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Tuesday, 11 June 2013 - Strasbourg Final edition
Recommendation to the Council on the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly

European Parliament recommendation to the Council of 11 June 2013 on the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (2013/2034(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 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, on behalf of the ALDE Group (B7-0083/2013),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2011/168/CFSP of 21 March 2011 on the International Criminal Court and repealing Common Position 2003/444/CFSP,

–  having regard to the EU’s priorities for the 67th Session of the UNGA, as adopted by the Council on 23 July 2012(1) ,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 September 2003 entitled ‘The European Union and the United Nations: the choice of multilateralism’ (COM(2003)0526),

–  having regard to the 67th Session of the UNGA, in particular that body’s resolutions on ‘The Arms Trade Treaty’(2) , ’Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system’(3) , ‘Freedom of religion or belief’(4) , ’Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order’(5) , ‘Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights’(6) , ’The rule of law at the national and international levels’(7) , and ‘Women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control’(8) ,

–  having regard to the UNGA resolution of 3 May 2011 on the participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations(9) ,

–  having regard to the UNGA resolution of 31 October 2003 which adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption(10) ,

–  having regard to the UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, adopted on 31 October 2000,

–  having regard to the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council of 5 July 2012 entitled ‘The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet’, which recognises the importance of human rights protection and the free flow of information online,

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 13 June 2012 on the 67th Session of the UNGA(11) ,

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 18 April 2013 on the UN principle of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P)(12) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 May 2011 on the EU as a global actor: its role in multilateral organisations(13) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 July 2011 on EU external policies in favour of democratisation(14) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 February 2013 on the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council(15) ,

–  having regard to the report of the joint delegation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Human Rights to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, dated 28-29 October 2012,

–  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 (A7-0202/2013),

A.  whereas in view of the growing globalisation and interconnectedness of states and societies there is a growing need and opportunity for common rules and decision-making mechanisms in order to address emerging global challenges jointly;

B.  whereas the fragmentation of global policy-making, combined with a proliferation of international and transnational forums, is creating new complexities in international relations;

C.  whereas the EU is committed to effective multilateralism with a strong UN system at its core; whereas the UN is at the centre of global governance;

D.  whereas a solid and stable EU-UN partnership underpins and contributes to the work of the UN under all three pillars – peace and security, human rights and development – and whereas, in this way, the EU must meet its responsibility to play a part in devising joint approaches to global challenges;

E.  whereas respect for, and the promotion and safeguarding of, the universality and indivisibility of human rights are cornerstones of EU action on the international scene; whereas democracy and the rule of law are pillars of sustainable peace, guaranteeing human rights and fundamental freedoms;

