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Motion for a resolution on Zimbabwe, case of Pastor Evan Mawarire – B8-2017-0200

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Zimbabwe, particularly that of 15 September 2016,

-  having regard to the Council decision concerning restrictive measures against Zimbabwe on 15 February 2016,

-  having regard to the joint statement of the European Union Delegation, the Heads of Mission of EU Member States present in Harare and the Head of Mission of Switzerland in Zimbabwe on 9 March 2017 on the abduction of Itai Dzamara,

-  having regard to the statement of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe on the arrest of Evan Mawarire on 1 February 2017,

-  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 1948,

-  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of June 1981, which Zimbabwe has ratified,

-  having regard to the Mandate of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention,

-  having regard to the Chapter 4 (Declaration of Rights) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe of 22 August 2013,

-  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

-  having regard to Rule 135 of procedure,

A.  whereas Mr. Mugabe, 93 years old, led the impoverished Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in the 1980, as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987 and as President of the Republic since then; whereas President Mugabe maintained the power through corruption, violence and brutal security apparatus;

B.  whereas Zimbabwe is considered a low-income, food deficit country, ranked 156 out of 187 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index, which measures progress and failure in the global fight against hunger, whereas the prevalence of food insecurity and absolute poverty are closely correlated, and poverty is most prevalent in rural areas, with 76% of rural households living on less than 1,25 US dollar per day, compared to 38% in urban areas,

C.  whereas the government of Zimbabwe said that 246 people have died, 128 were injured and approximately 1 985 made homeless after above-normal rains flooded the country, whereas regions now affected by floods have recently suffered from severe drought which left more than 4 million in need of food aid,

D.  whereas unrest erupted on May 2016 on background of cash shortage, widespread unemployment, state corruption and efforts by the authorities to suppress freedom of expression and political opposition; whereas the ban by the government of the use of the national flag by protesters and the introduction of a much-maligned bond notes were both issues that galvanised Zimbabweans against the government,

E.  whereas on 26 August 2016 bloody clashes took place in Harare when the police bludgeoned thousands of protesters who had gathered to express their opposition to outstanding electoral reforms ahead of the country’s 2018 national elections,

F.  whereas various groups have called for demonstrations through internet; whereas the protest movement led by Pastor Evan Mawarire, using the hashtag #This-Flag is an independent social media movement that staged a national stay-away in Zimbabwe on 6 July 2016 in protest against deteriorating socio-economic conditions has drawn a very wide support from the churches and the middle class;

G.  whereas the #This-Flag opposition movement called on 6 July 2016 for a national “stay-away” day in protest against the government’s inaction against corruption, impunity and poverty, Pastor Evan Mawarire was arrested on 12 July 2016 and charged with “incitement of public violence” in relation to the national stay-away; whereas after a series of death threats he left the country for a six-month stint in exile;

H.  whereas Promise Mkwananzi, the leader of #Tajamuka, a social movement linked to the July stay-away, who was arrested and charged for inciting public violence ahead of the call for “shutdown 3.0” scheduled for 31 August 2016 and has been released on bail; whereas another #Tajamuka activist, Mrs. Linda Masarira, previously arrested in May 2015 and remanded out of custody on free bail was arrested again during the protest in July 2016 and has remained in detention ever since;

I.  whereas Itai Dzamara, a journalist and political activist was abducted on 9 March 2015 by five unidentified men at barber shop in Harare; whereas the High Court ordered the government to search for Dzamara and report progress to the Court every fortnight until his whereabouts were determined;

J.  whereas members of the Central Intelligence Organisation arrested Pastor Evan Mawarire upon his arrival at Harare International Airport on 1 February 2017 as he returned to his country after fleeing in July 2016 and appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court two days later where he was denied bail and remanded to 17 February 2017;

K.  whereas according to his lawyer Pastor Evan Mawirere was initially charged for “subverting a constitutionally elected government”; whereas the maximum sentence for this charge is 20 years in prison without the option of a fine, whereas the police, on 2 February, added another charge of “insulting the flag of Zimbabwe” under the Flag of Zimbabwe Act.;

