Texts adopted
Thursday, 13 January 2005 - Strasbourg
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
 EU aid for tidal wave victims in the Indian Ocean
 Transatlantic relations
 Debt relief for developing countries
 Results of Ukraine elections
 Tenzin Delek Rinpoche - Tibet
 Torture in Iran
 Trafficking of women and children in Cambodia

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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European Parliament resolution on the outcome of the Buenos Aires Conference on climate change

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of 11 December 1997, the application procedures for its implementation adopted at the conferences in Bonn (July 2001), Marrakesh (November 2001), New Delhi (November 2002) and Milan (December 2003), and the Tenth Conference of the Parties (COP-10) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 6 and 17 December 2004,

–   having regard to its resolutions relating to climate change, notably that of 17 November 2004 on the European Union strategy for the Buenos Aires Conference (COP-10)(1),

–   having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas climate change is one of the major challenges of the 21st century, having significant negative global environmental, economic and social consequences, and is expected to impinge negatively on sustainable development and the livelihoods of millions of people all over the world; whereas in 2004 again, hurricanes, typhoons and other weather-related natural disasters hit populations hard throughout the world and notably in the poorest countries; whereas, besides the human suffering and the numerous casualties, the economic losses are estimated at a record level of $90 billion for 2004,

B.   whereas full implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol is of fundamental importance in tackling the key problem of climate change and for the future of the world's environment,

C.   whereas the UNFCCC sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in order to avoid 'dangerous anthropogenic interference' with the climate system; whereas the UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994, and now has 189 parties,

D.   whereas to date 132 countries and regional economic integration organisations have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, including 37 Annex I parties, representing 61.6% of 1990 Annex I greenhouse gas emissions, thereby meeting the requirements for entry into force of the Protocol, which will take place on 16 February 2005,

E.   whereas developed countries have a major responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions and should therefore play a leading role in the process to reduce emissions; whereas the European Parliament has consistently called for the EU to maintain such a leading role,

F.   whereas the Kyoto Protocol was ratified by the European Community on 31 May 2002 as well as by its Member States and whereas the European Parliament and the Council adopted the legislative instruments(2) necessary to implement the Kyoto Protocol provisions within the European Community; whereas on 13 October 2003 the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community(3); whereas a recent Commission progress report (COM(2004)0818) confirms that the EU as a whole is on track to meet its target under the Kyoto Protocol,

G.   whereas the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol are an essential condition for a global strategy on climate change, but further targets need to be set for the period after 2012; whereas global emissions should be reduced by half by 2050 in order to contain global warming so that it peaks below 2°C above pre-industrialisation levels,

H.   whereas the year 2012 is approaching very soon, and a strategy beyond 2012 is needed to address the longer-term challenge to promote low-carbon energy sources, low greenhouse-gas-emitting technologies and renewable energy,

1.  Welcomes the international agreement on decisions taken at the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, including the Buenos Aires Programme of Work on Adaptation and Response Measures and the decision to start a dialogue on future responses to climate change under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol in May 2005;

2.  Strongly believes that the European Union should retain its leading role in international efforts to fight climate change; expects the EU, therefore, to present a proposal for a future regime to the Seminar of Governmental Experts which is consistent with the EU objective of maintaining the average global temperature increase below 2°C above pre-industrialisation levels, with global greenhouse emissions peaking within the next two decades, and which respects the principles of equity, responsibility and ability or capacity to act;

3.  Notes the necessity of significantly enhanced reduction efforts by all developed countries in the medium term to be able to meet the long-term emission reduction challenge; calls on the EU to adopt reduction targets at the 2005 Spring European Council which are in line with the objectives mentioned above; believes that, for industrialised countries, medium-term reductions of the order of 30% by 2020 and long-term reductions of 60-80% by 2050 are necessary to achieve that goal;

4.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up efforts to engage in a dialogue with responsible countries around the world to sketch out a sustainable solution to prevent dangerous climate change; condemns the attempts of some countries to obstruct the starting of negotiations on climate policy commitments beyond 2012; regrets the repeated statements by the Italian Minister for the Environment that it would be pointless to set binding objectives for reducing emissions after 2012 without the participation of the United States, China and India; considers that these statements could weaken the EU's position;

5.  Calls on the countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol to do so as soon as possible; calls on the US Government to reconsider its decision not to participate and, as a first step, to respect its commitment under the UNFCCC to reduce the country's emissions to the 1990 level; further underlines that ratifying and using the Protocol mechanisms would make meeting Kyoto Protocol targets more economical for Australia;

6.  Urges the EU to take further measures to increase energy savings, improve energy efficiency and switch to renewable energy sources;

7.  Is concerned that progress in emission reductions in other sectors may be jeopardised by rising transport emissions; believes that the EU could learn from California how to limit transport emissions; calls, therefore, on the Commission urgently to put forward proposals for binding CO2 limits for new vehicles;

8.  Reiterates its demand that emissions from international flights and shipping should be incorporated in the emission reduction targets for the second commitment period from 2012;

9.  Is disappointed that the Tenth Conference of Parties was a missed opportunity as regards the preparation of further objectives for the period beyond 2012; regrets, in particular, that despite the efforts of the EU delegation, the Conference only agreed on one informal meeting for the preparation of future new goals in 2005; insists that the EU should carefully prepare its participation in this meeting, in close cooperation with all interested parties at national or regional level, maintaining a leading role in building up a strong coalition for further international commitments beyond 2012; stresses the necessity to give economic decision-makers the opportunity to plan in reasonably certain knowledge of the situation after 2012;

10.  Insists that the Seminar of Governmental Experts has to focus on future-based discussions of the Kyoto Protocol within the framework of the UNFCCC to develop effective and appropriate responses to climate change and publish a written report on the results, which should feed back into the negotiations;

11.  Believes that a future regime should be based on common but differentiated responsibilities, on continued and greater emission reductions post-2012, and the involvement of more countries in the reduction effort, notably the US and more advanced developing countries; therefore urges the Commission and the Member States to stress the necessity of climate protection when holding dialogues with international partners, especially the US, China and India;