1.  Addresses the following recommendations to the Council:

The EU as a global actor

   (a) to ensure continuously the coherence and visibility of the EU as a global actor at the UN; to strengthen the ability of the EU to act in a coordinated, swift and comprehensive manner in the global arena and to deliver in a consistent and timely fashion; to ensure the full implementation of the UNGA resolution of 3 May 2011 on the EU’s participation in the work of the United Nations;
   (b) to advance effective multilateralism by enhancing the representativeness, transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness of the UN, with the aim of improving its delivery on the ground; to recall the need to strike a new institutional balance between the emerging role of the G-20, the UN and its agencies as well as the international financial institutions;
   (c) to engage more actively with strategic and other bilateral and multilateral partners in order to promote effective solutions to problems and, whenever possible, reach towards collective efforts striving for better results;
The EU and global governance
   (d) to enhance cooperation with partners in making the UN a more effective and cohesive organisation for the 21st century;
   (e) to promote a comprehensive and consensual reform of the UNSC; to present a concrete proposal on how to achieve, as a central, long-term goal of the EU, a common EU seat in an enlarged UNSC; to take the initiative to develop a common position of the EU Member States to that end; to further promote transparency and better coordination of policies and positions amongst EU members of the UNSC; to ensure that those Member States holding a permanent seat at the UNSC shall promote the Union’s views and positions as the means for the EU to act in a coordinated fashion in the UNSC;
   (f) to pursue coordinated efforts to strengthen the role and authority of the UNGA and to increase its effectiveness and efficiency, including through the improvement of its working methods;
   (g) to foster a more institutionalised involvement of other stakeholders (civil society representatives, academia) in the work of the UNGA; to strengthen the UN system by broadening and deepening the pool of civilian expertise;
   (h) to promote the implementation of mandatory country-by-country disclosure of payments of transnational companies, namely in the banking and extractive sector, registered or listed on financial markets in partners’ national jurisdictions;
Peace and security
   (i) to promote the incorporation of a peace-building perspective into peacekeeping operations and to enhance closer coordination between peacekeeping operations and UN Country Teams and development actors;
   (j) to cooperate in strengthening the role and capacity of regional organisations in peacekeeping, conflict prevention, civilian and military crisis management, and conflict resolution; to foster joint assessment missions and to strengthen cooperation between the EU and its partners (including the African Union and sub-regional organisations, NATO, OSCE, ASEAN, CELAC, Arab League, etc.) in preventing conflicts and in post-conflict countries;
   (k) upon request, to provide the United Nations with support from the EU battlegroups for peace enforcement missions and to ensure the full cooperation of the Member States in their use for missions which have been authorised by the UNSC or the UNGA;
   (l) to assure that the mandates of peacekeeping missions reflect the need to support electoral processes, including election observation missions;
   (m) to work towards establishing the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as a new norm of international law, within the scope agreed to by UN member states in the 2005 World Summit;
   (n) to ensure full consistency and compliance with international humanitarian law of possible further developments and applications of the R2P principle, while working towards its universality as a tool for preventive diplomacy and a driver for human development;
   (o) to follow-up on proposals presented by Parliament in its recommendation to the Council on the UN principle of the R2P(16) , and to work with partners to ensure that the concept of R2P focuses on prevention, protection and post-conflict reconstruction, involving situations of concern of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes or crimes against humanity, but is never used as a pretext to advance particular or national interests, or those of international coalitions based on geostrategic or economic considerations with the aim of regime change; to assist states in building capacities to this effect;
   (p) to develop criteria to be followed when acting to implement R2P, in particular the third pillar, including military interventions, such as proportionality, ex-ante clarity about the policy objectives and the use of in-depth impact assessments;
   (q) to strengthen the EU’s role as a global political actor by playing an active role in preventive diplomacy;
   (r) to demand of all parties, whether state and non-state actors directly or indirectly involved in armed conflict, that they fully respect their obligations under international law, including securing humanitarian space and ensuring unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need, with a particular focus on the protection of civilians, and that they advocate a peaceful and diplomatic solution to any kind of conflict;
   (s) to support UNSC Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on women, peace and security; to emphasise and ensure the participation of women in peace processes; to recognise the need to mainstream gender perspectives in conflict prevention, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction;
   (t) to cooperate with the UN to tackle global security threats such as nuclear weapons proliferation, organised crime and terrorism; to step up efforts to conclude the negotiations on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism;
   (u) to cooperate with multilateral and bilateral partners towards adding more robust and effective pressure in order to put an immediate end to the violation of human rights and violence in Syria; to explore with partners, especially the US, Turkey and the League of Arab States, all options with regard to the implementation of the principle of the R2P in order to assist the Syrian people and to halt the bloodshed; to put pressure on the Syrian government and all those involved in the crisis to fully respect international humanitarian law and to allow the swift provision of cross-border humanitarian assistance, basic public services as well as full access for humanitarian organisations; to call on international partners to meet their financial commitments as regards providing help to Syrian refugees, thereby allowing the UNHCR and other organisations to provide the necessary assistance; to explore with partners ways how to minimise the impact of the Syrian crisis on neighbouring countries;
   (v) to promote, in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions, the efforts of the region and the international community to find a political solution to the conflict in Mali and foster a democratic transition by consolidating the institutions of transition, promoting – inter alia through mediation – inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation, as well as free, fair and transparent elections; to support as well the initiatives for the territorial integrity of Mali and the security of the country’s population; to emphasise the importance of maintaining stability in the Sahel region and of preventing a negative impact on the stability of Mali’s neighbouring countries; to closely coordinate its actions with regional and international partners, including the African Union and ECOWAS; to provide support for, and to encourage EU Member States to participate in, a UN-led peace-keeping mission and a task to provide military training to Malian armed forces within EUTM Mali; to continue to provide assistance to MISMA (Mission Internationale de Soutien au Mali);