L.  whereas Pastor Evan Mawarire, during his short exile period, vowed to continue to support popular opposition to the Mugabe government in the run up to the 2018 presidential elections in which Mr. Mugabe has already said he will seek another term; whereas Pastor Evan Mawarire said that he might stand in the 2018 General elections, the charges against him are intended to obstruct his work as a human rights defender and political activist and adds to the growing trend by the state to harass and intimidate activists and human rights defenders;

M.  whereas it’s clear that the authorities are abusing the law to persecute Mawarire for his role as leader of the #This-Flag campaign, which led protests against President Robert Mugabe’s government and called on authorities to address rights problems and a failing economy;

N.  whereas his arrest caused an outcry from local and international rights groups, Zimbabwe’s High Court freed Pastor Evan Mawarire on US$300 bail after a week in prison; whereas, however, the sham charges against him – subverting a constitutional government, which carries a 20-year prison sentence, inciting public violence, and insulting the national flag – remain, and are reportedly being investigated;

O.  whereas on Wednesday 22 February 2017, Human Rights Foundation (HRF) discussed the arbitrary detention of Evan Mawarire in a set of high-level meetings with representatives from the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders;

P.  whereas Evan Mawarire is confirmed to take part at the upcoming 2017 Oslo Freedom Forum, organized by HRF and taking place on May 22-24;

1.  recalls that Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement, Article 9 of which stipulates that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is an essential element of ACP-EU cooperation; reminds that the National Indicative Program (NIP) for Zimbabwe has been allocated EUR 234 million for the period 2014-2020 under the 11th European Development Fund, to be focused on three main sectors among which governance and institution building,

2.  remains deeply worried at the lack of progress in the investigation of Mr Itai Dzamara's case and that raises doubts about the intention of the authorities responsible for the investigation, calls one more time on the Zimbabwean authorities to ascertain Mr Itai Dzamara's whereabouts and to ensure that justice is served;

3.  expresses also its concern about Mrs Linda Masarira’s case convicted on public violence charges arose from last 6 July national strike; calls on the government of Zimbabwe to show restraint and respect the human rights of all Zimbabwean citizens, including the right to free speech and freedom of assembly, reminds the government its responsibilities towards respecting, obeying and not subverting the Constitution, impartially serving all the Zimbabwean people without any exception,

4.  urges the Zimbabwean authorities to drop all charges against Pastor Evan Mawarire, as he has been charged solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights as enshrined in the Zimbabwe constitution and regional and human rights law and standards, recalls that Pastor Evan Mawarire returned voluntarily and freely to his home country after his tiny period in exile, appeals to bead the rule that he should report at Police station twice per week and so that he can enjoy all his constitutional rights,

5.  calls for a peaceful evolution towards the 2018 general elections to be based on a free and fair electoral process, the rule of law and respect for human rights in order to develop a free, prosperous and pluralist democracy;

6.  draws attention to the particular plight of the Zimbabweans victims of poverty and flood this time, but also victims of draught on other times, who are under threat of hunger, calls on the international community to respond to the Zimbabwe’s appeal for aid in order to provide the most basic needs of a large proportion of the Zimbabwean population,

7.  instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the European External Action Service, the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe, the governments of the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

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Motion for a resolution on Zimbabwe, the case of Pastor Evan Mawarire – B8-2017-0224

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Zimbabwe,

-having regard to the Local EU Statement on Local Governance of 30 June 2016,

-having regard to the Local EU Statement on violence of 12 July 2016,

-having regard to Statement of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe on 1 February 2017,

-having regard to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission’s press statement on public protests and police conduct,

-having regard to Council Decisions 2016/20/CFSP of 15 February 2016 extending EU restrictive measures against Zimbabwe until 20 February 2017,

-having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU of 19 February 2014 on the review of EU-Zimbabwe relations,

-having regard to the Global Political Agreement signed in 2008 by the three main political parties, namely ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC,

-having regard to the Council of the European Union conclusions of 23 July 2012 on Zimbabwe and to Council Implementing Decision 2012/124/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Zimbabwe,

