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21 November 2016, New York – Statement by the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Item 126: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe

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Mr President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

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

Mr President,

We welcome the adoption today of the resolution regarding Cooperation between the UN and the Council of Europe which aims to enhance cooperation between these two institutions. Since the signature of the Agreement in 1951 between the Council of Europe and the Secretariat of the United Nations, the cooperative arrangements between the respective secretariats in 1971 and resolution 44/6 of 1989, the Council of Europe has continued to contribute to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Moreover, the Council of Europe has striven to improve synergy between its work and that of the United Nations.

The resolution before us contains an operational paragraph on questions relating to human rights. During the informal consultations, several delegations called for an end to the use of the death penalty.  Unfortunately, we note with regret that this call has – once again – not been taken on board and that the paragraph on this issue was not retained. The new inclusion of a call for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, is but a small improvement.

The Council of Europe, together with the European Union, its Member States and many other European and non-European countries, have been engaged in this campaign for a long time.

On the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October, the Council of Europe and the European Union made a joint declaration, appealing for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and urging UN member states to support the Resolution on a Moratorium on the use of the Death Penalty when it is put to a GA vote in December. We hope to build on the momentum created by the call for a global moratorium by all participating members of the 6th World Congress on Abolition of the Death Penalty in June of this year.

We therefore strongly urge that in the future this issue be included in the resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

Furthermore, we would like to draw delegates’ attention to the platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. This new instrument was set up by the Council of Europe in 2015 and is well accepted as a useful tool by persons working for different media in Europe.

Thank you.

  • Ref: EUUN16-196EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: General Assembly - Plenary
  • Date: 21/11/2016

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