! opposition party, Vadim Kuramshin, a human rights lawyer, and campaigners on behalf of prisoners’ rights, such as the poet and writer Aron Atabek; calls on the HRC to actively support their immediate release and the release of all prisoners who have been arrested and charged for political reasons; calls on the HRC to make a firm stand on prisoners’ rights; calls on the Kazakh authorities, in particular because Kazakhstan is a member of the HRC Bureau for its 28th session, to fully implement the recommendations of the United Nations’ recent universal periodic review (UPR) and the Committee against Torture (CAT), and to show their commitment to improving the human rights situation in the country;



    Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General


    8.  Welcomes the Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR); stresses the importance of point 5 of the report, which reads: ‘Rising inequality and the political, economic and social exclusion of marginalized groups undermined the dignity and rights of people in many States, and drove much of the unrest and most of the conflicts reported. Economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the right to development, were affected by austerity policies that disproportionately burden the poor and marginalized, as did corruption; there were failures to prioritize public services, and refusal to recognize people’s right to participate in decisions that shape their lives. Migrants continued to endure profound suffering, with recent events at sea demonstrating a callous disregard for human life and human rights’; calls on the EU and the Member States to make available sufficient human, material and financial resources for operations whose sole purpose is sea rescue; calls on the EU and the Member States to open legal channels for asylum-seekers, in particular by substantially increasing the number of places for resettlement of refugees and granting humanitarian visas, and to develop channels for legal economic immigration;


    9.  Considers that the attention given in the report to increasing equality and tackling discrimination – whether racial, against minorities or based on gender, sexual orientation or identity or disability – is also of great importance; stresses that in this area, too, the EU and the Member States must implement the recommendations of the HCHR;


    10. Takes note of the HCHR’s activity report on the human rights situation in Colombia (A/HRC/28/3/Add. 1 to 3); welcomes the resumption of peace negotiations in December 2014 and the role played by Cuba in efforts to bring to an end the civil war in the country; observes, nevertheless, that Colombia remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to engage in trade union and political activity and that human rights violations, including those against students, opposition party activists, farmers, women and children, continue almost without exception to go unpunished; opposes, therefore, the ratification of the free trade agreement with the country; strongly condemns the fact that the intelligence service (DAS), which is directly answerable to the President of the Republic, has undertaken systematic bugging and illegal actions intended to discredit senior judges, opposition parliamentarians and human rights defenders; recalls that the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, people residing in Europe and NGOs have also fallen victim to these actions; requests that these serious offences do not go unpunished; calls on the EU to apply the recommendations concerning Colombia made in the report of the Committee against Torture;


    11. Welcomes the fact that the High Commissioner’s report on the issue of human rights in Cyprus has been referred to the HRC; reiterates its condemnation of the repeated human rights violations resulting from the continuing occupation of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, and of Turkey’s ongoing violation of international humanitarian law with regard to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots over a 40-year period; is particularly concerned about the situation of refugees, people living in enclaves and the families of disappeared persons; condemns the denial of access to, and use of, land; condemns the imposition of austerity measures by Turkey against Turkish Cypriots in areas under its military control, in violation of their basic economic and social rights; calls on the EU and Member State delegations to denounce these ongoing violations, condemn the presence of Turkish troops and settlers and call for an immediate end to the occupation of Cypriot territory by the Turkish army and to the policy of seeking to alter the demography of the Republic of Cyprus; stresses that these violations constitute war crimes; condemns the relocation by Turkey of the mass graves of disappeared persons; calls on Turkey to authorise access to all military areas and to battle archives with the aim of determining the fate of disappeared persons;


