Procedure : 2017/2598(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0185/2017

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Debates :

Votes :

PV 16/03/2017 - 6.4
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Texts adopted :

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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

on EU priorities for the UN Human Rights Council sessions in 2017 (2017/2598(RSP))

Ignazio Corrao, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Isabella Adinolfi on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on EU priorities for the UN Human Rights Council sessions in 2017 (2017/2598(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the UN human rights conventions and optional protocols thereto,

–  having regard to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251 establishing the Human Rights Council (UNHRC),

–  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions,

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 7 July 2016 on the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly(1),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the violation of human rights, including its urgency resolutions of 2016 on Ethiopia, North Korea, India, Crimea, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Honduras, Nigeria, Gambia, Djibouti, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Malawi, Bahrain, Myanmar, the Philippines, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Sudan, Thailand, China, Brazil, Tibet, Myanmar, Iraq, Indonesia, the Central African Republic, Burundi, Nicaragua, Kuwait and Guatemala,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2016 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World and the European Union’s policy on the matter 2015(2),

–  having regard to Articles 2, 3(5), 18, 21, 27 and 47 of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to the 2015 annual report of the UNHRC to the UN General Assembly,

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

A.  whereas the promotion and safeguarding of the universality of human rights is part of the European Union’s ethical and legal acquis and one of the cornerstones of European unity and integrity; whereas respect for human rights should be mainstreamed in all EU policy areas;

B.  whereas the EU is strongly committed to multilateralism and to the UN bodies when it comes to the promotion and the protection of human rights;

C.  whereas the regular sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the appointment of Special Rapporteurs, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism and the Special Procedures addressing either country-specific situations or thematic issues should all contribute to the promotion and enhancement of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law;

UN Human Rights Council

1.  Welcomes the work done by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and his Office (OHCHR); recalls the EU commitment to continue to support and defend its integrity, independence and functioning; welcomes the role played by the OHCHR in advancing cooperation between international and regional human rights mechanisms, and in identifying ways to increase the role of ‘regional arrangements’ in relation to universal human rights standards;

2.  Takes the view that the UNHRC’s effectiveness and credibility depend on its members’ genuine commitment to protect all persons in all countries from any human rights violations, in accordance with the international human rights conventions promoting universality, impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity, constructive dialogue and cooperation; urges the need to avoid the polarisation of debate in the UNHRC and encourages constructive dialogue;

3.  Calls on states to grant access to the UNHRC’s independent experts, Special Rapporteurs and OHCHR experts to investigate alleged human rights violations and to engage in a constructive way in order to redress the situation, to honour their commitments to the human rights conventions and to offer their full cooperation with the UNHRC Special Procedures;

4.  Encourages all states to take concrete steps to act on UPR recommendations and to overcome shortcomings by putting in place an implementation and follow-up mechanism, including the establishment of national plans of action and national coordination mechanisms; shares the UNHRC’s concerns regarding reports of threats and reprisals against members of civil society organisations and NGOs which have cooperated with the UNHRC in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process;

5.  Recalls the General Assembly’s obligation, when electing the membership of the UNHRC, to take into account candidates’ respect for the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and democracy; welcomes the UNHRC decision requesting that the UNHRC Advisory Committee prepare an assessment report on the progress made in the establishment of regional and sub-regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights; calls for the EU and its Member States to reflect the equal importance of rights in their voting patterns and to improve the coordination of EU positions in this sense; strongly requests that the EU speak with one voice and reach a common EU stance when it comes to vote in the UNHRC;

6.  Condemns the fact that seats on the UNHRC continue to be occupied by countries with a proven track record of grave and systematic human rights violations, such as Saudi Arabia, China, and Egypt currently, and calls, once again, on the EU Member States to publicise their UNHRC votes; calls, in this regard, for the EU and its Member States to reflect the equal importance of rights in their voting patterns, and to determine their vote on UNHRC resolutions on the basis of the substance rather than on the authors of these texts;