-having regard to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights of June 1981, which Zimbabwe has ratified,

-having regard to the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief

-having regard to the Constitution of Zimbabwe,

-having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.whereas the people of Zimbabwe have suffered for many years under an authoritarian regime led by President Mugabe that maintains its power through corruption, violence, rigged elections and a brutal security apparatus; whereas the people of Zimbabwe have not experienced true freedom in decades and many under the age of thirty have therefore only known lives of poverty and violent repression;

B.whereas the #ThisFlag independent social media movement founded by Evan Mawarire, pastor and human rights defenders based in Harare, catalysed frustration of citizens with the Mugabe regime during last year’s protests in Zimbabwe; whereas Pastor Mawarire has called on the government to address the failing economy and respect human rights; whereas the #ThisFlag movement has drawn support from churches and the middle class, which had hitherto tended to steer clear of street politics;

C.whereas Pastor Evan Mawarire was already arrested on charges of incitement to commit public violence and released in July 2016 and has been subsequently forced to leave Zimbabwe the same month, for fear of his and his family’s safety;

D.whereas on 1 February 2017, Pastor Evan Mawarire, was arrested at Harare airport as he returned to Zimbabwe; whereas he was initially charged with “subverting a constitutional government” under Section 22 of the Criminal ¨Procedure Act, which is punishable with imprisonment for up to 20 years; whereas on February 2nd another charge, that of insulting the flag, under Section 6 of the Flag of Zimbabwe Act was added; whereas Pastor Mawarire was only released on bail after having spent 9 days in custody;

E.whereas in a public statement, the Zimbabwean Human Rights Commission expressed deep concern about the brutality and violent conduct of the police, stating that the fundamental rights of the demonstrators were violated, and called on the Zimbabwean authorities to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice;

F.whereas Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement, Article 96 of which stipulates that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is an essential element of ACP-EU cooperation;

1.Deplores the arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire; stresses that his release on bail is not sufficient and that the politically motivated charges against him must be completely withdrawn;

2.Calls on the Zimbwean authorities to ensure that the criminal justice system is not misused to target, harass or intimidate human rights defenders like Pastor Evan Mawarire;

3.Believes that freedom of assembly, association and expression are essential components of any democracy; stresses that expressing an opinion in a non-violent way is a constitutional right for all Zimbabwean citizens and reminds the authorities of their obligation to protect the rights of all its citizens.

4.Is deeply concerned by reports of human rights organisations of increasing political violence, as well as the severe restrictions and intimidations faced by human rights defenders; regrets that since the last elections, and the adoption of the new Constitution in 2013, little progress has been made with regard to the rule of law and in particular towards reforming the human rights environment;

5.Reiterates its call on the Zimbabwean authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners;

6.Calls on the EU delegation in Harare to continue to offer its assistance to Zimbabwe in order to improve the human rights situation;

7.Stresses again the importance for the EU to start up a political dialogue with the Zimbabwean authorities under Articles 8 and 96 of the Cotonou Agreement:

8.Instructs its President to forward this Resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EEAS, the Government and the Parliament of Zimbabwe, the governments of the South African Development Community and the African Union.

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Text adopted – Human rights in 2003 and EU policy – P5_TA(2004)0376 – Thursday, 22 April 2004 – Strasbourg – Final edition

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to all relevant international human rights instruments(1) ,

–   having regard to the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 1 July 2002 and to its resolutions of 19 November 1998, 18 January 2001, 28 February 2002 and 4 July 2002(2) related to the ICC,

–   having regard to the United Nations Charter, particularly Article 2,

–   having regard to the entry into force on 1 July 2003 of Protocol No 13 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances,

–   having regard to Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions,

–   having regard to Article 12 of the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

–   having regard to the UN declarations and resolutions on the rights of disabled persons and the UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997),

–   having regard to Articles 12(1) and 16(1)(e) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, as well as to General Recommendations 21 and 24 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women,

–   having regard to the Declaration and Action Programme of the Fourth World Conference on Women adopted in Beijing on 15 September 1995, and to the Outcome Document of the Fourth World Conference on Women +5 Conference adopted on 10 June 2000,

