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The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

26 October 2016, New York – European Union Intervention at the 71st United Nations General Assembly Third Committee Interactive Dialogue on the enjoyment of human rights of persons with albinism

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

Mr. Chair,

The European Union is fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights for all individuals – without discrimination on any grounds. We are concerned by reports of a rise in human rights violations against persons with albinism. Women with albinism and mothers of persons with albinism have been particularly affected by discrimination. UN research has established that poverty is the main root cause of the associated atrocities.  Media reports, social networks, lenient sentences given to perpetrators, beliefs and superstitions are also key factors fuelling the rise in cases. In many countries there is no specific legislation to protect persons with albinism

On 10 April 2015, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution which established an Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. The first mandate holder, Ms. Ikponwosa Ero, was appointed at the June Human Rights Council. We welcome these positive steps which serve to raise awareness of the issue and provide a practical response.

The EU is committed to working with the Independent Expert, the wider UN and all states to end discrimination towards persons with albinism. I would welcome your views on how can we ensure that the commitments made in April and that exist on paper are delivered upon, and that real change is brought to the lives of all persons with albinism?

Thank you.

  • Ref: EUUN16-159EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Third Committee - Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
  • Date: 26/10/2016

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