    12. Takes note of the point on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’; recalls that in March 2014 the HRC set up a committee of inquiry to investigate human rights violations in Sri Lanka, in particular relating to the final stages of the civil war, in which 40 000 civilians (mostly Tamils) were brutally murdered; believes that a genuine and independent committee of inquiry which seeks to bring the perpetrators to justice, including those in the senior ranks of the army, is a prerequisite for a reconciliation process worthy of the name in Sri Lanka; expresses its deep dissatisfaction at the fact that the publication of the report, which had been planned for March 2015, has been postponed until the end of 2015; stresses that this dissatisfaction adds to that of the victims and their families over the lack of commitment by the UN and by EU Member State governments to investigate serious allegations of genocide and impunity in Sri Lanka; draws attention, in this regard, to the major demonstrations which have taken place in the north of Sri Lanka and elsewhere calling for the immediate publication of the report, and calls on the HRC to review its decision; notes the commitment by the newly elected government in Sri Lanka to cooperate with the HRC; stresses that this cooperation must be useful and contribute to the reconciliation process; stresses the need for the Sri Lankan Government to take urgent steps to end the militarisation of the north and east of the island, release all political prisoners, lift all restrictions, including travel bans and pressure on political activists, and guarantee the free exercise of democratic rights;


    13. Takes note of the item on the human rights situation in Iraq in the light of abuses committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups; strongly condemns the attacks carried out by this organisation against the peoples and states of Iraq and Syria, the summary executions, the destruction and the violence against civilian populations; expresses its profound solidarity with, and condolences to, the families of the victims; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those held hostage by this terrorist group;


    14. Regards the panel discussion report on the right to privacy in the digital age as particularly important; deplores the fact that information and communication technologies and services, including European technologies and services, are used in third countries to violate human rights, including through censorship and mass surveillance; condemns, similarly, the mass spying on millions of people by the US National Security Agency; expresses its concern at the spread of monitoring and filtering technologies, which represent a growing threat to human rights activists and often violate the right to privacy; calls for these concerns to be taken into account when this item is discussed at the session;




    Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development


    Economic, social and cultural rights


    15. Welcomes the importance attached by the 28th session of the HRC to promoting and protecting economic and social rights and to the question of the interdependence of human rights; emphasises once again the need to regard economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights as being of equal importance; stresses that high unemployment rates, the increase in poverty and social exclusion, increasingly problematic access to affordable public services in the fields of health, education, housing, transport and culture, and the deteriorating quality of such services constitute major challenges; points out that privatisation and liberalisation have played a part in making some of these entitlements less accessible, that this trend needs to be reversed, and that better wealth distribution, decent wages and high-quality employment are important ways of solving these problems; observes, similarly, that the austerity plans put in place both by EU Member States and in other countries, including under pressure from the EU, have merely aggravated inequalities and poverty;


    16. Stresses, furthermore, that the introduction of democracy (human rights clauses) in free trade agreements signed by the EU with third countries has been a failure, not only because the clauses have barely been taken into account, but also because the free trade agreements have even led to violations of economic and social rights, the impoverishment of the communities concerned and the monopolisation of resources by multinationals; believes that, in addition to these clauses, new forms of cooperation need to be established to facilitate the economic and social development of third countries on the basis of the needs of their populations; believes that the HRC should study and condemn the impact on human rights not only of austerity plans but also of the current free trade agreements;


    17. Observes that, in 2015, the World Economic Forum which is held every January in Davos highlighted the fact that 1% of the world population owned 48% of property, as against ‘only’ 44% in 2009, and stresses that the 50% threshold is likely to be crossed in 2016; stresses that the crisis has confirmed the dangers inherent in the current economic and political system and has increased social inequalities, which, however, were already extreme, with distribution seriously skewed towards the highest incomes, which are rising at a dizzying rate in comparison with average incomes; considers that the question of the distribution of wealth in the world should be the top priority of the 28th session of the HRC, as it is the main obstacle to the attainment of economic and social rights, and that the delegations from the EU and its Member States should take all necessary measures to attain this objective;


    18. Welcomes the importance assigned to ‘adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living’; calls on the delegations from the EU and its Member States to promote access to high-quality housing for all, without discrimination, as a fundamental right and to assess the issue of access to housing within the EU (particularly since the beginning of the crisis and the introduction of austerity measures) in order to commit itself to resolving this endemic problem, which has become even worse in recent years; notes, furthermore, the need for requisitioning of empty homes and for a freeze on evictions as means of tackling the current crisis in certain Member States;