–   having regard to the Millennium Development Goals adopted at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations on 8 September 2000 and the Declaration adopted by the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development on 4 September 2002,

–   having regard to the 2002 report of the UN Population Fund on the state of world population,

–   having regard to the report of the Council of Europe on the impact of the Mexico City Policy(3) and the Commission's proposal for a Regulation on aid for policies and actions on reproductive and sexual health and rights in developing countries (COM(2002) 120),

–   having regard to its resolution of 1 November 2001 on HIV/AIDS(4) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 September 2001 on female genital mutilation(5) ,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union(6) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 3 September 2003 on the Commission communication "Towards a United Nations legally binding instrument to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities',(7)

–   having regard to Articles 3, 6, 11, 13 and 19 of the Treaty on European Union and Articles 177 and 300 of the Treaty establishing the European Community,

–   having regard to the entry into force on 1 April 2003 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(8) ,

–   having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Assembly, which was established on 22-23 March 2004, and to its related resolution of 20 November 2003(9) ,

–   having regard to the European Convention for Human Rights and Biomedicine (1999),

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 December 1996 on the rights of disabled people(10) , its resolution of 9 March 2004 on population and development(11) , and its previous resolutions on human rights in the world(12) ,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union, in particular its resolution of 15 January 2003(13) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2003 on peace and dignity in the Middle East (14) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 February 2004 on the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, 15 March to 23 April 2004(15) ,

–   having regard to the fifth EU Annual Report on Human Rights (13449/03),

–   having regard to Rule 163 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (A5-0270/2004),

A.   whereas progress has been made worldwide in particular through the European Union's commitment to establishing and strengthening democracy, human rights, the rule of law and good governance,

B.   whereas at the same time the situation has worsened in a large number of countries, where human rights continue to be violated as a result of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion and social class, and of bad governance, corruption, repression, abuse of power, weak institutions, lack of accountability and armed conflict,

C.   whereas on paper there is an impressive degree of endorsement of human rights values by the international community, with over 140 countries having ratified the two major covenants and almost all states having ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

D.   whereas a steadily growing number of countries has abolished the death penalty or has established or extended moratoria on executions, but in some countries there appears to be a reverse trend, in particular in China,

E.   whereas the role of the international community in assisting the truth and reconciliation process in post-conflict societies is recognised as a means of fostering reconciliation, peace, stability and development,

F.   whereas in countries which respect and uphold human rights, pressure groups and a free press help ensure that the democratic state functions well; whereas they must not be subject to censorship or restricted freedom of expression,

G.   stressing that in recent years control and repression of Internet use has increased dramatically in the People's Republic of China and dozens of people have been arrested for distributing messages calling for greater freedom and democracy, or for simply having distributed information via the Internet; whereas the number of arrests in such cases increased by 60% compared to the previous year,

H.   whereas the same phenomenon is occurring systematically in Vietnam, where several democracy activists have been arrested in recent months,

I.   convinced that all acts of terrorism deny the very concept of human rights,

J.   whereas the European Union supports and actively cooperates with the work of the Ad Hoc Committee of the 6th Committee of the UNGA in its work towards the preparation of a Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the preparation of a Draft International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism,

K.   whereas a state that has suffered acts of terrorism may collaborate with other states in a spirit of reciprocity, but with due respect for human rights and international law,

L.   whereas extradition should be refused if there are serious reasons to believe that the person to be extradited would be subject, in the country applying for extradition, to treatment that does not comply with international law,

M.   whereas in some cases a military procedure with no appeal or monitoring is imposed on alleged terrorists except those with the nationality of the country accusing them,

N.   whereas democratic countries must set an example when they want to pursue the perpetrators of such acts or bring them to justice, by granting them all the rights and safeguards that a country that respects human rights must provide for any accused person,

O.   whereas certain countries have created and/or put in place extra-territorial areas which are not subject to any concept of basic law or monitoring, contrary to all the international conventions and treaties,