12.  Insists on the need for increased financial assistance for adjustment measures in developing countries; moreover stresses that while economic development is a right for all developing countries, measures should be taken to encourage more environmentally friendly models of development;

13.  Regrets that, although represented at the Tenth Conference of Parties, the US – the largest CO2 emitter – was not prepared to discuss further developments to reduce climate change; is greatly encouraged by the many climate change initiatives being taken at State level in the US such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative covering nine north-eastern states, while Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, the Eastern Canadian Provinces and New Brunswick are observers in the process, where the aim of the initiative is to discuss the design of a regional cap-and-trade programme covering CO2;

14.  Calls on the Commission to consider in its forthcoming report on the costs and benefits of future climate change policies the adoption of border adjustment measures to offset any competitive advantage which producers in industrialised countries without carbon constraints might have; underlines that addressing climate change also brings opportunities and incentives for innovation in line with goals set by the Lisbon Agenda;

15.  Applauds the initiatives undertaken by the EU to curb greenhouse gas emissions and in particular the emissions trading scheme that begins on 1 January 2005, and is greatly encouraged by the possibility of other countries such as Canada or Japan linking up to the EU's emissions trading scheme; calls on the Commission also to consider proposing linking the EU emissions trading scheme with regional initiatives which have adopted emission caps that are consistent with the UNFCCC objectives; further calls on the European Council to guarantee the prospect of utilising credits from project-based mechanisms in accordance with the conditions laid down in Directive 2004/101/EC also during the period after 2012;

16.  Calls on the two Presidencies in 2005 to ensure that the momentum on this issue is maintained and even accelerated, whilst increasing the level of commitment and the number of international partners within the process;

17.  Underlines that cooperation with the European Parliament and the Commission was informative and expects a solution to be found with the Council before the next Conference of Parties/Meeting of Parties in order for the European Parliament participants to have access to EU coordination meetings on the basis at least of observer status, with or without speaking rights;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU contracting parties.

(1) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2004)0060.
(2) Decision No 280/2004/EC of 11 February 2004 concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol (OJ L 49, 19.2.2004, p.1) and Directive 2004/101/EC of 27 October 2004 amending Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, in respect of the Kyoto Protocol's project mechanisms (OJ L 338, 13.11.2004, p. 18).
(3) OJ L 275, 25.10.2003, p.32.

EU aid for tidal wave victims in the Indian Ocean
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European Parliament resolution on the recent tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Jakarta Tsunami Aid Conference of 6 January 2005, and to the International Donors" Conference held in Geneva on 11 January 2005,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the extraordinary meeting of 7 January 2005 of the General Affairs and External Relations Council,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication "Europe and Asia: a strategic framework for enhanced partnership" (COM(2001)0469) and the consistent emphasis it attaches throughout to the importance of the EU's relations with Asia, a continent representing more than half the world's population,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas a strong earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter scale hit Southeast Asia on 26 December 2004 and triggered massive tsunami in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, Mauritius, Somalia, Kenya, Seychelles, Réunion and Tanzania,

B.   whereas this disaster has killed more than 160 000 people, including EU citizens, in the many countries hit by the tsunami, injured many more and left up to five million people displaced and lacking access to essential supplies such as food, clean water and medicines,

C.   whereas in the affected countries the disaster has hit the poorest communities, such as fishing communities, the hardest, and thousands of children have been orphaned by the disaster,

D.   whereas much of the communication, energy and educational infrastructure has been destroyed in the affected coastal regions,

E.   whereas polluted waters and heavy rains after the tsunami have increased the risk of diseases such as cholera, malaria and typhoid,

F.   whereas experts warn that damage to marine life, including mangroves and coral reefs, could be vast and lasting, which would have serious consequences for local communities dependent on fishing for their food supply and their livelihoods,

G.   whereas the global response to the disaster has been overwhelming; whereas the EU and its Member States have pledged almost EUR 1.5 billion so far, and the amount continues to rise; and whereas the Commission has already committed EUR 23 million and promised funds of EUR 350 million; whereas, however, EUR 150 million of this is not new money, but would be taken from existing long-term development projects; whereas the European Development Fund must not be reprogrammed in order to deal with tsunami relief in African countries, and new money must also be found for the relief effort there,

H.   whereas in previous disasters, the amount of aid pledged has often not been reflected in the actual amount of real aid delivered,

I.   whereas the UN is carrying out needs assessments across the affected areas, but many areas affected by the tsunami remain difficult to access, particularly in Sumatra,

J.   whereas most of the countries affected by the tsunami were already burdened with large debt repayments, and whereas money given to the relief effort would be rendered ineffective if the donor countries continued to receive interest payments on these debts,

Immediate reaction

1.  Expresses its condolences and deepest sympathy to the peoples and governments of the afflicted countries, as well as to all the families of victims in Southeast Asia, East Africa, Europe and elsewhere;

2.  Expresses its thanks to the people of the countries affected for the way they responded to the human disaster, despite their own personal suffering and loss, giving so much succour to European nationals affected by the disaster;

3.  Welcomes the generosity of all donors, both public and private, in responding to this crisis, reflecting a globalisation of solidarity, displayed particularly by members of the public;

4.  Expresses concern over the unknown number of victims in Burma; criticises Burma's military junta for sealing parts of the country's coastline and for its general refusal to cooperate with the international community, which will have a detrimental effect on its own victims of the tsunami;

5.  Calls on its Members to voluntarily donate the equivalent of one or more daily allowances to the victims of the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean;

The emergency response

6.  Stresses that the children orphaned by the disaster must be one of the key priorities for relief agencies, as they are at increasing risk of abduction as well as of physical and sexual abuse;

7.  Strongly believes that, to protect the orphans affected by the tsunami effectively, it is necessary to offer protection from any kind of exploitation and from clandestine international adoptions, as well as to safeguard their future prospects by providing a safe and healthy social environment; calls for the provision of psychosocial assistance – with a particular focus on helping children – to avoid post-traumatic stress;

