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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.


25 April 2016, New York – Launched by the High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini in March 2016, #EU4HumanRights is a joint initiative of the European Union and its Member States to raise awareness about human rights issues around the world.

#EU4HumanRights aims at raising awareness about human rights issues in the world and discussing human rights priorities in EU foreign policy, reaching out to the public as well as stakeholders from politics, diplomacy, media, business, art and civil society. Throughout the year, public events will take place around the world, including in New York.

“The EU has a longstanding commitment to the universal protection and promotion of human rights. With the #EU4HumanRights initiative, we want to raise the level of EU’s engagement and to encourage a broad-based public discussion on human rights in the EU’s foreign policy,” High Representative Mogherini said.

The NY launch event of #EU4HumanRights, Making more space – Civil society in the multilateral context, takes place on 28 April at the UN. As attempts are made to curtail civil society action, more efforts are needed to consider how to ensure vibrant and effective civil society participation in UN processes. This event will provide an opportunity for Member States, UN entities, and civil society to discuss how civil society space in the multilateral context can be protected and promoted.

Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, Head of Delegation of the EU to the UN spoke recently about the EU’s values and human rights work.

EU4HumanRights – 2016 from EUatUN on Vimeo

The EU’s Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, said that human rights are and will remain a core part of what the EU is and what the EU does. The ”human rights year” will highlight the EU’s common ownership of these values and our common work to realise them”.

Why 2016?

This year marks some important milestones in the human rights world, including the 10th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Council and the 50th anniversary of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

It is also the first full year of the implementation of the new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy.

Human rights events across Europe and beyond

Human rights events across Europe and globally will be encouraged on topics which fall under the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy adopted by Foreign Ministers last summer.

These events will cover the five priority areas identified under the new Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy:

1. boosting ownership of local actors (support to National Human Rights Institutions, government authorities, parliaments, the judiciary and civil society);

2. addressing human rights challenges (with an emphasis on freedom of expression, freedom of religion, torture and death penalty, gender equality, children’s rights, non-discrimination, economic, social and cultural rights and business and human rights);

3. ensuring a comprehensive human rights approach to conflicts and crises (with an emphasis on conflict prevention, transitional justice, international humanitarian law and accountability);

4. fostering better coherence and consistency in EU’s policies (with an emphasis on trade, migration, counter-terrorism, development cooperation and impact assessment);

5. a more effective EU human rights and democracy support policy (with an emphasis making the best use of EU tools and financing possibilities and better communicating EU’s work on human rights and democracy).

The events will be organised by the EU countries themselves, on topics of their choice, under a common EU umbrella with the hashtag #EU4HumanRights. You can follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Ref: CAL16-010EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum:
  • Date: 25/04/2016

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