P.   whereas the fight against terrorism constitutes a special situation that allows for restrictions on, and even outright suspension of, individual freedoms, particularly in countries with dictatorial regimes; stressing that all these countries have used the fight against terrorism as a pretext for stepping up repression against subjugated populations or any form of political dissidence,

Q.   subscribing to the principle that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition; fully supporting the WHO principles; concerned in particular about the situation as regards the right to access to health, as this right is closely linked to the economic, social and political situation of every individual country,

R.   recognising that access to reproductive health is a fundamental human right and that women and men should therefore be guaranteed the freedom to make their own informed and responsible choice in regard to their sexual and reproductive health and rights, while being conscious of the importance of their decisions for other individuals as well as for society,

S.   whereas studies have proved that there is a direct link between access to information and high standards in all aspects of health, including lower levels of HIV/AIDS and other transmitted infections, the risk of unwanted pregnancies and correlated abortions, the risk of still-births and maternal and infant deaths,

T.   condemning the practice of female genital mutilation still used in many countries which has already produced more than 130 million victims worldwide, and poses a threat to some 2 million young girls or women each year; welcoming, in this connection, the Maputo Protocol adopted by the African Union in July 2003,

U.   whereas reproductive health is a major concern for the social and economic well-being of a nation, and deficiencies in access to reproductive health have direct effects on the economic and social fabric of the country concerned,

V.   concerned at the deliberate withholding of information in a large number of countries, which are the most affected by low standards of reproductive health,

W.   shocked by the lack of willingness shown by developed countries to ensure the necessary funding to meet the basic standards outlined in the Action Programme of the UN Conference on Population and Development adopted in Cairo on 13 September 1994 and even more concerned by the sharp decrease in the funds available since the entry into force of the Mexico City Policy, diminishing US funding to any NGO which is not following a strict abstinence promotion policy,

X.   whereas access to information on, and the promotion through social marketing of condoms can for the moment be considered as the most effective preventive measure against all forms of sexually transmitted diseases,

Y.   whereas the denial of access to treatment for HIV/AIDS through a lack of available funds, in particular access to anti-retroviral drug combinations, which are proving successful at stabilising but not curing HIV/AIDS, is causing a major security threat both regionally and worldwide, including in Eastern Europe and Central Asia where there is a sharp and deplorable increase in sexually transmitted diseases and in sexual violence;

Z.   concerned by the sharp decrease in the funds available since the entry into force of the Mexico City Policy,

AA.   whereas 2003 was the European Year of the Disabled,

AB.   whereas the UN estimates that more than half a billion people in the world are disabled through mental, physical or sensory impairment,

AC.   noting that in many countries unacceptable barriers are still too often raised against the inclusion of disabled people, thus preventing them from fully enjoying a social, professional, family, emotional and sexual life,

AD.   stressing that the specific needs of disabled people apply unreservedly to disabled people who are accused or suspected of crimes and/or are or could be imprisoned or held on remand,

AE.   whereas the international community must take into account the problem represented each year by the hundreds of thousands of people who, as a result of wars and conflicts, are disabled or physically or mentally handicapped;

1.  Expresses its satisfaction that the fifth parliamentary term has seen a number of major innovations in relation to EU policy on human rights, including the creation or further development of important instruments, that correspond largely to its own initiatives;

2.  Notes that it has contributed considerably to strengthening the human rights dimension and in putting human rights issues on the European agenda;

3.  Considers that terrorism is one of the most serious common challenges facing the international community; condemns all acts of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, irrespective of their motivation, forms and manifestations; underlines that the fight against terrorism has to remain a matter of the highest priority for the EU;

4.  Manifests its commitment to continuing to act in support of respect for human rights and promotion of democracy worldwide, and to pursuing in particular its initiatives in favour of the abolition of the death penalty and torture, the fight against impunity, the elimination of racism, xenophobia and discrimination, the protection of women's rights and children's rights (including child soldiers and child labour); the protection and accompaniment of human rights defenders; the protection of social and workers' rights, the protection of refugees (including internally displaced people), the defence of the interests of indigenous populations and of minorities, such as moutain-dwellers in Vietnam, the victims of systematic repression, freedom of the press and other means of expression, non-discrimination of homosexuality, freedom of religion and conviction and all other rights;