7.  Reiterates the importance of ensuring that the EU engages actively and consistently in UN human rights mechanisms, in particular with the Third Committee, the General Assembly and the UNHRC, in order to improve its credibility; supports efforts made by the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU Delegations in New York and Geneva and the Member States to further increase EU coherence on human rights issues at the UN;

Thematic priorities

8.  Underscores the importance of the role of human rights NGOs and defenders in the promotion and protection of human rights; Highlights that human rights and fundamental freedoms need to be protected in every dimension of their expression, including in the context of new technologies; shares the UNHRC’s concerns regarding reports of threats and reprisals against members of civil society organisations and NGOs that have cooperated with the UNHRC, including with its Special Procedures and in the UPR process;

9.  Expresses its serious concern at the numerous, ever-increasing attempts to shrink the space of civil society and human rights defenders, including through the introduction of counter-terrorism laws; condemns any act of violence directed against, or any harassment, intimidation or persecution of, human rights defenders, whistleblowers, journalists or bloggers, whether online or offline; calls on all states to promote and ensure a safe and enabling environment for NGOs, civil society, journalists and human rights defenders – with particular focus on all vulnerable groups – to operate in, independently and without interference; calls for measures to reduce the digital divide and facilitate unrestricted access to information and communication, and to uncensored access to the internet; renews its call for those states that have adopted restrictive legislation or repressive measures, such as travel bans and asset freezes against independent human rights organisations, to lift them;

10.  Believes that free, independent and impartial media constitute one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, in which open debates play a crucial role; supports the plea for the appointment of a Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General for the safety of journalists; calls for the EU to raise in all international fora the issues of freedom of expression online, digital freedoms and the importance of a free and open internet; calls for the digital divide to be narrowed and for unrestricted access to information and communication, as well as uncensored access to the internet;

11.  Recalls that the right to freedom of association and assembly continue to be violated worldwide; warmly welcomes the work of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai; calls on all states to take the reports into due consideration;

12.  Underlines the fact that whistleblowers play a vital role in disclosing information, and calls on all states to adopt laws to protect whistleblowers from the threat or imposition of retaliation;

13.  Urge all states to swiftly ratify the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and to the International Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) establishing complaint and inquiry mechanisms;

14.  Highlights the importance of a rights-based approach, encompassing all human rights, to realising the Sustainable Development Goals – including a human rights dimension in areas such as health, education, food security, housing, water and sanitation, decent work, and the development and increased coverage of social protection floors – and to closing the gender gap;

15.  Opposes any kind of discrimination and persecution on any ground or status such as race, colour, language, religion and belief, gender identity and sexual orientation, social origin, caste, birth, age or disability; supports the EU engagement with the relevant Special Procedures, including the new Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; calls for the EU to actively continue to promote equality and non-discrimination and to fight against violence and discrimination against all individuals;

16.  Expresses its concern that many people, individually or collectively, suffer violations of their right to freedom of religion or belief, committed by states and non-state actors, leading to discrimination, inequality and stigmatisation; recalls the need to fight against intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief in order to ensure respect for other interdependent human rights such as freedom of expression;

17.  Calls for the EU work on ensuring greater protection of religious and ethnic minorities against persecution and violence and on repealing laws criminalising blasphemy or apostasy serving as a pretext for the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities and non-believers; calls for the work of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief to be supported;

18.  Strongly requests that the EU continue to advocate zero tolerance for the death penalty and to further seek to reinforce cross-regional support for the next UN General Assembly resolution on a moratorium on the death penalty; welcomes the decision taken in 2015 by Madagascar, Fiji, Surinam and the Republic of the Congo to abolish the death penalty for all crimes; deplores the resumption of executions in a number of countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Belarus, Bangladesh, India, Oman, South Sudan, Indonesia and Chad; further deplores the reported rise in the number of death sentences handed down in particular in China, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia; reminds the authorities of these countries that they are states parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which strictly prohibits the death penalty for crimes committed by anyone below the age of 18;

19.  Urges the EU to speak out and support the UN’s work against torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment, mass executions and executions for drug-related offences, and asks the EEAS to step up, at all levels of dialogue and in all fora, the EU’s efforts in the fight against summary executions, torture and other ill-treatment, in line with the Guidelines to EU Policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; calls for the universal ratification and effective implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and the Optional Protocol thereto;

