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Wednesday, 2 April 2014 - Brussels
69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

European Parliament recommendation to the Council of 2 April 2014 on the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (2014/2017(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular Articles 21 and 34 thereof,

–  having regard to the proposal for a recommendation to the Council on the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, on behalf of the ALDE Group (B7‑0014/2014),

–  having regard to the 68th Session of the UNGA,

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 11 June 2013 on the 68th Session of the UNGA(1),

–  having regard to the EU’s priorities for the 68th Session of the UNGA, as adopted by the Council on 24 June 2013(2),

–  having regard to the UNGA resolution of 3 May 2011 on the participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations(3), and to the European Parliament resolution of 11 May 2011 on ‘the EU as a global actor: its role in multilateral organisations’(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2010 on the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on ‘Women, Peace and Security’(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 July 2011 on ‘EU external policies in favour of democratisation’(6),

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2106 of 24 June 2013, on ‘increasing the efforts against impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence’ and the previous resolutions on this topic(7),

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 18 April 2013 on ‘the UN principle of the Responsibility to Protect’(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 October 2013 on ‘corruption in the public and private sectors: the impact on human rights in third countries’(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 February 2013 on the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council(10),

–  having regard to Rules 121(3) and 97 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Development (A7-0250/2014),

A.  whereas the commitment to effective multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core, is an intrinsic element of the EU’s external policy, grounded in the belief that an effective multilateral system is required in order to reach common goals and address global crises, challenges and threats;

B.  whereas together the EU and its Member States are the single largest financial contributor to the UN system (regular budget, programmes and UN funds, and peacekeeping budget);

C.  whereas a solid and stable EU-UN partnership is fundamental to the work of the UN under all three pillars – peace and security, human rights and development – and is also key to the EU’s role as a global actor;

D.  whereas human rights and democracy are founding values of the EU and principles and objectives of European external action; whereas respect for, and the promotion and safeguarding of, the universality and indivisibility of human rights are cornerstones of European unity and integrity;

E.  whereas current emission trajectories are likely to lead to a 2 °C warming within 20 to 30 years and a 4 °C warming by 2100, according to the World Bank report ‘Turn Down the Heat’; whereas UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited Heads of State to the Climate Summit in September 2014 with a view to making clear commitments to further action on climate change;

F.  whereas, as the world’s leading donor, the EU supports both intensified efforts to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline and a joint approach targeting poverty eradication and sustainable development;

G.  whereas the priority theme of the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls;

H.  whereas corruption in the public and private sectors perpetrates and aggravates inequalities and discrimination when it comes to equal enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and it is proven that acts of corruption and human rights violations involve the misuse of power, a lack of accountability and various forms of discrimination;

I.  whereas the development of the principle of Responsibility to Protect is an important step towards anticipating, preventing and responding to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; whereas this principle should be applied as consistently and uniformly as possible;

J.  whereas the ratification of both Kampala amendments by States and the granting of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression to the International Criminal Court will further contribute to ending impunity for the perpetrators of this crime;

K.  whereas in situations where Responsibility to Protect is applied, it is of the utmost importance to maintain the distinction of mandates between military and humanitarian actors, in order to safeguard the perception of the neutrality and impartiality of all humanitarian actors and avoid putting at risk the effective delivery of aid and assistance;

1.  Addresses the following recommendations to the Council:


Human rights, democracy and the rule of law

   (a) to actively promote the specific follow-up and implementation of the declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law at National and International Levels of 24 September 2012, and explore to what extent the Rule of Law can be linked to the ongoing reflections on the post-2015 MDGs;
   (b) to strengthen international efforts aimed at ensuring that all human rights agreed under UN conventions are considered universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and that their respect is being enforced; to promote the mainstreaming of human rights and basic freedoms in all aspects of the UN’s work;
   (c) to seek to strengthen the process of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by embedding recommendations in bilateral and multilateral dialogues with UN members, particularly human rights dialogues; to foster an environment enabling NGOs to provide their input into the various stages of the UPR process;
   (d) to promote the extensive contribution of civil society to the different UN human rights mechanisms, including to the various stages of the Universal Periodic Review process; with a view to counter-pressure or even reprisals, and while closely monitoring such potential cases regarding NGOs and civil society, to provide support for capacity building for human rights institutions;
   (e) to reiterate its full support for the International Criminal Court, and remain vigilant regarding any attempts to undermine the legitimacy, universality and integrity of the Rome Statute system; to actively engage States not yet party to this system with a view to swift signature and ratification; to campaign for the ratification of the 2010 Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression, including by all Member States;
   (f) to actively campaign for the ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime by all UN members; to step up efforts to conclude the negotiations on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism; to support the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on financial crime, corruption and human rights;
   (g) to call on the members of UNGA to make full transparency of corporate reporting and the combating of corruption, money laundering, tax havens, illicit financial flows and harmful tax structures an overriding priority in the agendas of international finance and development institutions;
   (h) to stress that development gains will not be sustainable without good governance and accountable and democratic institutions and the rule of law; to ensure, therefore, that a clear commitment to democratic governance is reflected in the new framework;
   (i) to promote the prevention of atrocities and other grave violations by transforming the UNHRC into an early warning and preventive mechanism, rather than a purely reactive body to prevent further escalation of human rights violations;
   (j) to introduce theme-specific initiatives, promoting accountability for human rights violations and taking relevant actions targeting key human rights concerns, including efforts towards the abolition of the death penalty and the protection of the rights of people in vulnerable situations, such as children, women, LGBTI persons or indigenous peoples;
   (k) to condemn the systematic human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran;