    19. Welcomes, likewise, the report on the ‘right to food’ and the fact that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food has been extended for three years to enable him to continue to address the impact of the world food crisis on the realisation of this right; points out that the UN member states should do more to encourage access to essential natural resources and land, and to promote food sovereignty and food security as a means of reducing poverty and unemployment; deplores the fact that a significant number of people do not have, or no longer have, access to certain resources, including basic commodities such as water, due to the hoarding of these resources by companies or private entities, which are supported by the political authorities in the countries concerned, causing – in particular – food shortages and increases in the price of foodstuffs; calls, therefore, on the delegations from the EU and its Member States to take the necessary measures to ensure that the monopolisation of resources, especially land, by European undertakings, in particular, is halted, and to put forward proposals in international and regional forums and conferences (World Bank, WTO, Unctad, IMF, OECD, etc.) for recognising basic public goods and including them in a specific UN convention; calls, furthermore, on the EU and its Member States to support UN General Assembly Resolution 64/292 of 28 July 2010 on the fundamental human right to water, and to do their utmost to have it implemented and made binding;


    20. Emphasises the importance of the discussion on ‘the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of states on the full enjoyment of human rights’, and is alarmed by the fact that ‘debt servicing’ is an issue for most countries today and has become a pretext for the introduction of austerity plans which are termed ‘structural adjustment plans’; restates, all the more firmly in the current context of economic and social crisis, its position that the debt not only of third-world countries but also of all countries which face the greatest difficulties (particularly EU Member States) should be written off so as to avoid worsening the crisis and to ensure that people can properly enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights;


    21. Considers that, in view of its responsibilities and those of some of its Member States for the economic, social and political situation that led to the popular uprisings in the ‘Arab Spring’ countries, the EU has a duty to help the institutions in those countries to carry out audits of their debts, and particularly their European debts, in order to ascertain what proportion of those debts was illegitimately incurred and did not benefit the people of those countries, and that it also has a duty to do its utmost to ensure that those illegitimate debts are swiftly written off; urges the EU and its Member States once more to make further significant efforts to facilitate the return of assets misappropriated by the former regimes to the people of Arab Spring countries within a reasonable timeframe; is concerned that the partnership guidelines seem to follow the same lines as previous discussions;


    22. Emphasises that EU policies on migration, as well as support for undemocratic regimes on the pretext of ‘good governance’ and partnership agreements of a purely economic nature, undermine human rights and, indeed, the EU’s very international credibility; condemns, in this light, the ‘Khartoum Process’ initiated by the Italian Presidency of the EU and the forthcoming launching of an initiative on the EU-Horn of Africa migration route, which will entail cooperation, in particular, with the Eritrean and Sudanese regimes; reiterates its call on the EU Member States to implement democracy and human rights clauses in all international agreements, of whatever nature, and to guarantee respect for human rights in their own internal and external policies, without which the position of the EU in the HRC and in any other international forum dealing with human rights would be weakened;


    Civil and political rights


    23. Calls on all states to combat torture, including in EU Member States; calls on the delegations from the EU and its Member States to include in the debate on torture and other inhuman and degrading punishments and treatments the question of banning trade in products which can be used for purposes of torture, both inside and outside the EU;


    24. Emphasises the importance of continuing the work on global practices relating, in particular, to secret detentions in the context of countering terrorism; calls on the EU Member States to follow up the existing reports effectively, in line with Parliament’s previous stances on the issue, especially its resolutions on the use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation, illegal detention and torture of prisoners; condemns, by the same token, the systematic use of torture by the United States at the Guantánamo military base, stresses once again the illegal nature of that base and calls for its immediate closure and for the whole of Cuba’s territory to be returned to that country;


    25. Calls on the delegations from the EU and its Member States to reaffirm their opposition to the death penalty and their advocacy of its universal abolition and of an immediate moratorium in those countries where it is still on the statute book; is concerned to see that a number of countries which had suspended capital punishment have started to carry out executions once again;


    26. Stresses the need to debate at this session of the HRC the issue of freedom of association and the struggle against all forms of repression, including assassinations of trade unionists, political and civil-society activists, artists and human rights defenders;


