Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-02-15-Speech-3-488-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we will also be talking about Syria in the context of the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council. We have been strongly critical of the decision by China and the Russian Federation to veto a Security Council resolution on Syria. We have ensured that the issues which are important to us appear on the agenda. Burma/Myanmar, North Korea, the Arab Spring, the situation in Syria and Libya and the Islamic Republic of Iran will all be discussed during the session. We welcome the fact that Libya’s suspension from the Human Rights Council has been lifted. Regardless of that, we will still be focusing on Libya, because we cannot be completely sure how the situation there will develop in future. Therefore, we need to send out a clear signal to all the countries involved in the Arab Spring that further aid from the Member States is dependent on them meeting certain criteria, which include the rule of law, fundamental rights and civil liberties, good governance, combating corruption and respect for human rights. We must ensure that issues such as fundamental rights, freedom of speech and freedom of religion play a more prominent role in the public debate. That applies in all the countries which we are dealing with. I welcome the fact that the funding for promoting democracy and human rights throughout the world is being increased and that much of this money will benefit the Human Rights Council. It is equally pleasing that the subject of human rights has increased in importance within the UN system. This is clear from a glance at the Security Council agenda. However, in order not to undermine our own credibility, we must put our own house in order. We should not allow the majority of Member States to delay the implementation of international treaties. It is unacceptable that only one Member State has ratified the convention on the rights of migrant workers. We cannot stop making aid available or prevent accounts from being unfrozen unless we ourselves act according to the highest standards. On the subject of credibility in general, we need to put an end to the well-known practice of forming blocs in the Human Rights Council. We should focus on what we have in common, rather than our differences, and enter into practical alliances. This is the only way in which we can ensure the necessary transparency, increase the budget of the Human Rights Council even further and reinforce its credibility."@en1

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