8.  Calls on the international community to pay special attention to the situation of the 1.5 million children who, according to UNICEF's estimates, have been affected by the disaster; urges that relief be directed towards finding, identifying and reuniting children who have lost their families, ensuring that children are returned to school as soon as possible and, in the light of reports which suggest that child traffickers are emerging to take advantage of the disaster by selling the youngsters into forced labour or sexual slavery, directing the relief effort towards ensuring that children are protected from exploitation;

9.  Calls on Member States to facilitate admission into the EU of those orphans in the tsunami-stricken regions whose relatives are living in Member States;

10.  Calls on the governments of the countries affected by the disaster to facilitate the work of humanitarian organisations in distributing aid by making every possible effort to secure access to aid for all those in need, whatever their political beliefs, ethnicity or religion, and by minimising bureaucracy for aid agencies;

11.  Insists that all coordination of the global relief operation must be led by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), with full involvement and visibility of ECHO, and supported by all donors, and welcomes the EU's full support for the UN and its commitment to funding OCHA in the region;

12.  Calls on the UN Secretary-General to appoint UN humanitarian coordinators for each of the countries affected by the tsunami, with clear responsibilities to direct all other UN agencies responding to the crisis;

13.  Calls on Member States and the Commission, in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 3519 and its own resolution of 30 November 2000(1) , to ensure the full inclusion of women, both within the present tsunami-affected regions and at international level, in the coordination of the global relief operation;

14.  Emphasises that it is essential that the UN be allowed to fulfil its key role as coordinator of international aid efforts in the field and stresses that there must be no gap between the initial emergency aid phase and the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase that will follow; calls on the Member States, in conjunction with local governments and other players, to ensure that EU action is closely coordinated internally for the emergency relief as well as for the mid- and long-term action necessary for rebuilding the affected areas;

Financial response

15.  Welcomes the EU's rapid disbursement of the initial EUR 23 million, as well as the involvement of ECHO experts in the relief effort; further welcomes the mobilisation of the European Community Civil Protection Mechanism, which has been active since the tsunami occurred, as well as the supporting work of the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), which has coordinated this assistance;

16.  Welcomes the mobilisation of EUR 100 million from the emergency aid reserve; notes, moreover, the Commission's intention of providing for additional financial assistance of up to EUR 350 million for rehabilitation and reconstruction aid to help in the relief efforts following the Asian tsunami disaster; asks the Commission, however, to explore all possibilities within the scope of the 2005 budget and to provide for the necessary proposals once the assessments have been concluded; welcomes the statement in the Council Conclusions of 7 January 2005 to the effect that it is important to ensure that the resources released in connection with the recent events are additional to the commitments already made in the field of development; insists that the reconstruction process should be transparent in all respects, particularly the political, economic and financial ones;

17.  Takes the view that any substantial contribution by the EU to the reconstruction and development of tsunami-affected countries should not be offered to the detriment of assistance to other countries or regions; EU assistance will be financed taking into consideration the budgetary procedures and, if necessary, on the basis of all possibilities provided for in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure(2);

18.  Calls on the European Union, its Member States and the international community to deliver on pledges as a matter of urgency and within an agreed time span, given the experience from past catastrophes where many early generous pledges were made but only a fraction actually delivered upon;

19.  Welcomes the proposal for a EUR 1 billion "Indian Ocean tsunami lending facility" to be managed by the European Investment Bank, but demands that any funding respect sustainable social and environmental standards;

20.  Supports calls for consideration of debt suspension, debt cancellation, debt relief and debt swaps for the countries worst affected by the tsunami, strictly ring-fenced to reduce poverty and to rebuild affected communities; calls on the Council to support the setting-up of a Task Force, including the World Bank, the IMF, the Asian Development Bank and the Paris Club of creditors, in order to develop a debt relief plan by February;

21.  Welcomes the Commission Communication on a new partnership with South East Asia (COM(2003)0399), endorsed by the Council and Parliament; calls for a Commission proposal along the lines of the communication and taking into account the effects of the tsunami disaster;

Medium-term action

22.  Calls for the technology for a comprehensive and effective early warning system to be developed without delay and made available to the countries of the Indian Ocean, as well as those of other regions vulnerable to tsunami and other natural disasters;

23.  Calls also on the Council and Commission to see if the Galileo system can assist in the immediate setting-up of an early-warning system for the tsunami-stricken Southeast Asian and East African countries in the Indian Ocean, but also to promote the implementation of an appropriate system of alert for ACP and Mediterranean countries as well as for the EU coastline; notes that ACP countries have long been calling for a disaster facility, and urges the Commission to provide new and fresh money in order to set up such a facility and provide a comprehensive early-warning mechanism for these regions;

24.  Is aware that the long-term consequences of the devastation of the marine environment and resources will have a dramatic impact on local fishing communities; calls on the Council and the Commission to examine ways in which tangible aid, in the form of vessels, gear, technical expertise and raw materials, can be directed towards the affected communities;

25.  Underlines the importance of the request by the affected governments to simplify the application procedures for aid, notably EU aid, in order to make it directly accessible to the local people in need, and calls on the Commission to report back to Parliament on its efforts to meet this request;

Long-term needs

26.  Stresses that rebuilding the affected areas must focus on improving the situation of the surviving inhabitants by aiming to reduce poverty as well as future vulnerability to tsunami; insists that all funds given for reconstruction must be subject to full transparency and accountability before their disbursement; calls on the governments concerned to develop National Reconstruction Plans which include mechanisms for a broad spectrum of civil society to participate in their design and implementation;

27.  Hopes that, in the rehabilitation phase, past reconstruction mistakes can be avoided through better coastal zone management policies which leave the coastal environment in a more natural state and make those areas less vulnerable to future disasters;

28.  Calls for the international community, led by the UN, to develop an effective and coordinated plan for action in the event of future disasters, so that such responses are not ad hoc and a coordinated response can be better achieved in the future;

29.  Welcomes the rapid response to the disaster by Member States, some even mobilising military logistics; strongly encourages the EU to make available a joint military facility for airlift and infrastructure repair and communications, where such facilities are still needed to assist the most difficult-to-access communities in the tsunami-hit countries; calls, therefore, on the Council to develop EU military capabilities which also have the aim of providing an appropriate and effective response to other future humanitarian and natural disasters;