    27. Takes note of the report on ‘Freedom of religion or belief’ and points out that such freedom implies as much the right to believe or not to believe as the right to promote or to change one’s religious convictions; re-emphasises its attachment to secularism, i.e. the strict separation of political and religious authority, as a fundamental characteristic of certain states and cultures, implying a rejection of all religious interference in the functions of government and of all political interference in religious affairs other than for purposes of upholding the rules on safety and public order (including respect for others’ freedom) and a guarantee that everyone (whether believer, agnostic or atheist) will enjoy to an equal degree freedom of conscience and the right to express their beliefs publicly;



    Rights of peoples, groups and individuals


    28. Stresses once again the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination and to choose their own political, economic and social policies without external interference; calls on the EU and its Member States, on the occasion of the 28th session of the HRC, resolutely to further that right rather than continuing to pursue the current policies; rejects, furthermore, the imposition of sanctions by the EU and the United States on third countries with the aim of protecting their geopolitical and economic interests regardless of the humanitarian situation;


    29. Expresses once again its concern about the deterioration, in various forms and at various levels throughout the world, including in the EU, of the situation of human rights defenders, activists, organisations and institutions and with regard to journalists;


    30. Stresses the importance of respect for the fundamental rights of indigenous and tribal peoples as defined in ILO Convention 169; is deeply concerned about the situation of the Mapuche people and of indigenous peoples in countries such as Guatemala; condemns the repression directed against indigenous leaders and the assassination of trade union leaders and calls for the United Nations International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala not to be wound up in September 2015;


    31. Welcomes the importance attached, at the 28th session of the HRC, to children’s rights and of the intention, following the adoption of Resolution 25/6, to extend for three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; likewise welcomes the fact that, during the 28th session, the HRC is to hold a day-long debate which, according to Resolution 25/6, is to be devoted to the theme ‘Towards better investment in the rights of the child’, with the aim of identifying ways of stepping up international action to halt violence against children;


    32. Calls on the EU and its Member States to work, as a priority, towards practical action by the HRC to put an end to human rights violations affecting civilians, particularly women and children, in wars and situations of violent conflict; calls for priority action to be taken, in particular, to halt the recruitment of child soldiers and to protect them;


    33. Rejects the use of the concept of ‘responsibility to protect’, as it infringes international law and does not provide an adequate legal basis to justify the unilateral use of force, in many cases with the aim of bringing about regime change; condemns the unilateral adoption of the role of world policeman by powerful countries such as the United States or organisations such as NATO; condemns also so-called selective air strikes and the deployment of foreign ground troops; condemns NATO’s attempt to take over the tasks of pacification and stabilisation when they cannot be performed on the basis of a broad consensus at the United Nations General Assembly; expresses its deep concern about the growing number of cases of recruitment of children and young people; recalls the need to protect, in particular, children and women affected by armed conflicts;


    Interdependence of human rights and thematic issues relating to human rights


    34. Regards the agenda item on ‘protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism' as extremely important; is deeply concerned at the way in which human rights and civil liberties are being eroded under the pretext of fighting terrorism and, increasingly, serious crime, without those concepts having been clearly defined, and the fact that this is also happening in the EU or under specific agreements with certain states where human rights standards are not applied; is particularly concerned at the violation of data protection and privacy standards in this connection;


    35. Criticises the fact that the international community has still not entered into negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement on the protection of personal data, for which Convention 108 of the Council of Europe could serve as a model; calls on the EU and Member State delegations to work to devise such a framework, in cooperation with their international counterparts;


    36. Condemns once again the widespread use being made – under what are loosely termed ‘security’ policies – of private military and security firms to exercise sovereign powers which only states have the authority to wield, and calls on the EU and its Member States to step up their efforts to put an end to these practices; considers that, in such circumstances, acting under the responsibility of states, private military and security firms should comply with human rights standards, particularly those covering data protection and privacy; considers that, where public-service tasks are transferred, both states and firms should be held responsible for breaches of human rights and humanitarian law committed by the staff of such firms;


    37. Draws attention, furthermore, to the fact that inadequate regulation of the arms trade, together with a lack of transparency and of proper controls, have caused suffering, fostered armed conflict, instability and corruption, scuppered peace processes and resulted in the overthrow of democratically elected governments and the violation of the rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law; stresses, therefore, that this issue must be discussed during this session;


