I have the honour to deliver the following explanation of vote on the resolution entitled Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self determination on behalf of the European Union. The following countries align themselves with this Explanation of Vote: The candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.
The European Union shares many of the concerns about the dangers of mercenary activities that have been expressed in the reports of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries. We recognize the dangers and deep negative impact that contemporary forms of mercenaries may have on the length and nature of armed conflicts.
However, the European Union believes that neither the Third Committee of the General Assembly, nor the Human Rights Council, are the proper foras in which mercenary activity should be addressed. Whilst fully acknowledging the dangers caused by the use of mercenaries, we do not believe that this matter should be tackled from the perspective of human rights violations and the threat to the rights of peoples to self determination. Furthermore, the question of elaboration of a definition of mercenaries and the linkages between mercenary activities and terrorism fall within the competence of the sixth committee of the General Assembly. Therefore, Mr. Chairperson, the EU cannot support this resolution and will vote against it. The EU wishes to express its determination to continue to actively participate in a dialogue with interested States on ways to prevent the threats posed by mercenary activity in the context of an appropriate fora.
Thank you, Mr Chairperson.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.