30.  Insists that the Council support the creation of a pool of specialised civilian civil protection units, with appropriate equipment, which should undertake joint training and be available in the event of natural, humanitarian or environmental disasters, or those associated with industrial risks, within the Union or in the rest of the world;

31.  Stresses that 1.2 billion people worldwide live in poverty, with almost 1 billion people malnourished, including over 150 million children under five; underlines, therefore, the need for Member States and all donor nations in the global community to fulfil the agreed target of giving 0.7% of GDP in overseas development assistance, as agreed in Monterrey;

Sri Lanka and Indonesia

32.  Calls on the European Union and the international community to promote the peace processes in Indonesia and Sri Lanka alongside the provision of long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation aid to those countries;

33.  Calls on the parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka to recommence the peace process at the earliest possible time, and urges them to take into account the manifest good will and support shown by all the communities in Sri Lanka towards each other, and the support of the international community for the rehabilitation and recovery of Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, which affected all the citizens of the country; calls on both parties to consider the creation of a joint task force in order to guarantee a just distribution of aid in the country;

34.  Insists that the EU, with the support of Norway, must build upon the good will shown, and proceed to augment the peace process as defined in the Oslo talks of December 2002 with commensurate development and rehabilitation assistance;

35.  Welcomes the fact that for the first time in 18 months the Indonesian Government has rapidly opened up the Aceh province to international relief agencies and journalists, and that the rebel movement has declared a unilateral cease-fire; is deeply concerned, however, by reports of renewed military raids against rebels in the Aceh province; calls on all the parties to refrain from any action that obstructs or delays access and assistance to the communities and citizens in need;

36.  Calls on the EU's banks and financial institutions to create a code of conduct for banking commissions with respect to private individuals' donations to NGOs and aid organisations, especially in the period immediately following a natural or humanitarian disaster;

Final point

37.  Calls on the Council to report to Parliament in six months" time on the success of EU relief efforts in the region;

o   o

38.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the heads of state and parliaments of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, the Maldives, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Burma/Myanmar, Mauritius, Kenya, Somalia and the Seychelles, the UN Secretary-General and the Head of OCHA.

(1) OJ C 228, 13.8.2001, p. 22.
(2) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.

Transatlantic relations
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European Parliament resolution on transatlantic relations

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Transatlantic Declaration on EU-US relations of 1990 and the New Transatlantic Agenda of 1995,

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 April 2004 on the state of the Transatlantic Partnership on the eve of the EU-US Summit in Dublin on 25-26 June 2004(1),

–   having regard to the results of the EU-US Summit held on 25-26 June 2004 in Dublin,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas relations between the civil societies of Europe and of the United States are based on strong roots and common values, such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, sustainable economies and sustainable development,

B.   whereas stressing that the fight against terrorism can be successful only if the action is carried out through a strengthened transatlantic partnership which coherently upholds the founding values upon which it has been built,

C.   whereas the new situation in the Middle East provides a window of opportunity for a common initiative in the region aimed at reaching a final and comprehensive settlement,

D.   whereas the long-lasting situation in Guantanamo Bay is creating tensions in transatlantic relations, since the EU cannot accept these legal and judicial irregularities, which undermine the most fundamental values of the rule of law,

E.   whereas the EU-US Summit in Dublin led to some moderate progress to give impetus to the strengthening of economic partnership, for example by means of steps to promote progress in the area of financial markets and negotiations for a Transatlantic Aviation Agreement; and whereas the summit, in joint statements, addressed the situation in the broader Middle East as well as aspects of the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,

F.   whereas the New Transatlantic Agenda of December 1995 needs to be revised urgently to take account of current realities,

1.  Hopes that the second term-in-office of President Bush and the new administration will lead to a fresh start in EU-US transatlantic relations; declares the willingness of the European Union, and specifically the European Parliament, to cooperate and work together to solve global problems which require global efforts and a common approach; in this respect, welcomes the visit by President Bush to the European institutions in February 2005;

2.  Welcomes the progress achieved at the last EU-US summit on 26 June 2004 in Ireland in strengthening the Transatlantic Partnership; considers the readiness to take joint actions in a wide range of fields as a good indicator for the future of the partnership, reflecting the realisation that working together is better than going in different directions;

3.  Is aware that in several policy areas, such as those relating to the International Criminal Court and the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol, differences in analysis, diagnosis and policy approach exist between the EU and the US; is concerned about the potentially dangerous impact of the growing US federal budget deficit on the global economy and the balance of international currency markets; calls for a further debate on these policy areas where positions between the EU and the US remain strongly divided and hopes that the new administration will make a real effort to build on the partnership between the EU and the US;

4.  Calls on the US to assume its shared responsibility for economic stability in an increasingly interdependent world;

5.  Proposes the building of a transatlantic "community of action" for regional and global cooperation and challenges, focusing in particular on the following three joint actions:

   a) the development of a peace initiative in the Middle East in agreement with the governments and peoples of the region, with the aim of contributing to a solution to the existing conflicts, including encouraging democracy in Palestine, Iran and Iraq;
  b) the search for global security, which should be tackled with the following priorities in mind:
   - the fight against international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the revival of negotiated arms control and disarmament at multilateral level, within the UN system, and at bilateral level;
   - the need to address the sources of terrorism through, for example, coordination in the area of development assistance and support for emerging democratic processes on the basis of full respect for human rights and international law; calls on both partners to actively engage in a reform of the UN, and in particular its Security Council, including its composition, in order to make it more effective and accountable and increase its capacity to implement its decisions;
   - the need for an effective response - on the shared basis of the Millennium Development Goals - to new global challenges which cut across national boundaries, notably poverty reduction, communicable diseases and degradation of the environment, in particular by promoting dialogues on climate protection and transport emissions; believes, in this regard, that the tsunami disaster provides the opportunity for joint, concerted assistance and relief action for the countries affected in support of the UN, action which must be followed by a long-term programme of rehabilitation and reconstruction aimed at the sustainable development of the region;
   c) a new impetus for the strengthening of the economic partnership, by focusing on specific ideas to further transatlantic economic integration to the fullest, working towards a comprehensive Transatlantic Aviation Agreement and accelerating the Financial Market Regulatory Dialogue to promote a vibrant and open transatlantic capital market;

6.  Considers that the above-mentioned initiatives should lead, by December 2005, to agreement between the transatlantic partners to update the 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda, replacing it with a "Transatlantic Partnership Agreement", to be implemented from 2007;

7.  Considers that the Transatlantic Legislators" Dialogue should be fully activated, that an early warning system should immediately be put in place between the two sides, and that the existing interparliamentary exchange should be gradually transformed into a de facto "Transatlantic Assembly";

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States and the President and Congress of the United States of America.