    38. Regards the agenda item on human rights and the environment as extremely important as well, and believes this issue to be inextricably linked to the right of peoples to their natural resources, to land and to a sustainable environmental system; considers therefore that universal ratification and implementation of the Kyoto process, and of other international conventions enabling people actually to exercise these rights, is of fundamental importance;


    Human rights situations requiring the attention of the HRC


    39. Notes the HRC’s decision to extend the mandate of Independent International Commission of Inquiry 25/23 to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law committed in Syria since March 2011; condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian population; deplores the failure of the Geneva II conference and emphasises that the destiny of Syria must rest firmly in the hands of the Syrian people; advocates a political solution to the conflict, agreed by the Syrians without any foreign intervention, that would open the way to an inclusive national dialogue addressing the Syrian people’s legitimate concerns and aspirations for democratic change;


    40. Notes that the human rights situation in Iran is continuing to deteriorate; notes that repression directed against peaceful demonstrators and dissidents (including students, academics and human rights defenders), women’s rights activists, lawyers, journalists, bloggers and members of religious orders is commonplace there; stresses that the international community has a fundamentally important role to play in safeguarding peace; is gravely concerned at the steady erosion of human rights in Iran, the growing number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the persistently high number of executions, including of minors, the use of torture, the unfair trials and the setting of exorbitant sums for bail, as well as the severe restrictions on freedom of information, expression, assembly, religion, education and movement; welcomes the HRC’s decision to extend for one year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran;


    41. Acknowledges the fact that political and civil reforms are continuing in Myanmar, but urges the authorities there to step up their efforts, which should include the release of political prisoners, and to tackle inter-community violence as a matter of urgency; is deeply concerned at the violence in Rakhine State, which is a long-standing consequence of policies that discriminate against the Rohingyas; welcomes the fact that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has been extended for a further year;


    42. Criticises the fact that the situation in Latin America, in particular Honduras and Paraguay, has not been included in this discussion; calls for proper monitoring of the human rights situation in those two countries following the coups d’état, and for every effort to be made re-establish democracy and the rule of law there; calls on the EU and Member State delegations to seek a condemnation of the coups d’état, not to recognise the ‘de facto’ governments and to demand that the guilty parties be brought to trial; calls, likewise, for an inquiry into the attempted coups d’état in other Latin American countries (e.g. Ecuador and Venezuela) and for all those responsible, including third countries, to be identified;


    43. Criticises, likewise, the failure to discuss the issue of human rights in Mexico at this session, despite the fact that disappearances and extra-judicial killings, including the killing of large numbers of women, are increasing and that the authorities have been shown to be responsible; is deeply concerned at the climate of impunity in Mexico, where more than 22 000 people have disappeared, more than half of them over recent years, and 98% of crimes go unpunished; condemns the criminalisation and repression of students, journalists, social activities, peasant leaders and trade unionists in the country, and the disappearances and killings that have taken place; calls for the EU and Member State delegations at the 28th session to endorse the calls from NGOs for the office of the ICC Prosecutor and the ICC itself to look into crimes committed in Mexico and, where appropriate, to open an international investigation;


    44. Considers it regrettable that the issue of human rights in Turkey has not been placed on the agenda either; is concerned, more particularly, at the deterioration in the democratic situation in that country and the growing clamp-down on democrats, elected office-holders and political activists, trade unionists, journalists, human rights defenders and artists; notes that this repression is directed in particular against Kurds; calls on the EU delegation to ensure that this subject is raised at the 28th session of the HRC and that explicit support is given for a resumption of discussions on the peace process;


    45. Calls, similarly, for the situation in Egypt to be included among the issues requiring the attention of the HRC; is extremely concerned at the widespread human rights abuses taking place in that country; is concerned at the law placing restrictions on demonstrations, and calls on Egypt to comply with its international human rights obligations in this connection; points out that participation in peaceful protests or criticism of the government cannot be grounds for imprisonment or prosecution; calls on the Egyptian authorities to put an end to all acts of harassment and repression, including at judicial level, against activists, journalists, the political opposition, human rights defenders and trade unionists; is deeply concerned at the arbitrary and deliberate use by the state of mass death sentences as a political weapon in efforts to clamp down on political dissent;