5.  Reiterates its view that strengthened efforts are needed to find a coordinated approach in order to mainstream human rights in its external relations activities, to link the activities of its future subcommittee on human rights, its main committees responsible and its interparliamentary delegations and to ensure a consistent follow-up to Parliament's resolutions by the Commission, the Council and the third countries concerned; reiterates its call for Parliament's financial and human resources dedicated to human rights activities to be considerably increased;

6.  Underlines the need to pursue its efforts in order to make major progress in dialogue with the Council on EU human rights policy and calls on the Council to agree upon a structure which allows systematic and timely reaction to EP resolutions; recalls, in this context, its proposals made on the basis of the Council's conclusions of December 2002;

7.  Strongly supports the Council's intention to achieve a more effective and visible EU human rights and democratisation policy through increased coherence and consistency between Community action and the CFSP, mainstreaming, greater openness and regular identification and the review of priority action;

8.  Insists that concerns on human rights situations be discussed more openly and regularly at Association/Cooperation Councils and at EU summits with third countries and that the respective conclusions should fully reflect this discussion point;

9.  Welcomes the recent release of political prisoners in Syria, but insists that all political prisoners should be set free, at the latest before the signing of the EU-Syria Association Agreement, as this would significantly facilitate Parliament's assent;

10.  Welcomes the fact that the Council's annual operational programme for 2003 was the first to be jointly drawn up by the Greek and Italian Presidencies; considers, however, that the major political priorities and actions in external relations outlined in the work programmes of the Commission and the Council would need a more explicit human rights perspective;

11.  Welcomes the fact that, at the invitation of the EU Presidency, Members of the European Parliament participated in the 3rd round of the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue on 8/9 October 2003 and considers that Members of the European Parliament should be involved in the same way in future human rights dialogues with third countries; invites the Presidency to transmit its in-depth evaluation of the China dialogue as soon as possible and to prepare a similar evaluation of the Iran dialogue;

12.  Deplores the fact that the 3rd Round Table of the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue had a very abstract academic character and considers that at coming Round Tables the debate must have a stronger political dimension and contain real dialogues;

13.  Welcomes the establishment in 2003 of a Subgroup on Governance and Human Rights under the Cooperation Agreement with Bangladesh and calls on the Council and the Commission to create similar Subgroups where appropriate for the other Cooperation Agreements;

14.  Welcomes the efforts undertaken to engage in a similar exercise with other third countries and looks forward to the start of the work with Vietnam and Morocco;

15.  Is strongly convinced that human rights dialogues should not be a justification for the marginalisation of human rights vis-à-vis security, economic or political priorities; recalls its demand on the Council to formulate concrete objectives and benchmarks for human rights dialogues and to ensure that the results are regularly evaluated;

16.  Reiterates its demand for more openness and transparency on the part of the EU institutions and on the part of the Council in particular; maintains its criticism that the calls made in its resolutions for the Council to report back on the outcome of specific human rights issues, in particular as these come up in international organisations, are systematically disregarded; insists that Parliament should be given a full explanation whenever its human rights recommendations are not followed by Council or Commission;

17.  Takes note of the fact that the structure of the EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2003 has been improved, but regrets that the report still does not focus particular attention on individual cases and their follow-up, including those raised in Parliament's resolutions, nor contain any response to proposals adopted in its own Annual Report on Human Rights in the World;

18.  Calls on the Council, in this connection, to step up dialogue with civil society and, in future, to involve the relevant NGOs more closely in its initiatives and in the drawing up of its Report on Human Rights and the shaping of the annual Human Rights Forum;

19.  Welcomes the creation of the Commission's website on human rights which includes analyses, reports and research done on key issues and which allows even better information to NGOs and civil society as a whole;

20.  Recognises the progress made in paying outstanding commitments and in speeding up the pace of payments' execution in the EIDHR budget implementation within the general 60 days' time scale and the implementation plan for each budget heading as well as the Council's guidelines ensuring complementarity and consistency of EU external policy measures between the Community and Member States;