(1) Texts Adopted, P5_TA(2004)0375.

Debt relief for developing countries
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European Parliament resolution on debt relief for developing countries

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the meeting of 17 to 21 November 2004 of the "Paris Club", a group of 19 creditor nations, including 12 Member States,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions of 25 April 2002 on HIPC debt alleviation(1) and 18 May 2000 on the external debt of poor countries(2),

–   having regard to the Millennium Development Goals signed up to by all members of the UN in 2000,

–   having regard to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) initiative adopted in October 2001 in Abuja (Nigeria) and subsequently recognised by the African Union as forming part of its socio-economic development programme,

–   having regard to the action plan adopted by the G8 group of industrialised countries in Kananaskis on 27 June 2002 and the conclusions reached by the G8 Presidency in Evian on 3 June 2003,

–   having regard to Resolution 2001/27 of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the effects of structural adjustment policies and foreign debt on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights,

–   having regard to the Jubilee 2000 petition, signed by 24 million people, calling for the debt of developing countries to be cancelled,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the majority of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) are located in sub-Saharan Africa,

B.   having regard to Africa's debt burden, estimated at about USD 230 billion, and whereas, according to estimates, low-income African countries pay out about USD 39 billion per year to service their debt,

C.   whereas cancellation of debt would release funds for other purposes, with the freed-up money forming part of the government budget and therefore becoming available to alleviate poverty directly,

D.   whereas debt relief is one of the targets of Millennium Development Goal 8, which aims specifically to deal comprehensively with developing countries" debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term,

E.   whereas debt relief alone is not a panacea, and does not, in itself, create resources, reduce poverty or promote development; whereas the future of developing countries depends primarily upon good governance and investment in their own people,

F.   whereas in 1996 the World Bank, the IMF, the G7 and the Paris Club took the initiative to relieve the debts of HIPCs,

G.   whereas according to the 2002 UNCTAD report, and after two decades of structural adjustment programmes, poverty is continuing to increase,

H.   whereas the Paris Club agreed on 21 November 2004 to cut Iraq's public debt by 80% in order to aid reconstruction of the country, and whereas the debt will be reduced in three stages – 30% immediately, another 30% in 2005 and 20% in 2008,

I.   whereas the tragic tsunami in Asia have prompted several calls for affected nations to have their debt suspended in order to help the reconstruction and rehabilitation process,

1.  Notes the cutting of Iraq's debt by 80%; stresses, however, that all creditors, and especially international institutions and national governments, must agree to phase out the debt of the developing world, giving least developed countries (LDCs) priority;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the lead, in multilateral and bilateral fora, in phasing out the external debt of developing countries; also asks that they actively pursue the objective of giving 0.7% of GDP as Overseas Development Assistance in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals;

3.  Welcomes the calls to suspend the debt of the countries affected by the tsunami; calls, however, for debt relief for other poor countries, as international solidarity should not depend on tragic events;

4.  Stresses that debt relief should prioritise LDCs and only be undertaken on the condition that money gained by governments from such relief be channelled towards helping the poorest in their communities;

5.  Considers that the public-debt relief process should be speeded up and extended in countries whose governments respect human rights and the principles of good governance and give priority to poverty eradication;

6.  Stresses that previous initiatives, including the enhanced HIPC initiative, are still inadequate in the current context of economic globalisation, and emphasises that any such initiatives must be seen as a step towards the phasing out of all debts;

7.  Highlights the need, in this context, to adapt the current HIPC initiative to meet the requirements of eligible countries which have not yet reached the decision point due to extreme political instability, and to provide more flexibility in other respects as well, such as the duration of the "track record period", the content of both "track record" and interim poverty reduction strategy papers, and the allocation of debt relief during the interim period;

8.  Welcomes, in this context, the postponement of the deadline imposed by the HIPC initiative's sunset clause to the end of 2006, which provides an opportunity for some eligible post-conflict countries to build the necessary track record to enter the initiative; calls for additional debt relief focused on reconciliation and infrastructure rehabilitation for these countries, in order to reduce the likelihood of further conflicts;

9.  Considers that any additional funds obtained by governments through debt relief should be allocated to social projects by means of plans agreed with donors and civil society, so as to increase social expenditure in areas such as basic education, primary health care and HIV/AIDS;

10.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure – through effective coordination within the G8 group, the World Bank and the IMF – that no country genuinely committed to poverty reduction, good governance and economic reform is denied the chance to achieve the Millennium Development Goals through lack of finance;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the ACP-EU Council, the African Union, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ C 131 E, 5.6.2003, p. 167.
(2) OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 239.

Results of Ukraine elections
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European Parliament resolution on the results of the Ukraine elections

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 November 2003(1) on "Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours",

–   having regard to its resolutions on the previous rounds of the presidential elections in Ukraine adopted on 28 October 2004(2) and 2 December 2004(3),

–   having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, and Ukraine(4), which entered into force on 1 March 1998,

–   having regard to European Council Common Strategy 1999/877/CFSP on Ukraine(5), adopted by the European Council in Helsinki on 11 December 1999,

–   having regard to the Final Statement and Recommendations of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee of 16-17 February 2004,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 12 May 2004 on the European Neighbourhood Policy (COM(2004)0373),

–   having regard to the Joint Statement of the European Union-Ukraine Summit of 8 July 2004 in The Hague,

–   having regard to the statements and the preliminary findings and conclusions of the international election observer mission in Ukraine on all rounds of the presidential election,

