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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Andre Pung on behalf of the European Union at the Human Rights Council 36th session under Item 10 about technical assistance and capacity-building


UN Human Rights Council 36th session


Statement by

H.E. Mr Andre Pung

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia

on behalf of the European Union

Item 10: Technical assistance and capacity-building

Geneva, 28 September 2017



Mr President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[*], Montenegro* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

The EU would like to express its appreciation for the reports of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner presented to this Council.

The EU reaffirms its strong support for the important work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in providing technical assistance and capacity building to promote the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. We call on States to fully cooperate with the OHCHR when receiving technical assistance and capacity building, including allowing the OHCHR full access to monitor and report on the human rights situation on the ground.

The EU follows closely the human rights developments in the Central African Republic, Somalia, the Sudan, Libya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which we have commented on in detail during the respective interactive dialogues.

The European Union is deeply concerned about the situation in Yemen as the number of civilian casualties continues to rise. The ongoing conflict is having devastating consequences for the country and its population. Women, children and persons in vulnerable situation are particularly affected by the on-going hostilities and the humanitarian crisis. We continue to support independent investigations into all alleged violations and abuses, with a view to ending impunity for crimes committed by all parties to the conflict. In this regard, we take seriously the recommendation made by the High Commissioner for the establishment of an international investigative body. We encourage the OHCHR to continue to provide technical assistance and to monitor the work of the national independent commission of inquiry. We also believe that the human rights situation in Yemen requires close follow-up in Human Rights Council.

The EU welcomes the technical cooperation provided to Georgia by the OHCHR. The EU is concerned regarding the conclusion of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on cooperation with Georgia that some practices in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia appear to amount to discriminatory patterns based on ethnic grounds, especially with regard to freedom of movement, access to personal documents, the right to education and property rights. The EU regrets that no access has been granted to OHCHR or to United Nations human rights mechanisms to Georgia’s regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. The EU strongly urges for unfettered access of the OHCHR and other UN human rights mechanisms to these areas and populations to independently assess the human rights situation on the ground. The EU continues to support the provision of technical cooperation to Georgia.

The EU is increasingly alarmed about the shrinking space in Cambodia for political debate and dissenting opinion, in particular ahead of the National Assembly election in July 2018, as addressed earlier in the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur. We share the Secretary General’s concerns that democratic processes have been adversely affected by judicial procedures and other measures targeting members of the political opposition, or those perceived to be opposed to the governing party. The EU reiterates the importance for Cambodia of promoting and safeguarding, in particular during this pre-electoral period, an environment in which political parties, civil society and the media are able to carry out their legitimate roles without fear, threats or arbitrary restrictions and in which we remain ready to assist the government in this endeavour.

Thank you.


[*] The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.



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