Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-01-29-Speech-3-091"

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"Mr President, do the violators of human rights have much to fear and the victims much to expect from the UN Human Rights Commission? I do not think so. The most important forum in the world is once again missing the mark by a mile: it is not the severity of the violations that is the deciding factor but the ability to mobilise political support. Some countries also manage to repeatedly avoid censure; this produces a distorted picture of the human rights situation in the world and tarnishes the legitimacy of the Commission. Regrettably, having a notorious violator of human rights such as Libya as the chairman of the Commission is an example of this. It is high time for reform that will prevent these kinds of undesirable developments. The European Union can play a greater role in the UN Commission if it is properly prepared, prepared in time, speaks with one voice and is persistent and courageous – in short, if it operates differently from the way it operated last year. Europe’s abstention in respect of Libya’s chairmanship, however diplomatically tactical that was meant to be, is an admission of weakness and creates a lack of clarity with regard to Europe’s position. In order to exert maximum influence, coordination must take place with the United States on as many aspects as possible. I understand that that does in fact happen. It is very important to my group that the European Union makes efforts particularly in respect of resolutions on slavery, immunity from punishment, torture, brutal interpretations of Sharia, discrimination against women, freedom of religion, the situation of indigenous peoples and certainly the protection of human rights activists as well. We place great importance on the resolutions on the 17 countries in which Iraq, Iran, Burma, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and Colombia are in particular named. Selection is inevitable, but that certainly does not mean that all countries that have not been named will get off scot-free. I would also like to draw particular attention to the renewal of the mandate of the special rapporteur for Iran, the strengthening of the position of the High Commissioner in Colombia and the approval of special rapporteurs in Chechnya. The European Union must integrate the outcomes of Geneva into its policy and resume the political dialogue with the countries concerned. As the human rights rapporteur for this Parliament for this year I say: let the European Union do everything it can to restore the authority of this UN Human Rights Commission. We cannot do without it, there is no alternative. A meeting is only successful, however, if it is feared by the violators and applauded by the victims."@en1

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