   (w) to welcome the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) adopted by the UNGA on 2 April 2013, which will apply to a wide range of arms, including ammunition; to actively promote the rapid signing, swift ratification and effective and universal implementation of the ATT by all UN member states, including the world’s major arms producing countries; to lead efforts aimed at setting the highest common standards, also with regard to the situation of human rights in recipient countries, for the regulation of the international trade in arms and the combating of illicit trafficking, thus preventing conflict, reducing human suffering and corruption, and contributing to international peace and security;
   (x) to increase its efforts for multilateral commitments to reduce the number of nuclear weapons;
Human rights, democracy and the rule of law
   (y) 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 oppose attempts to undermine humanitarian law in the fight against terrorism; to promote the mainstreaming of human rights, including digital freedoms, and basic freedoms in all aspects of the UN’s work;
   (z) to seek to strengthen the process of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by embedding recommendations in bilateral and multilateral dialogues with UN member states, particularly in its human rights dialogues; to facilitate an environment enabling NGOs to provide their input into the various stages of the UPR process;
   (aa) to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatisation, discrimination and incitement to violence; to recognise with deep concern the rising violence against members of religious and other communities in various parts of the world;
   (ab) to address restrictions on freedom of the press and media worldwide; to combat violence against journalists and bloggers; to safeguard and promote freedom of expression, both online and offline;
   (ac) to advance universal support for the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and work towards a strengthening of the working capacities of the ICC in order to reduce impunity for crimes against humanity;
   (ad) to promote commitment to an international order based on the rule of law as being essential for the peaceful coexistence of states and for the building of more resilient states and sustainable peace; to recall in this regard that democracy support and respect for the rule of law are interlinked and should be promoted as such as an EU foreign policy objective;
   (ae) to strengthen support to states, upon their request, in the domestic implementation of their respective international obligations by means of enhanced technical assistance as well as institution- and capacity-building;
   (af) to follow up the recommendations of the political declaration adopted at the High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law in September 2012; to support the establishment of the joint global focal point for the rule of law; to fully support the role of the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group in overall coordination and coherence, also in order to avoid fragmentation between services (Department for Political Affairs, UN Development Programme, etc.);
   (ag) to recall that corruption is a violation of human rights and that the European Union has claimed an exclusive competence for the signature of the UN Convention against Corruption; to request the VP/HR to present an EU Action Plan against corruption to effectively monitor the Convention recommendations, e.g. through an obligation on the part of the Member States to publish and disseminate information on corruption; to establish channels for reporting these violations, a legal framework for the protection of witnesses and means to ensure the participation of civil society;
Sustainable development
   (ah) to contribute to enhancing policy coherence for development and to determined efforts to combat poverty, and to improving the effectiveness of development aid, since these remain key issues for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
   (ai) to incorporate into development strategies the assessment and managing of disaster risk reduction in order to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of populations;
   (aj) to improve the link between relief, rehabilitation, disaster risk reduction and development and to enhance coordination between humanitarian and development actors in order to guarantee the continuity of aid and build resilience, the need for which is highlighted by the recurring food crises in the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa;
   (ak) to work towards the full implementation of the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference, inter alia by promoting sustainable development as the guiding principle for long-term global development; to honour the international undertaking of the EU and the Member States, irrespective of the impact of the financial and economic crisis on the EU27, to earmark 0.7% of GDP for development aid,;
   (al) to cooperate in making the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development operational on schedule in order to coordinate the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of progress towards the stated goals;
   (am) to promote universal access to water and affordable and sustainable energy services, as these are key drivers for poverty eradication and inclusive growth;
   (an) to work towards the post-2015 MDG Agenda in a coherent and coordinated manner; to negotiate a single set of goals for sustainable development that have a global reach and are action-oriented, measurable, time-bound and easy to communicate; to aim for goals that incorporate sustainability, equity and governance;
   (ao) to support the UNGA President’s initiative to present civil society with a post-2015 development agenda by organising a special event on the achievement of MDGs, to be held during the 68th session of UNGA in 2013, as an important point of civil society consultation, as this event could serve to unite the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and post-2015 development process into a ‘common track’;
   (ap) to call for the new post-2015 framework for cooperation to be accompanied by a predictable and realistic funding agenda, in line with the objectives agreed on;
Global cooperation between parliaments
   (aq) to promote interaction on global issues between governments and parliaments; to strengthen global governance and allow for greater public and parliamentary participation in the activities of the UN;
General considerations
   (ar) to enhance the follow up to the recommendations adopted by Parliament, including by inviting the European External Action Service to report back to it every year on the outcome of the UNGA session;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the Council, the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and, for information, to the Commission.

(1) Council of the European Union 9820/1/12.
(2) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/234.
(3) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/226.
(4) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/179.
(5) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/175.
(6) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/169.
(7) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/97.
(8) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/48.
(9) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/65/276.
(10) UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/58/4.
(11) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0240.
(12) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0180.
(13) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0229.
(14) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0334.
(15) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0055.
(16) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0180.

Last updated: 20 January 2015Legal notice