20.  Expresses its serious concern at the persistence of grave human rights violations and abuses worldwide; staunchly supports the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a key institution for holding perpetrators to account and assisting victims in achieving justice based on the complementarity principle for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes; calls on all parties to provide political, diplomatic, financial and logistical support for the day-to-day operation of the ICC; calls for the EU to continue to strengthen the work of the ICC; encourages strong dialogue and cooperation between the Court, the UN and its agencies and the UN Security Council; regrets the decision taken by some African countries to withdraw from the ICC, and calls on them to reconsider; calls on all UN member states to join the Court by ratifying the Rome Statute as soon as possible, and to encourage the ratification of the Kampala amendments;

21.  Urges states to do their utmost to fight impunity and ensure that there is no safe haven for perpetrators of international crimes and gross human rights violations, including via the adoption, at national level, of provisions for, and the exercise of, universal jurisdiction;

22.  Strongly condemns the widespread lack of respect for international humanitarian law, and expresses its grave concern at the increasing rate of civilian damage in armed conflicts around the world, and of deadly attacks against hospitals, schools, humanitarian convoys and other civilian targets;

23.  Expresses its grave concern at the use of armed drones outside the international legal framework; urges the EU and its Member States to promote an international framework on the use of armed drones which upholds human rights and international humanitarian law, and which should address issues such as the legal framework, proportionality, accountability, protection of civilians and transparency; calls again for the EU and its Member States to include armed drones and fully autonomous weapons in relevant European and international disarmament and arms control mechanisms, and urges the Member States to engage with and strengthen these control mechanisms;

24.  Condemns in the strongest possible terms the ongoing serious human rights violations perpetrated by Daesh, Boko Haram and other terrorist or paramilitary organisations against civilians, in particular women and children; denounces the frequency and scale of acts of destruction of cultural heritage, and calls for support for relevant efforts undertaken in various UN fora;

25.  Calls for the EU to work actively towards an initiative on UN recognition of the genocide against ethnic and religious minorities committed by Daesh and for referral to the ICC of cases of suspected crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide; encourages strong dialogue and cooperation between the Court, the UN and its agencies, and the UN Security Council;

26.  Requests that the EU call on all states to place human rights at the centre of their respective development policies and to implement the 1986 UN Declaration on the Right to Development; welcomes the recent appointment by the UNHRC of a Special Rapporteur on the right to development, whose mandate includes contributing to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the right to development in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development cooperation agreements; highlights that human rights for all must be a cross-cutting feature in the achievement of all goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda;

27.  Calls for the EU to continue to promote equality between women and men and to actively support the work of UN Women and gender mainstreaming initiatives in its activities and programmes; calls for continued support measures strengthening the empowerment of women and girls and the eradication of all violence and discrimination against women and girls including gender-based violence; strongly requests that the EU promote cross-regional initiatives for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of women’s rights, contribute to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the ICPD and remain committed to sexual and reproductive rights in this context;

28.  Recalls the EU’s commitment to mainstream human rights and gender aspects in line with the landmark UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on women, peace and security; calls for the EU to support internationally the recognition of the added value of women’s participation in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction and sustainable reconciliation;

29.  Calls for the EU to continue to promote children’s rights, in particular by contributing to ensuring children’s access to water, sanitation, healthcare and education, including in conflict zones and refugee camps, and eliminating child labour, recruitment of child soldiers, deprivation of liberty, torture, trafficking, child, early and forced marriage, sexual exploitation, and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation; calls for measures to support and strengthen international efforts through the UN to end the use of children in armed conflict, and to address more effectively the impact of conflict and post-conflict situations on women and girls; calls on all UN countries to uphold their treaty obligations and commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, in order to uphold the rights of all children under their jurisdiction irrespective of their legal status, and without discrimination of any kind; calls on the USA, as the only remaining state not to have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to accede to this instrument as a matter of urgency;

