"Human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, religion, disability or any other factor."
Now if only these statements implemented for real...
Swedish Presidency - EU statement at the UN Human Rights Council on the follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hans Dahlgren, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations Office in Geneva on behalf of the European Union.
Check against delivery
The Swedish Presidency of the European Union, 30 September 2009
Human Rights Council – 12th session
30 September 2009
Item 8 - General Debate:
Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
I speak for the European Union
While Turkey, Croatia*,the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* , Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action confirmed the universality and indivisibility of human rights. The European Union supports the continuing efforts of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms to implement those documents.
The European Union commends the quality of the work carried out by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and fully supports the High Commissioner in her continued efforts to pursue her task efficiently and with integrity.
The Vienna documents highlighted the fundamental role played by civil society in ensuring the respect and promotion of human rights. The past years have seen the worldwide emergence of NGO's working with the implementation of international human rights treaties.
The Declaration in Vienna also reaffirmed the obligation of states to create favourable conditions to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights. States must make every effort to eliminate all violations of human rights and their causes. In this context, Mr President, the European Union notes with great concern the increasingly violent political climate in Guinea. It urges the current leadership to respect human rights and to allow a return to democracy and constitutional order in the Republic of Guinea.
In practice, many people continue to be denied enjoyment of their rights and fundamental freedoms. Human rights defenders frequently pursue their struggle while risking their own lives and the lives and well-being of their families. The EU condemns any acts of intimidation against human rights defenders and reiterates the responsibility of governments and individual political leaders to refrain from statements that might endanger their safety.
The international community is facing a severe challenge in handling the climate crisis, while at the same time coping with one of the most serious economic crises in decades. It is crucial that the difficulties these challenges present for us all are not used as a pretext to lessen our commitment to fulfilling our human rights obligations.
Persistent discrimination and other large-scale human rights violations facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender persons are a source of strong concern, of which the situations in Iraq and Uganda are troubling examples. However, there are also positive examples such as the ruling in July by the Delhi High Court in India that consensual sex between adults of the same sex is not against the law. Human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, religion, disability or any other factor.
The Vienna documents draws our attention to the importance of women's rights, and does also explicitly recognise gender-based violence, sexual harassment and exploitation of women. Trafficking of women and girls is among the worst forms of violation of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the EU attaches importance to the elimination of this exploitation.
Thank you, Mr President.