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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union (EU)
21 June 2007

Human Rights Council – Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the outcome of the Institution Building Process

The European Union welcomes that an agreement was reached on 19 June in Geneva on the Institution Building Process of the UN Human Rights Council. Throughout the last 12 months, the EU has been most actively involved in the negotiation process and has consistently called for a strong Council that would make it a key-organ of the UN’s human rights protection system. Although not all of the EU’s objectives could be achieved, the EU joined this agreement in the spirit of necessary compromise.

It is the EU’s hope that the agreed package of new and revised mechanisms of the Council will provide the instruments that are required for an efficient and credible implementation of the Council’s mandate as foreseen in General Assembly resolution 60/251. The EU would like to express its particular thanks and appreciation to the Council’s president, Ambassador de Alba, for having led the Human Rights Council to this agreement.

The European Union welcomes the creation of a mechanism for a Universal Periodic Review of all UN member states that will ensure regular examination of the Human Rights record of each UN member state, without selectivity, on the basis of the same criteria and without consideration of the level of development other than in the outcome phase. Besides this periodic review, the ability of the Council to meet throughout the year, the continued possibility to create country mandates, the maintenance on the agenda of an item on Human Rights Situations and the possibility to call for Special Sessions should enable the Council to timely address serious human rights violations whenever and wherever they occur.

While the European Union remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, it believes that this issue should not have been singled out in the agenda.

Furthermore, the EU is satisfied that all the thematic mandates and most of the country mandates of the former Human Rights Commission could be preserved. However, the European Union would have wanted to also preserve the mandates on Belarus and Cuba as these cover situations which have long been of concern. Although the EU did not see the need for a “Code of Conduct” for Special Procedures, it understands this document to represent the final step in guiding the work of the mandate-holders, ensuring full cooperation of states with these mechanisms as well as full respect for the independence and integrity of the mandate-holders. In this regard, it is the EU’s view that the approval by the Council of the appointment of Special Procedures does not imply election of mandate-holders.

The European Union is pleased that improved modalities for both the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and the Complaints Procedure could also be agreed.

By adopting the package proposed by the President, the institution-building phase has been completed. The EU considers that the results achieved holds the prospect for the Human Rights Council to develop into the credible and effective body for international Human Rights protection as which it was set up with the adoption of GA Res. 60/251. It is now up to the Council members, all other states and stakeholders to work towards the fulfilment of this goal. The EU re-iterates its commitment to universal, interdependent and indivisible human rights and calls upon all states to fully cooperate with the mechanisms of the Council.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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