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EU at the UN

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.

1 November 2016, New York – European Union Intervention at the 71st United Nations General Assembly Third Committee Interactive Active Dialogue on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

I thank you, Madam Chair.

The European Union welcomes this dialogue with Mrs. Crickley. We would like to express our appreciation of and full support to the work done by the Committee. We welcome its last report submitted to the General Assembly.

We would like first to stress the EU’s strong and worldwide opposition to all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. All EU Member States have ratified the ICERD and remain fully committed to implement the Convention which we view as the principal international instrument to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We would like also to underline once again the importance to make further progress towards its universal ratification.

In the same vein, we would also encourage parties that have not yet recognized the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups of individuals to consider making a declaration in this respect.

The EU takes note of the consideration by the Committee of a number of situations under its early warning and urgent action procedure. The EU recognizes that taking early action against alleged cases of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia can have a significant preventative effect, in particular when the alleged cases can be considered as incitement to racial or ethnic hatred. We would be interested to hear from you, Mrs. Crickley, what is your assessment about the effectiveness of this procedure.

Concerning the simplified reporting procedure, we would also encourage your Committee as well as the other treaty bodies to adopt a coherent and similar approach with regard to its implementation, including by offering systematically the possibility for those States that fully comply with their reporting obligations to make use of the simplified reporting procedure. We would like to ask you whether the Committee intends to implement this procedure for these States in the near future.

The EU acknowledges the important role played by civil society organizations in the preparation and the follow up of periodical reviews of States obligations by the Committee. This role must be preserved and protected. The San Jose Guidelines on intimidation and reprisals are a key tool to address in an appropriate manner any act of reprisals against members of NGOs. Complementary information on the implementation of these Guidelines by your Committee would be therefore most welcome.

Thank you Madam Chair.

  • Ref: EUUN16-181EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Third Committee - Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
  • Date: 01/11/2016

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