Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-10-06-Speech-3-028"

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"Madam President, the European Union is based on values and the respect for human rights, which need to be continuously defended and protected worldwide. The right to life lies in the very foundation of them. The World day against the death penalty reminds us that there are still countries in the world that continue in the practice of capital punishment. It is the reason why we need to continue in our efforts and step up the struggle against this practice. Robust opposition by the EU against the death penalty puts us in the forefront of this struggle. Since the European Parliament is the first EU institution to engage in this effort, it is our duty to influence other states in order to reach a universal abolition. For the European People’s Party, the fight against the death penalty worldwide is a key priority of our external human rights policy. The EU should continuously raise awareness on this issue and support initiatives which could lead to universal abolition. Saying that, I would also like to call on the High Representative, the Commission and the Member States to keep encouraging the countries that have not ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to do so. Those Member States that did not ratify Protocol 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights should do this as well. I regret to say that Belarus is the only country in Europe which still applies the death penalty in practice. We should make every effort to change this situation. Equally, the EU should constantly raise awareness on the abolition of the death penalty, both in bilateral negotiations and in international fora. In conclusion, the EU has to be an inspiration to the rest of the world. Only a few days before the World day against the death penalty seems like the right time to reaffirm this as our position."@en1

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