30.  Calls on states to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, including their equal participation and social inclusion; calls on all states to ratify and implement the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities;

31.  Calls for the EU to work with partners on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including measures to encourage more states to adopt national action plans and engage in the work streams of the UN working groups and of the OHCHR; welcomes the participation of the EU and a large number of its Member States in the IGWG session in October 2016, which discussed the elements of a binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights; renews its call to all states and to the EU to engage actively and constructively in this process with a view to reaching a legally binding instrument in order to prevent, investigate redress and have access to remedies when human rights violations occur;

32.  Calls for the EU to highlight in UN fora the issues of land grabbing by corporations and the treatment of land-rights defenders and environmental activists, who are often victims of reprisals, including threats, harassment, arbitrary arrest, assault and murder;

33.  Welcomes the UN’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which addressed the issue of large movements of refugees and migrants and led to the adoption of a global compact on a comprehensive refugee response (CRR) framework, and the commitment that applies to migrants and refugees and is aimed at saving lives, addressing specific needs, countering racism and xenophobia, combating human trafficking, ensuring equal recognition and protection before the law and ensuring inclusion in national development plans; calls on all the parties involved to ensure political engagement, funding and concrete acts of solidarity in support of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and recalls that the question of migration should continue to be examined on a global scale and not only at European level; calls for the EU and its Member States to take the lead in these international efforts and, first and foremost, to uphold their commitments in accordance with their obligations under international law to protect the rights of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and all displaced persons, particularly those of women, children and vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities; warns that by primarily focussing on issues such as border control and returns in third countries with a deplorable human rights record, the EU and its Member States risk undermining these guiding principles, thereby endangering their credibility in international human rights fora, notably the UNHRC;

34.  Recalls that the return of migrants should only be carried out in full respect of the migrants’ rights and only when the protection of their rights is guaranteed in their respective countries; calls on governments to put an end to the arbitrary arrest and detention of migrants, including minors; calls on all states to take concrete measures in the best interests of child refugees and migrants that are based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to introduce measures to strengthen child protection systems, including the training of social workers and other professional groups and working with non-governmental organisations; calls once again on all states, including EU Member States, to ratify and implement the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;

35.  Notes with concern that climate-related incidents such as the rise in sea levels, and extreme weather changes provoking droughts and floods, are expected to lead to even greater loss of life, displacement of populations, and food and water shortages; calls for the EU to seek cross-regional support in efforts to address the legal shortfalls in the term ‘climate refugee’, including its possible definition in international law or in any legally binding international agreement;

36.  Welcomes the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; stresses with grave concern that the loss of biodiversity undermines the enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health and water, and particularly affects the most vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples; calls for the EU to support further action by the UN HRC in this area, which is of critical importance for the future of humanity;

37.  Underlines the importance of promoting the universality and indivisibility of human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, in accordance with Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union and the General Provisions on the Union’s External Action;

38.  Underlines the necessity to adopt a rights-based approach and to integrate respect for human rights into all EU policies, including those on trade, investment, public services, development cooperation and migration, and into its common security and defence policies;

39.  Recalls the fact that internal and external coherence in the area of human rights is essential for the credibility of the EU’s human rights policy in its external relations with third countries and calls for the EU to fulfil its commitments in this regard;

Country priorities


40.  Expresses its profound concern at the continued restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of association and peaceful assembly in Belarus; condemns the harassment and detention of independent and opposition journalists and human rights activists; condemns the continued use of the death penalty; calls for the renewal of the UN Special Rapporteur’s mandate on the human rights situation in Belarus at the 35th session of the Council, and calls on the government to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and to commit to engagement in long-overdue reforms to protect human rights, including by implementing the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur and other human rights mechanisms;