–   having regard to the decision of the Ukraine Supreme Court to hold a re-run of the second round of the presidential election on 26 December 2004 and the announcement on the final results of the presidential elections in Ukraine by the Central Election Commission,

–   having regard to the decisions of the Ukraine Supreme Court on the validity of the repeat of the runoff presidential elections on 26 December 2004,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 17 December 2004,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the European Neighbourhood Policy recognises Ukraine's European aspirations and the importance of Ukraine as a country with strong historical, cultural and economic links to the Member States of the EU, and whereas a genuine and balanced partnership can only be developed on the basis of shared values with regard, in particular, to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human and civil rights,

B.   whereas the situation concerning the first two rounds of these elections has led to a serious political crisis in Ukraine and even to threats to break up the unity of the country,

C.   whereas the European Union and its Member States have acted promptly by sending mediators and whereas the leading role of the European Union, in particular the European Parliament, has been instrumental in defusing tension and bringing about an end to the electoral and political crisis,

D.   whereas the constitutional reform and the ensuing compromise reached on 8 December 2004 between Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and the opposition led by Viktor Yushchenko ended the threat of an escalation of the tense situation in Ukraine, allowed the settlement of the political crisis and smoothed the way for a free, fair and transparent rerun of the second round of the presidential elections on 26 December 2004,

E.   whereas more than 300 000 Ukrainians and more than 12 000 foreign observers were present as monitors at the polling sites to watch the election process as part of the International Election Observation Mission led by the OSCE,

F.   whereas, according to the election observers and the head of the Ukraine's Central Election Commission, no major problems were reported, only minor infringements that did not affect the validity and overall outcome of the elections,

G.   whereas the Ukraine Supreme Court rejected all legal challenges lodged by defeated former Prime Minister Yanukovich aimed at invalidating the 26 December 2004 vote,

H.   whereas on 10 January 2005 the Central Election Commission announced the final result, which gave Mr Yushchenko 52% of the votes as against 44% for Mr Yanukovich,

I.   whereas Ukrainian society has strongly manifested its commitment to democracy, the rule of law and other values which are at the basis of the European Union,

J.   whereas Ukraine has clearly confirmed its desire to be part of Europe and its willingness to be integrated with the European Union on the basis of the EU's fundamental principles and criteria,

K.   whereas a broad consensus between the political forces has been reached and the internal political crisis resolved with full respect for democratic principles,

1.  Welcomes the substantially fair elections held on 26 December 2004 and expresses satisfaction that the right of the Ukrainian people to freely elect their President has been recognised and implemented, representing a victory for democratic values, institutions and procedures in Ukraine;

2.  Stresses again the role of the mediators in bringing about this successful conclusion of the Ukrainian crisis, including the EU High Representative for CFSP, the Presidents of Poland and Lithuania, and the missions of the European Parliament;

3.  Welcomes the findings of the OSCE/ODIHR International Election Observation Mission, which indicate that the rerun of the second round of the presidential elections brought Ukraine "substantially closer to meeting international standards", and congratulates the Ukrainian people, who in a non-violent and mature way through their institutions and according to their laws succeeded in resolving a political crisis and setting their country firmly on the path towards democracy and the assumption of its rightful place in the European community of democratic nations;

4.  Congratulates Viktor Yushchenko on his election victory in the presidential run-off on 26 December 2004, and calls on all sides to accept the election results; congratulates, also, the Ukrainian people and authorities for the civic and democratic spirit demonstrated throughout the December 2004 crisis;

5.  Calls for a speedy and efficient transfer of power, and calls on the President elect rapidly to form a new administration to end the political stalemate;

6.  Calls upon the new Ukrainian political leadership to consolidate Ukraine's espousal of common European values and objectives by taking further steps to promote democracy, civil society and the rule of law, by resuming the liberal market reforms and by overcoming the political divisions in Ukraine;

7.  Calls on the newly elected authorities to engage in particular in the further development of democratic institutions, assuring civil liberties as well as providing a framework for the existence and proper functioning of a democratic opposition;

8.  Is concerned about the deep divisions within Ukraine and the splits along cultural and regional lines affecting the unity of the country, which were exacerbated by the political stand-off between the candidates, and calls on all political leaders, including former opponents, to make efforts to heal those rifts and reform the country; considers continuing threats of separatism in Ukraine to be unacceptable and expresses its commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine; calls on the international community to support these aspirations;

9.  Pledges its continuing support, assistance and commitment to the Ukrainian people's establishment of a free and open democratic system, their creation of a prosperous market economy and their country's assumption of its rightful place in the community of democratic nations;

10.  Recalls the democratic spirit of the Ukrainian people demonstrated during the political crisis of December 2004; calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to take the expectations and hopes that have been raised by the European Union's close involvement in the resolution of this crisis into account in their future approach towards Ukraine;

11.  Welcomes the Council's intention to organise an early EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council with a view to the swift adoption of the EU-Ukraine Action Plan; calls on the the Council and the Commission to engage in the rapid implementation of this plan and to include new measures aimed at strengthening the role of civil society;

12.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to consider at the same time a revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan, which must take account of the new situation, thus giving the new Ukrainian Government the opportunity to renegotiate the Plan in the light of its deep aspirations for European integration; calls on the Council and the Commission to include additional offers such as the organisation of a donors" conference for Ukraine equivalent to the donors" conference for Georgia of 16-17 June 2004; calls on the Council and Commission also to consider visa facilitation for Ukraine, prompt recognition of its market-economy status and support for its joining the World Trade Organisation in order to further upgrade the relationship and to meet the expectations and hopes raised by the European Union's close involvement in the peaceful Orange Revolution;

13.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to support independent media institutions, as well as a legal framework in which independent media can thrive;

14.  Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to consider, besides the measures of the Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, other forms of association with Ukraine, giving a clear European perspective for the country and responding to the demonstrated aspirations of the vast majority of the Ukrainian people, possibly leading ultimately to the country's accession to the EU;

15.  Calls on the Council, the Commission, and the Member States to support economic and administrative reforms in Ukraine through the relevant programmes and projects, including a substantial increase in financial assistance;

16.  Recalls in this context the provisions of Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, which state that EU membership is an option for all European countries that satisfy the relevant conditions and obligations; looks forward to a sustained transition process in Ukraine that would bring the country towards this objective, and commits itself to assisting and supporting Ukraine in this process;

17.  Believes that the crisis which arose in Ukraine represents a test case for the EU in its efforts to promote democracy, human rights and respect for the rule of law in all neighbouring countries; underlines the importance of good neighbourly relations with all its neighbours;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Parliament and Government of Ukraine, the Parliamentary Assemblies of NATO and the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ C 87 E, 7.4.2004,p. 506.
(2) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2004)0046.
(3) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2004)0074.
(4) OJ L 49, 19.2.1998, p. 3.
(5) OJ L 331, 23.12.1999, p.1. Common Strategy as amended by Common Strategy 2003/897/CFSP of the European Council of 12 December 2003 (OJ L 333, 20.12.2003, p. 96).