   (l) to reiterate the importance of fighting against torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the priority that the EU places on this issue, especially with regard to children; to renew the Special Rapporteur’s mandate for another three years, and to ensure effective follow-up of past resolutions on torture; to demonstrate a common commitment to eradicating torture and supporting victims, notably by continuing or, where applicable, starting to contribute to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and the Special Fund established by the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture;

Death penalty

   (m) to continue fighting against the use of the death penalty and to strongly support the moratorium as a step towards abolition; to continue to push for abolition worldwide; to strongly urge countries still carrying out capital punishment to publish clear and accurate figures on the number of sentences and executions;

LGBTI rights

   (n) to express concern about the recent increase in discriminatory laws and practices, and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity; to encourage close monitoring of the situation in Nigeria and Uganda, where new laws seriously threaten the freedom of sexual minorities; to reaffirm its support for the continuing work by the High Commissioner on Human Rights to combat these discriminatory laws and practices, and the work of the UN more generally on this issue; to recommend active participation in combatting the attempts to undermine these rights;

Armed drones

   (o) to support international efforts to promote greater transparency and accountability in the use of armed drones in line with the established international legal framework, and to continue supporting investigations into targeted killings; to carry on assisting inquiries into targeted killings and to follow up on the recommendations by the UN Special Rapporteurs on Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions and Countering Terrorism;

Peace and security

   (p) with a view to equipping the UN with more efficient de-escalation tools, to support peace enforcement and peacekeeping missions by providing, where necessary, increased EU support (technical, financial, equipment or EU forces);
   (q) to ensure that peacekeeping mandates reflect long-term needs for state and institution building and democracy support, thereby focusing on a comprehensive approach in order to target the roots of conflict and state fragility;
   (r) to cooperate in strengthening the role and capacity of regional organisations in peacekeeping, conflict prevention, civilian and military crisis management, and conflict resolution;
   (s) to demand of all parties to an armed conflict that they fully respect their obligations under international law, including unhindered access to humanitarian assistance;
   (t) to ensure that the post-2015 development framework promotes sustainable peace by addressing key drivers of conflict in order to create the enabling conditions required for development and rights fulfilment;
   (u) to focus on ending terrorism, whether state sponsored or otherwise;
   (v) to ensure that the UN conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, which did not take place in 2012 as decided at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, takes place in 2014;
   (w) to support UNGA resolutions on depleted uranium weapons and to develop an EU Common Position that better reflects Parliament’s repeated calls for a precautionary global moratorium and the developing global consensus on the potential civilian health risks, complex post-conflict management burden and financial costs associated with their use;
   (x) to ensure that the 2015 review process of the UN peace-building architecture promotes the principle of Responsibility to Protect and the role of women in peace-building;

Responsibility to protect

   (y) to work towards establishing Responsibility to Protect as an international norm, while maintaining the delicate balance between the role of the states concerned and the international community, and while keeping at its core the principle of prevention of conflict and the use of armed force as a last resort;
   (z) to ensure, in this regard, that responsibility to prevent and stop genocide and mass atrocities lies primarily with the state concerned, but that the international community also has a role that supersedes the invocation of sovereignty;
   (aa) to promote the key concept that prevention requires apportioning responsibility to and promoting collaboration between the states involved and the international community;
   (ab) to ensure, in cooperation with all international partners, the full compliance and consistency of possible further developments of the Responsibility to Protect concept with international humanitarian law;
   (ac) to work towards the inclusion of the protection of civilians in the mandates of the peacekeeping missions conducted under the auspices of the UN;