41.  Expresses its deepest concern regarding the worsening political and security situation in Burundi; condemns the violence that has been occurring in Burundi since 2015 and has led to deaths, torture and targeted violence against women including collective rapes and harassment; condemns the imprisonment of thousands of people and the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Burundians and violations of freedom of the press and of expression, as well as the prevalence of impunity regarding such acts; supports the decision by the EU Council, after the failure of the discussions launched under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, to suspend direct financial support to the Burundian administration, including budgetary support, but to maintain full financial support for the population and humanitarian aid through direct channels; fully supports the establishment of a commission of inquiry on Burundi to identify alleged perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses in the country with a view to ensuring full accountability; calls for the EU and its Member States to support a joint statement on Burundi calling into question its UNHRC membership unless it starts to fully cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and with the Council and its mechanisms, engages constructively with the COI and addresses the serious human rights concerns;

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

42.  Expresses its deep concern about the persisting deterioration of the human rights situation in the DPRK; calls on the Government of the DPRK to fulfil its obligations under the human rights instruments to which it is a party, and to ensure that humanitarian organisations, independent human rights monitors and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK have access to the country and are provided with the necessary cooperation; calls on the DPRK to allow freedom of expression and press freedom for national and international media, and to allow its citizens uncensored access to the internet; strongly condemns the systematic use of the death penalty in the DPRK on a large scale; calls on the Government of the DPRK to declare a moratorium on all executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty in the near future; demands that those most responsible for the crimes against humanity committed in the DPRK be held accountable, brought before the International Criminal Court and subjected to targeted sanctions; strongly condemns the nuclear tests as an unnecessary and dangerous provocation as well as a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and a serious threat to the peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the North East Asian region; requests the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur; requests the presentation of the report of the group of experts to the UN General Assembly and Security Council; recommends that the key recommendations in the experts’ report on accountability be incorporated in the resolution, including the strengthening of the capacity of the Seoul Office with investigative and prosecutorial expertise and the appointment of a criminal justice expert to advance steps towards accountability;

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

43.  Is extremely concerned at the serious human rights violations being committed with complete impunity by the security forces, and calls on those responsible to be held accountable; calls on the Council to consider extending the existing restrictive measures such as EU targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes on those responsible for the violent crackdown and for undermining the democratic process in the DRC, in the event of further violence, as provided for in the Cotonou Agreement; urges the DRC authorities to implement the agreement reached in December 2016, and to hold elections by December 2017 with the support of the international actors; recalls that the stability of the Great Lakes region, especially the human rights situation in eastern DRC, including sexual violence, is of extreme concern; calls on the UNHRC to maintain its scrutiny of the DRC until elections are held and a democratic transition take place, and encourages the High Commissioner’s Office to inform the Council about the situation in the DRC when appropriate, and to take stronger action if required;


43.  Calls on Iran to cooperate fully with all UN human rights mechanisms and to work towards the application of the recommendations set forth in that context, including the Universal Periodic Review, by enabling international human rights organisations to carry out their missions; calls on the Government of Iran to address the substantive concerns highlighted in the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur and the UN Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Iran, as well as the specific calls to action found in resolutions of the UN General Assembly; notes with concern that Iran has the highest level of death-penalty executions per capita in the world; calls on Iran to declare a moratorium on the death penalty; calls for the release of all political prisoners;


44.  Is extremely concerned about the reports of violent clashes in northern Rakhine State and deplores the loss of lives, livelihoods and shelter and the reported disproportionate use of force by the armed forces of Myanmar; urges the military and security forces to put an immediate stop to the killings, harassment and rapes committed against the Rohingya people, and the burning of their homes; demands that the Government and the civil authorities of Myanmar immediately end the discrimination against and segregation of the Rohingya minority; calls for the rights of the Rohingya people to be safeguarded and for safety, security and equality to be guaranteed for all citizens of Myanmar; welcomes the decision of the Government of Myanmar to make peace and national reconciliation a key priority; welcomes the announcement by the Government of Myanmar of the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the recent violence in Rakhine State; underlines the need to appropriately prosecute those responsible, and to provide adequate redress for victims of violations; calls on the Government of Myanmar to continue the process of democratisation and to respect the rule of law, freedom of speech and fundamental human rights; calls for the EU and its Member States to support a renewed mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar;