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche - Tibet
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European Parliament resolution on Tibet

The European Parliament,

–   recalling its earlier resolutions on Tibet and the human rights situation in China,

–   having regard to its resolution of 18 November 2004(1) on Tibet, the case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche,

–   having regard to the human rights dialogue between the EU and China,

–   having regard to religious freedom in China and in particular the case of Julius Jia Zhiguo, bishop of the northern Chinese province of Hebei,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas on 2 December 2002 the Kardze Intermediate People's Court in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province sentenced Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, an influential and respected Buddhist lama, to death with a two-year suspension and his attendant, Lobsang Dhondup, to death without suspension,

B.   whereas the involvement of Tenzin Delek and Lobsang Dhondup in a series of bombings or in incitement to separatism has not been proven,

C.   whereas 26 January marks the date on which Lobsang Dhondup was executed in 2003,

D.   whereas the period of suspension of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's execution will expire on 26 January 2005,

E.   whereas under Chinese law the death sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment if the accused does not break the law again during the two-year suspension period,

F.   whereas, at the request of the then European Council, the Council is currently re-examining the embargo on arms sales to China which was decided and implemented in 1989,

G.   whereas the Chinese Government recently received representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,

1.  Reiterates its support for the rule of law and urges the Chinese government immediately to commute the death sentence handed down to Tenzin Delek Rinpoche;

2.  Affirms its call for the abolition of the death penalty and an immediate moratorium on capital punishment in China;

3.  Welcomes the statement by the Chinese authorities according to which anyone who is sentenced to death with a suspension of execution and commits no crime of intent during the period of suspension shall have their punishment commuted to life imprisonment on the expiration of the two-year period; calls on the Chinese judicial authorities to put this statement into practice through an official ruling;

4.  Calls once more on the Government of the People's Republic of China to stop its continued violation of the human rights of the Tibetan people and other minorities and to ensure that it respects international standards of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as religious rights;

5.  Calls on the Council and the Member States to maintain the EU embargo on trade in arms with the People's Republic of China and not to weaken the existing national limitations on such arms sales; considers that this embargo should be maintained until such time as the EU has adopted a legally binding Code of Conduct on Arms Exports and the People's Republic of China has taken concrete steps towards improving the human rights situation, inter alia by ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and by fully respecting the rights of minorities;

6.  Calls on the Government of the People's Republic of China to step up the ongoing dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama so as to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibet issue without further delay;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General, the Chinese Government, the Governor of Sichuan Province, and the Chief Prosecutor of the Sichuan Provincial People's Procuratorate.

(1) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2004)0067.

Torture in Iran
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European Parliament resolution on Iran

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran,

–   having regard to the EU-Iran human rights dialogue, and in particular the fourth round which took place on 14-15 June 2004 in Tehran, at which the government of Iran expressed its commitment to strengthening respect for human rights and the rule of law,

–   having regard to the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a State Party,

–   having regard to the recommendation by the head of the judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to judges in December 2002 that they choose alternative punishment in cases where the sentence of stoning would otherwise be imposed, and to his announcement in April 2004 of the ban on torture and the subsequent passage of related legislation by the Iranian Parliament, which was approved by the Guardian Council in May 2004,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the European Council of 16-17 December 2004,

–   having regard to its decision of 10 March 2004(1) to set up an interparliamentary delegation for relations with Iran,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas reports are multiplying of executions being carried out or death sentences being imposed with apparent disrespect for internationally recognised safeguards, including sentences against juvenile offenders, pregnant women and mentally handicapped persons,

B.  B whereas the UN General Assembly Resolution of 20 December 2004 refers to the worsening situation with regard to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of the media, especially the increased persecution for the peaceful expression of political views, including arbitrary arrest and detention without charge or trial,

C.  C whereas reports speak of arbitrary arrests of journalists, cyberjournalists and webloggers, the blocking of online publications and the threatening of those journalists who report on torture with lengthy prison sentences by the Iranian judiciary, thus cracking down on the Iranian public's only remaining means of access to uncensored information,

D.  D whereas the UN Special Rapporteur Ambeyi Ligabo found that the Iranian press law and penal code do not conform to the permissible restrictions listed in Article 19(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

E.  E whereas Iran is still not a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and its parliament recently rejected draft legislation on gender equality,

F.   whereas the Council, on 13-14 December 2004, gave its support to a negotiating process for a long-term EU-Iran arrangement, after having taken note of the International Atomic Energy Agency's confirmation of full suspension of all nuclear enrichment-related and reprocessing activities by Iran and with the aim of resuming negotiations on a trade and cooperation agreement and the provision of objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes;

1.  Reiterates its general opposition to the death penalty, and in particular strongly condemns the death sentences against and/or the execution of juvenile offenders, pregnant women and mentally handicapped persons;

2.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to give evidence that they are implementing their declared moratorium on stoning, and demands the immediate implementation of the ban on torture as announced, passed by the Iranian Parliament and approved by the Guardian Council;

3.  Condemns the campaign by the judiciary against journalists, cyberjournalists and webloggers leading to the closure of publications, imprisonment, and, according to reports, widespread torture and forced false confessions, and calls on the authorities to release all those detained, prosecuted or sentenced for non-violent press- and opinion-related offences;