Women and children

   (ad) to reaffirm its commitment to the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security(11), which recognise the disproportionate impact of war on women, but also their cardinal role in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace;
   (ae) to strongly support and promote the full implementation of UN resolution 2106 on fighting impunity in conflict-related sexual violence, and to ensure the consolidation of further accountability and preventive measures, preventive measures regarding sexual crimes and abuses, and support to victims thereof;
   (af) to prioritise ending child marriage;
   (ag) to ensure that women are represented at all stages of peace processes, and involved in preventive diplomacy, early warning and security monitoring, and commissions of inquiry in post-conflict situations;
   (ah) to ensure a focus on education for girls;
   (ai) to actively participate in the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in order not to undermine the ‘acquis’ of the UN Beijing Platform for Action, such as, for example, access to education and health as a basic human right; to strongly condemn the use of sexual violence against women as a tactic of war, including crimes such as mass rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, gender-based forms of persecution including female genital mutilation, trafficking, early and forced marriages, honour killings and all other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity; to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence;
   (aj) to call on Member States to ratify the 3rd Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will allow children to submit their complaints to the Committee;

Post-2015 development agenda

   (ak) to recognise that significant and substantial progress has been made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals; to make the best use of the preparatory phase ahead of the September 2015 Summit on the post-2015 agenda, to ensure coherence and coordination between EU Member States on focus areas and goals the EU wants to promote, with a view to avoiding the inconsistency and illegibility stemming from too wide a list of objectives; to emphasise that special focus has to be directed towards the needs of the least developed countries and of conflict and post-conflict countries; to ensure ownership of these goals by developing countries;
   (al) to highlight the fact that the global efforts towards the achievement of the MDGs should be strengthened during the remaining time before the 2015 deadline, and focused on areas where the process is lagging behind the most;
   (am) to ensure that poverty eradication remains a priority in the new single and integrated framework, along with the fight against inequality, the promotion of sustainable development, food security and gender equality;
   (an) to work towards the adoption of a single, comprehensive and integrated post-2015 framework for the MDGs, with clear benchmarks incorporating the key development and sustainability issues; to make sure that this framework is universal and global in nature, promoting prosperity, human rights and well-being for all;
   (ao) to pursue a human rights-based approach and ensure that human rights in their universality will be at the core of the post-2015 framework;
   (ap) to call for a coherent and comprehensive international approach to financing beyond 2015, addressing in a predictable manner all dimensions of sustainable development, and, in line with the Council conclusions from December 2013, to further promote within the UN system reflections on alternative sources of financing and on other means of implementing assistance, especially private investment and non-financial means;
   (aq) to make sure that new ambitious goals will be backed up by equally ambitious and innovative development financing;
   (ar) given the fact that environmental and development issues tend to be dealt with separately at global level, to seek new ways to overcome this split and build bridges between these closely interlinked areas, including from an institutional point of view;
   (as) to recall the commitment made by the developed countries at the COP16 in Cancún (2010) to provide USD 100 billion in ‘new and additional’ financing annually by 2020, in order to address climate change needs in developing countries; to point out that this funding should ensure a balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation;

OthersPrivacy in the digital age

   (at) to take all necessary legislative and administrative measures to fully implement the recommendations of the UNGA resolution(12), in order to guarantee that citizens have the same rights offline and online, and in particular the review of procedures, practices and legislation, and the establishment of independent and effective oversight mechanisms, stressing the importance of data protection;
   (au) with a view to reaffirming the commitment of the EU on this issue on a worldwide scale, to actively promote specific follow-up of the resolution by all UN members;

Arms Trade Treaty

   (av) to actively promote the swift signing and ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty by all UN members, including all EU members, in order to enable the international community to effectively address the negative repercussions of lack of transparency and badly regulated trade in conventional arms and ammunition and dangerous technologies, which foment global armed conflicts and are used to breach human rights; to engage other relevant States, regional and international organisations and civil society with a view to promoting, in this respect, a further broadening of the scope of the Arms Trade Treaty;

The EU at the UN

   (aw) to actively support a comprehensive reform of the United Nations system, and especially its Security Council, in order to strengthen its legitimacy, regional representation, accountability and effectiveness; to work towards the long-term goal of the EU having a seat in an enlarged UNSC;
   (ax) to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of the EU as a global actor, with the aim of acting in a swift and comprehensive manner and delivering a ‘one-voice message’, by improving coordination of Member States’ positions and the cooperation between the EEAS and the Member States; in this regard, to encourage the EEAS, in particular through the EU delegations in New York and Geneva, to work towards greater EU coherence;
   (ay) to support the role of parliaments and regional assemblies in the UN system and global parliamentarism;
   (az) to continue the fruitful cooperation in support of multilateralism and global governance, and to highlight the importance of the strategic partnership between the EU and the UNDP, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in February 2014;
   (ba) to raise awareness of the fact that 2015 will be declared the European Year for Development, which will create an unprecedented momentum for improving public knowledge in Europe about the global challenges and the importance of the new development goals to be agreed upon;