    46. Is also particularly concerned about the conditions under which future elections are likely to be held in countries including Sudan and Burundi; points out that it vitally important for a broad consensus always to be sought between governments, opposition parties and civil society on elections and how they are to be organised; calls for the provision of international election support to be made conditional, in all cases, on respect for human rights, the immediate cessation of any conflicts and transparent, free and fair election procedures;


    Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories


    47. Welcomes the special attention paid to the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories during the 28th session of the HRC, in particular the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and viable state within the 1967 borders; urges the EU delegation to condemn all forms of colonialism, in particular in Palestine, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem;


    48. Condemns the continuing policy of occupation and settlement expansion conducted by Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in defiance of international law; strongly condemns the expulsion of Bedouin communities from their ancestral lands in the Negev Desert and the areas around East Jerusalem and the displacement policy pursued by Israel against the Bedouins; condemns the systematic demolition of Palestinian homes, which is used as a means of mass punishment and of expanding the settlements; stresses that this policy constitutes a seizure of Palestinian land, deprivation of the use of farmland and destruction of communities; condemns this policy, which seeks to make it impossible for a Palestinian state to be created with East Jerusalem as its capital in line with UN resolutions; urges the Member State and EU delegations to condemn this Israeli policy, demand an immediate end to it and take all steps necessary in order to bring this about;


    49. Highlights the importance of the United Nations report on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, which criticises the fact that ‘Israel’s policy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip seems to be leading to apartheid, because of the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and the de facto expropriation of their land’, the violation by Israeli forces of the fundamental rights of Palestinians, and ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem, with the Israeli authorities attempting to ‘Judaise’ the city of Jerusalem in order to take it for themselves; draws attention to the fact that, after six years of inquiries on the ground, rapporteur Richard Falk has announced alarming findings about the situation of the Palestinians and strongly condemns the Israeli occupation; draws attention to the fact that he suggests a means of punishing the state for these actions, namely a boycott of its goods;


    50. Welcomes the publication of Amnesty International’s report for 2014-2015, which condemns the acts of violence perpetrated by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and draws attention to the brutal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories; stresses that, according to various reports, the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli army is tantamount to a war crime; condemns the complicity of members of the medical profession with the Israeli army in the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners;


    51. Deplores the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; calls on Israel to put an immediate end to the practice of mass imprisonment, to administrative detention, to the transfer of political prisoners outside the occupied territories, which deprives them of family visits, to mistreatment and torture, and to the denial of appropriate and timely medical treatment, which constitute flagrant breaches of international law; reiterates its condemnation of all forms of torture and mistreatment; calls on Israel to provide immediate guarantees of compliance with the United Nations Convention against Torture, to which it is party; condemns the detention and mistreatment of children and calls for the immediate release of women and children who are being held in prison; condemns the manner in which children are treated by Israeli courts;


    52. Condemns the situation of Palestinian prisoners, calls for their release, and recalls its resolution of 14 March 2013, which called on the Israeli Government to uphold the rights of Palestinian prisoners and to protect their health and their lives; expresses concern at the fate of the Palestinian prisoners who are being held without charge, emphasises that these detainees should be charged and put on trial and, in that context, enjoy full judicial guarantees, in accordance with international standards, or be released quickly, and expresses grave concern at the situation and state of health of the Palestinian prisoners who are on extended hunger strike; calls on Israel to provide the hunger strikers with unrestricted access to appropriate medical care;


    53. Calls for an arms embargo against Israel, in the light of the human rights violations it has perpetrated; calls on the EU and its Member States to cease all cooperation with Israel in the context of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and Horizon 2020; condemns the offensive conducted by Israel in July and August 2014 and the many war crimes perpetrated against the population of the Gaza Strip; calls for an immediate end to the siege of the Gaza Strip;