4.  4 Calls on the Iranian Parliament to adapt the Iranian press law and penal code in the light of Iran's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and, notably, to repeal all criminal law provisions concerning the peaceful expression of opinion, including in the press;

5.  Calls upon the authorities to respect internationally recognised legal safeguards, inter alia with regard to persons belonging to religious minorities, officially recognised or otherwise;

6.  Welcomes the stay of execution concerning Hajieh Esmailvand, and reports that Leyla Moafi's case has been referred to forensic psychiatrists 'to examine her mental condition'; insists, however, that their alleged 'crimes' are not internationally recognisable criminal offences and that their prosecution does not comply with international human rights standards;

7.  Insists that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of 'privacy' and calls for the immediate release of all persons held for such activity;

8.  Welcomes and supports the EU-Iran negotiating process on nuclear issues, also as an occasion to promote progress in the EU-Iran political and human rights dialogues and EU-Iran economic and trade relations, and supports the Council in expecting action by Iran to address also other concerns of the EU, such as ending its support for terrorist organisations, improving respect for human rights and altering its approach to the Middle East peace process;

9.  Asks its Committees on Foreign Affairs and Civil Liberties to examine the way in which Parliament may become involved in the process of regular updating of the Council Common Position No. 2001/931/CFSP of 27 December 2001 on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism(2), taking into account developments from 2001 onwards,

10.  Hopes that the setting-up of its interparliamentary delegation for relations with Iran will enable it to engage in productive discussions with the Iranian Parliament and also with Iranian civil society;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the CFSP High Representative, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

(1) P5_TA(2004)0166
(2) OJ L 344, 28.12.2001, p. 93.

Trafficking of women and children in Cambodia
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European Parliament resolution on trafficking of women and children in Cambodia

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia, and in particular those of 13 March 2003(1) and 12 February 2004(2),

–   having regard to the cooperation agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Cambodia(3), which entered in force on 1 November 1999,

–   having regard to the 2000-2003 EC-Cambodia Strategy Document and the 2005-2006 National Indicative Programme,

–   having regard to the statement made by the Local Presidency of the European Union on behalf of the EU Heads of Missions in Phnom Penh on the attack on a shelter for victims of human trafficking operated by the Association 'Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire' (AFESIP),

–   having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, ratified by Cambodia and by all EU Member States,

–   having regard to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, and the UN Convention against Organised Crime,

–   having regard to the EU guidelines on the protection of human rights activists approved by the European Council in July 2004,

–   having regard to the agreement between UN and Cambodia on a budget for a special Cambodia war crimes tribunal,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   having regard to the attack on the Srey Khan Center of the AFESIP Association where 91 women and young girls were staying, 83 of whom had been freed the day before by officials working for the Department for Trafficking in Human Beings and Juvenile Protection from a hotel where prostitution was being practised,

B.   whereas the fate of these 91 women and girls is unknown,

C.   whereas eight people were arrested during the police operation and freed the following day,

D.   having regard to the death threats received by Somaly Mam, an activist working for children forced into prostitution and for whom the Cambodian government cannot guarantee protection,

E.   whereas trafficking in humans beings and sexual exploitation are a form of modern day slavery and constitute flagrant violations of fundamental human rights carried out by organised criminal networks operating across international borders; whereas this is a lucrative business for the traffickers,

F.   whereas trafficking in human beings is increasing because of poverty, unemployment, the vulnerability of women and children, deteriorating social conditions in the countries of origin, the high profits and low risks experienced by traffickers, and the demand for women and children for purposes of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation,

G.   whereas efforts still need to be made in the fight against organised crime and trafficking in human beings,

H.   whereas during the 7th Consultative Group (CG) meeting on Cambodia of 6 and 7 December 2004 participants agreed on a series of common indicators, including enacting domestic violence and anti-trafficking laws, to help the government of Cambodia and development partners alike to monitor performance in the coming year,

I.   considering the creation of an Interministerial Committee by the government of Cambodia which will investigate the attack on the AFESIP centre,

1.  Denounces the sexual exploitation of minors as a crime 'erga omnes' and an attack on the fundamental rights of children which must be fought at all levels;

2.  Stresses its preoccupation with child prostitution in Cambodia and with the trafficking in human beings both to and from Cambodia, with the objective of using them for forced labour, prostitution and begging and in illegal adoptions;

3.  Recalls the principles of the Charter of Human Rights and especially the rights of girls, in the case of sexual exploitation of minors in Asia and in the rest of the world;

4.  Condemns the attack of 8 December 2004 on the AFESIP shelter for victims of human trafficking in Phnom Penh and the abduction of 91 women and girls, some of them minors;

5.  Condemns the sex tourism industry in Cambodia and the other countries where it occurs, and requests that EU Member States enact and apply the necessary legislation needed to bring to justice all those involved in sex tourism with minors;

6.  Insists that the Commission takes into account the rights of children and women who are victims of trafficking in the programming of its human rights policy, within the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights;

7.  Requests that the Commission supports human rights organisations in Cambodia, especially those dedicated to the protection of victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation;

8.  Welcomes the decision of the Government of Cambodia to establish an interministerial committee including representatives of the foreign missions and national and international non-governmental organisations, as observers to witness, further investigate and personally interview the women concerned;

9.  Is confident of a positive and fair result from the Interministerial Committee which has just been set up, and recognises that the Cambodian authorities have made efforts to combat trafficking in women and children; underlines, however, the need to increase the number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers so to put an end to trafficking in women and child prostitution;

10.  Calls on the Cambodian authorities to guarantee the safety of child protection organisations and their workers, especially for those organisations working to help trafficking and sexual exploitation victims;

11.  Calls on the Cambodian authorities to guarantee the safety of Somaly Mam, whose life is in danger;

12.  Calls on the Government of Cambodia to ratify the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, and the UN Convention against Organised Crime;

13.  Calls on the EU Member States to act together in the fight against organised crime and trafficking in human beings, especially trafficking in minors;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Cambodia, and the Governments of the ASEAN Member States.

(1) OJ C 61 E, 10.3.2004, p. 417.
(2) P5_TA(2004)0101.
(3) OJ L 269, 19.10.1999, p.18.

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