Climate change

   (bb) to point out that global challenges remain and are expected to increase, and that climate change and environmental degradation are threatening to reverse the progress made in achieving the MDGs; to enhance action on climate change, therefore, at the 2014 UN Climate Summit, in order to build a solid foundation which will inform successful negotiations and sustained progress towards reducing emissions and strengthening adaptation strategies at the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; to set an example and adopt an ambitious binding climate policy framework with targets in time for the Summit, to have a positive influence on the negotiations;
   (bc) to participate actively in the debate on the term ‘climate refugee’, including its possible legal definition in international law or in any legally binding international agreement;
   (bd) to reiterate, on the occasion of the Third International Conference in September 2014, the EU’s support to Small Island Developing States;


   (be) to work towards bringing about a sustainable political solution for Syria which will stop the violence and promote a democratic transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people; to support the full implementation of the conclusions of the Geneva I Conference and, bearing in mind the importance of the Geneva II Conference as a unique forum enabling direct negotiations for peace and democratic transition between parties in the conflict, to keep the Geneva II process going;
   (bf) to work towards including all relevant global and regional players in the Geneva II Conference, recognising that many different actors play a decisive role in the Syrian crisis;
   (bg) to convene an international conference on the Syrian refugee crisis focusing on humanitarian efforts, with priority being given to supporting host countries in the region and strengthening the EU’s involvement in the diplomatic efforts to end the conflict;
   (bh) to work urgently towards the rapid implementation of UNSC resolution 2139 on the humanitarian situation in Syria, so that safe, unhindered and immediate access to all people in need, including across conflict lines and borders, will at last be facilitated; to ensure that the removal, transfer and destruction of chemical weapons found in Syria take place in a fully transparent manner;
   (bi) to foster international cooperation as regards the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, and call for full implementation of the decision of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons of 27 September 2013;
   (bj) to support all efforts to ensure accountability for the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Syria and to actively promote the referral by the Security Council of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court;

South Sudan

   (bk) to encourage all parties to respect the cessation of hostilities agreement (ceasefire) signed on 23 January 2014, including provisions requiring conflict actors to refrain from attacks against civilians and ensure safe access by humanitarian workers to conflict-affected areas of South Sudan; to underline that this agreement is only the first step towards peace and reconciliation when taking into consideration the situation in South Sudan, including the political fight for leadership in the country, which has provoked increasing ethnic clashes and led to the displacement of over 650 000 people;
   (bl) to support the state-building agenda regarding South Sudan, as well as a genuine reconciliation and inclusive peace process to ensure lasting stability; to offer assistance in tackling the issue of corruption, which is an obstacle to the prospects of establishing a free and fair democracy, stability, sustainable development and economic growth;
   (bm) to condemn the widespread human rights violations and abuses committed; to welcome and support the efforts of the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, the UN Special Representative, Hilde Johnson, and the African Union, and the strengthening of the human rights investigation capacity of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan;
   (bn) to condemn the attacks on aid workers and assets, the interference in relief activities and the large-scale looting of supplies that have taken place in South Sudan and that severely hamper efforts to reach civilian populations in need;
   (bo) to call for an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law since the conflict erupted; to insist that those responsible be held accountable;

Central African Republic

   (bp) to ensure good cooperation and complementarity of the international efforts required to stabilise the Central African Republic, and to work towards the adoption of a comprehensive approach to this multifaceted crisis; to support the process of political transition and contribute to putting in place functioning democratic institutions capable of fighting human rights violations, protecting citizens, ending violence and calming sectarian tensions in the country; to continue providing the necessary financial support in order to create viable economic development; to spearhead efforts aimed at responding to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis by providing adequate financial assistance;
   (bq) to support the efforts deployed by the international community, in particular the African Union, the UN and France, and by the Central African authorities to stabilise the country; to swiftly implement the EU decision of 20 January 2014 establishing EUFOR CAR and to accelerate the procedures to deploy the forces on the ground;

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

   (br) to support the ongoing negotiation process and current attempts to find solutions to the conflict, while working towards the Palestinian reconciliation process, in order to reunite Palestinians living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip;
   (bs) to make certain the UNGA provides, in cooperation with the EU and the USA, all instruments to ensure that a two-state solution, on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as capital of both States and with the State of Israel, with secure and recognised borders, and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security, is sustainable and effective;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the High Representative / Vice‑President, the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the Council and, for information, the Commission.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0234.
(2) Council of the European Union 11521/13.
(3) UNGA resolution A/RES/65/276.
(4) OJ C 377 E, 7.12.2012, p. 66..
(5) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 56.
(6) OJ C 33 E, 5.2.2013, p. 165.
(7) UN Security Council resolution S/RES/2106(2013).
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0180.
(9) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0394.
(10) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0055.
(11) UN Security Council resolutions S/RES/1325(2000), S/RES/1820(2008), S/RES/1888(2009), S/RES/1889 (2009), S/RES/1960(2010), S/RES/2106(2013) and S/RES/2122(2013).
(12) UNGA resolution A/C.3/68/L.45/Rev.1.

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