    54. Criticises the fact that the issue of Western Sahara has not been placed on the agenda for the 28th session of the HRC; emphasises once again that the Western Sahara conflict is a decolonisation issue and that, under international law, Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara and is regarded as the occupying power; condemns the persistent violations of the human rights of the Sahrawi people, and calls for the fundamental rights of the people of Western Sahara, including freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate, to be protected; calls for the immediate release of all Sahrawi political prisoners; emphasises the need for international monitoring of the human rights situation in Western Sahara; calls on Morocco and the Polisario Front to continue the negotiations which are designed to lead to a peaceful and lasting solution to the Western Sahara conflict, and reaffirms the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination, on the basis of the outcome of a democratic referendum held in accordance with United Nations Resolutions 34/37 and 35/19;


    Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and the associated intolerance – follow-up to and application of the Durban Declaration and the Programme of Action


    55. Welcomes the emphasis placed on these matters at the 28th Session of the HRC; condemns once again racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and xenophobic violence and violence against migrants, which have reached alarming levels in some Member States, in the absence of firm action on the part of the authorities; expresses alarm at the upsurge in hate speech and stigmatising rhetoric directed against minorities and at the rise of groups of persons who are exerting increasing influence in the media and in political movements and parties which exercise government responsibility in some Member States, influence which in some cases has led to the enactment of restrictive legislation;


    56. Criticises the fact that discrimination against women will not be dealt with as a separate issue at the conference; emphasises that universal access to health and to sexual and reproductive health care, including free access to sex education and contraception and the right to abortion, must remain a political priority; emphasises that the eradication of violence against women and girls and measures to combat sexual exploitation and human trafficking must be priorities and must serve the broader objective of bringing about equality between women and men; calls, therefore, on the HRC and the international community to implement the ICPD+20, Beijing+20 and Rio+20 processes; emphasises, likewise, how important it is that the EU Member States should implement the HRC’s 2002 recommendations on international protection against gender-related persecution, in particular in the context of immigration policies;


    57. Criticises, likewise, the fact that the conference will not address issues relating to the rights of LGBTI persons; condemns the violence and discrimination which LGBTI persons throughout the world suffer, condemns, in particular, the forced sterilisation of transgender persons, a practice still employed in some countries, including EU Member States, and calls for this human rights violation to be brought to an end immediately; urges the international community to consider ways of bringing family law into line with changes in the way families live and are structured today, including by granting persons of the same sex the right to marry and adopt children; emphasises that lesbians often suffer multiple discrimination, as both women and lesbians, and that measures to foster equality for LGBTI persons must go hand in hand with measures to bring about equality for women and girls and non-discrimination;


    58. Expresses concern at the recent increase in the prevalence of laws, practices and acts of violence directed against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and their sex; calls for close monitoring of the situation in Nigeria and Gambia, where the anti‑LGBTI laws recently introduced are threatening the lives of members of sexual minorities; expresses grave concern at the ‘anti-propaganda’ laws restricting freedom of expression and assembly which have been enacted in Russia and Lithuania and are currently before the Kyrgyz Parliament; welcomes the resolution on measures to combat violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity adopted by the HRC on 26 September 2014; criticises the adoption by the HRC, on 26 June 2014, of a resolution on the protection of the family which may serve to undermine the principle that human rights are universal and indivisible; reaffirms its support for the ongoing work of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in particular through declarations, reports and the ‘Freedom and Equality’ campaign, to ensure that LGBTI persons can exercise all their human rights; urges the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner to continue to combat discriminatory laws and practices;


    Technical assistance and capacity-building


    59. Notes the agenda item on ‘technical cooperation in the field of human rights in Afghanistan’; calls on the EU and the Member State delegations to condemn the fact that NATO’s occupation of Afghanistan merely worsened the human rights situation in that country; calls on the HRC to advocate the setting-up of a committee of inquiry under UN auspices and the opening of a war crimes trial under the jurisdiction of the ICC to deal with atrocities and murders of civilians committed in Iraq and Afghanistan;