Saudi Arabia

45.  Recalls its concern about the systematic violations of human rights in the country, including the repression of human rights defenders, violations of freedom of religion or belief and the rights of women; Condemns the alarming rate of death penalty orders in Saudi Arabia, including mass executions, and calls on Saudi Arabia to impose a moratorium on the death penalty; urges the Saudi Arabian authorities to release all prisoners of conscience, including the 2015 Sakharov Laureate, Raif Badawi; calls for the EU to closely follow his particular case;

South Sudan

46.  Calls on all parties to refrain from committing human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law, including those amounting to international crimes, such as extrajudicial killings, ethnically targeted violence, conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, as well as gender-based violence, recruitment and use of children, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests and detention; notes that the Government of Sudan signed the Roadmap Agreement on 16 March 2016 and subsequently clarified its commitments regarding the inclusion of other relevant stakeholders in the National Dialogue and continuing to uphold any decisions reached between the opposition signatories and the 7+7 Mechanism, the steering committee of the National Dialogue; insists on the need for all parties to respect their commitment and calls for a continued dialogue towards the establishment of a definitive ceasefire; calls for the EU and its Member States to maintain their commitment to supporting the efforts of the African Union to bring peace to Sudan and the Sudanese people in their transition to an internally reformed democracy; calls for the EU and its Member States to renew the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, strengthen its role to conduct investigations into human rights abuses, and conduct a mapping of sexual violence; supports the integration of its recommendations into a report to be forwarded to the UN General Assembly and Security Council;


47.  Condemns in the strongest terms the atrocities, and the widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, committed in the Syrian scenario, as well as the abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by non-state, armed terrorist groups, in particular Daesh, responsible for crimes amounting to genocide, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham /Al-Nusra Front and other jihadist groups; insists that the investigation of the use, and the destruction, of chemical weapons by all sides in Syria be continued; reiterates its call for full, unhindered humanitarian access, and for consequences and accountability for those guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity;

Western Sahara

48.  Calls for the fundamental rights of the people of Western Sahara, including freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to assembly, to be respected; demands the release of all Sahrawi political prisoners; demands access to the territories of Western Sahara for United Nations representatives, members of parliament, independent observers, NGOs and the press; urges the United Nations to provide MINURSO with a human rights mandate, in line with all other UN peacekeeping missions around the world; supports a fair and lasting settlement of the Western Sahara conflict, on the basis of the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi people and in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions; calls for the EU and its Member States to raise the situation in Western Sahara at the forthcoming UPR session relating Morocco;


49.  Is extremely concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen; condemns the fact that civilians are targeted and caught in an intolerable situation between warring parties giving them opposing instructions, in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law; stresses that the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is strictly forbidden by international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and in the case of recruitment of children under fifteen may amount to a war crime; calls on all parties to release such children immediately; urges all parties to make water and sewage systems available, including through the urgent delivery of oil to fuel pumps for extracting water from the soil, without which the humanitarian crisis will be exacerbated: urges all parties to pay particular attention to the escalating health problem in Aden owing to the failure of state power and the lack of clean water; calls on the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Government of Yemen to ensure that the port and airport of Aden are managed fairly in terms of access and that humanitarian supplies moving through the port are dispatched to their intended recipients in a timely manner; urges all parties to ease the tensions and establish an immediate and stable ceasefire that will lead to a political, inclusive and negotiated solution to the conflict; in this context, fully supports the efforts by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismaïl Ould Cheikh Ahmed, as well as the implementation of the Human Rights Council resolution 33/16 by October 2016 that requests the UN to work with the national independent commission of inquiry, and supports all efforts for an independent international investigation to break the climate of impunity in Yemen; calls on the Member States to support the Dutch-led joint statement expressing concern over violations and abuses in Yemen and calling for these to be thoroughly and impartially investigated; encourages the High Commissioner to use the intercessional briefing format to keep the UNHRC regularly informed of the results of its investigations;


o  o

50.  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 EU Special Representative on Human rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Security Council,, the UN Secretary-General, the President of the 71st UN General Assembly, the President of the UN Human Rights council, the UN Hugh Commissioner for Human rights and the Secretary-General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0317.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0502.

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