    60. Notes, further, the agenda item on ‘technical assistance for Libya in the field of human rights’; condemns once again the armed intervention in Libya, conducted under the cover of a NATO operation, and emphasises that far from becoming more stable, the situation in Libya seems to have worsened since the ‘official end’ of the war, resulting in the partitioning of the country, the inability of the State to prevent violence, an upsurge in racist crime and a judicial and democratic vacuum; calls on the HRC to conduct an independent and impartial inquiry into the human rights situation in Libya, with a view to highlighting the degree of responsibility borne by all the forces which took part in the conflict; calls for an immediate halt to cooperation between the EUBAM border assistance mission and the Libyan authorities, cooperation which involves the training of members of the armed forces and police officers and the provision of high-tech equipment, which is being used to prevent migrants and refugees from fleeing a country where guerrilla warfare and where the rights of migrants and refugees cannot be protected; calls for coordinated support measures to be taken as a matter of urgency to help civil society groups and the authorities to establish national asylum and migrant-reception arrangements which take proper account of the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants;


    61. Notes the agenda item on ‘technical assistance and capacity-building in the area of human rights in South Sudan’; expresses its serious concern at the ongoing conflict, which is claiming civilian victims and has been marked by the forced conscription of child soldiers; calls for an immediate ceasefire between the two parties to the conflict, and expresses its support for impartial mediation with a view to securing an agreement as soon as possible; supports the calls made by civil society groups for a peaceful political settlement; calls for a non-violent, political solution to be found to the conflicts dividing the country, and calls for the militias to be disarmed and disbanded; calls for more humanitarian aid to be supplied to the civilians who are caught in the fighting or who are fleeing the region; urges the two parties to grant full access to the region to the United Nations agencies responsible for providing that aid; calls on the EU and its Member States to step up funding for neighbouring countries in order to help them cope with the influx of refugees arriving on their territory; calls on the EU and its Member States to open their border to refugees fleeing the crisis in South Sudan;


    62. Notes the agenda item on ‘capacity-building and technical cooperation with Côte d'Ivoire in the field of human rights’; takes the view that in that country too an objective and impartial assessment must be carried out of developments in the human rights situation, in particular following the occupation of the country by the French Army;


    63. Welcomes the focus on Haiti at the 28th session of the HRC; deplores the still disastrous humanitarian situation in the country and the fact that the damage caused by the 2010 hurricanes has still not been put right; emphasises that the country’s extreme poverty has worsened even further the devastating impact of natural disasters, causing the most serious humanitarian crisis in decades; condemns once again the level of Haiti’s debt and the colossal cost of servicing it imposed on the country by France and the relevant international institutions, first and foremost the International Monetary Fund, which is responsible for the country’s underdevelopment; applauds the international, and primarily regional, aid effort to assist Haiti, involving the sending by Cuba of doctors and specialist medical personnel who have treated tens of thousands of people for cholera, the financial support provided through the ALBA Humanitarian Fund for Haiti, the ongoing provision of energy supplies through Petrocaribe and the drafting of a special plan for the direct supply of fuel for humanitarian assistance vehicles, agricultural initiatives to supply food and production plans and the reafforestation campaign; calls for an inquiry into the allegations that some aid payments, in particular from the EU, never reached Haiti and into the effectiveness of the aid distribution network; calls, further, for an assessment of the effectiveness of the aid actually paid;


    64. Notes the HRC’s decision to extend for one year the mandate of the independent expert on the human rights situation in Mali with a view to assisting the Malian Government in its efforts to promote and protect human rights, and the request that the independent expert submit a report to the HRC at its 28th session; calls for a comprehensive investigation into the atrocities and crimes committed in Mali by all the forces on the ground; calls on the EU and Member State delegations to undertake to advocate peaceful solutions to conflicts, as opposed to unilateral armed interventions, such as occurred in Mali;


    65. Welcomes the extension for one year of the mandate of the independent expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic; deplores the fact that the humanitarian and human rights situation in the Central African Republic has worsened since the French intervention was launched in December 2013; condemns the innumerable acts of violence which have affected the whole population of the country, and in particular women and children; deplores the fact that population groups have been displaced and that health conditions in the country are so poor; calls on the international community and donors to provide more humanitarian aid;



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    66. Instructs its delegation to the 28th session of the HRC to voice the concerns outlined in this resolution; calls on the delegation to give an account of its mission to the Subcommittee on Human Rights, and takes the view that Parliament should continue to send a delegation to relevant sessions of the HRC;


    67. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the President of the 69th UN General Assembly, the President of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EU-UN working group set up by the Committee on Foreign Affairs.