21.  Decides to create a proper format for its Annual Reports on Human Rights in the World, which adequately evaluates the human rights policy of the Council, Commission and European Parliament in the period under consideration, and provides a systematic follow-up to proposals and statements included in the preceding Annual Report on Human Rights of the European Parliament; considers that the rapporteur can further choose special themes of particular relevance for the report;

22.  Considers that the European Parliament Annual Report should be produced at a fixed time every year, and include an analysis and evaluation of the Annual Report of the Council of the same year;

23.  Decides to retain closer contacts with former winners of the Sakharov Prize to enable the prize to play a role in safeguarding and helping to ensure respect for human rights in the countries concerned; stresses, in particular, the need to continue and increase support for former Sakharov Prize winners who are still suffering from repression in their country, in particular Leyla Zana, Aung San Suu Kyi and Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas; with regard to the last of these, recalls the support given to the 'Sakharov Initiative' conducted within the European Parliament and calls on the Cuban authorities to refrain from placing any further obstacles in the way of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas travelling to the European Union to meet with its institutions;

24.  Underlines the fact that serious human rights crises persist in a large number of countries, often in a context of violent conflict, with the international community failing to have any decisive influence; notes that the EU's existing potential has not been used in such a way as to effectively confront some of the world's worst violators; regrets that in such situations human rights have never constituted a bottom line in the EU's external policies; is convinced that respect for human rights will not result from solemn declarations which are not supported by effective actions for their implementation;

25.  Is convinced that the new European security strategy provides an important conceptual framework in relation to armed conflict and conflict resolution and insists that a proper human rights dimension has to be developed, based on a concept of prevention;

26.  Welcomes the London Declaration on Colombia (10 July 2003) and reaffirms the requirement that all parties in the Colombia conflict are required to comply without qualification with all recommendations of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia;

27.  Calls on the Council to ensure that responsibility on human rights issues is made a part of crisis management and of long-term engagement in post-conflict resolution;

28.  Fully supports the Guidelines adopted by the Council on 8 December 2003 on Children and Armed Conflict and looks forward to the Commission's review of Community assistance in this area as a first contribution to the implementation of the Guidelines;

29.  Regrets, in particular, that Parliament's demands for a serious and non-selective application of human rights clauses appear to have had no visible effect on the human rights policies of the Council, the EU Member States and the Commission;

30.  Stresses, in addition, that on several occasions EU human rights policies have been undermined by the non-respect of EU arms embargoes, efforts to lift arms embargoes prematurely and by Member States not maintaining systematically a strict application of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; emphasises that firm political action against the proliferation of all types of weapons, both conventional and WMD, both heavy arms and light weapons, is essential to the success of any EU campaign on human rights;

31.  Regrets that the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements lack clearly defined procedures for implementation of the human rights clause;

32.  Insists on the necessity for a mid-term review of Article 2 of all Association Agreements in order to evaluate whether respect for human rights, particularly women's rights and democratic principles, is fully implemented, and calls for specific mechanisms to enable human rights clauses to be applied more effectively and efficiently;

33.  Calls on the Commission to report back to Parliament on the state of preparation of an implementation mechanism for the human rights clause in order to maintain explicit pressure for significant improvements of the human rights situation in the countries concerned and to encourage sections of society that are in favour of promoting democracy and respect for human rights;

34.  Reiterates its call on the Council, the Commission and Member States to enforce effectively all EU political instruments, including the sanctions policies, in furtherance of human rights and to ensure that actions are not taken which deliberately undermine such policies;

35.  Reiterates its call for periodic review of sanctions policies in order to assess and enhance their effectiveness;

36.  Considers that meetings with parliamentarians and civil society from third countries having signed the human rights clause contribute to Parliament's monitoring of the concrete implementation of the clause, but is of the opinion that this effectiveness could be enhanced;

37.  Welcomes the Commission's communication on 'Reinvigorating EU actions on human rights and democratisation with Mediterranean partners - Strategic Guidelines (COM(2003) 294)', which is aimed at finding a structured approach in order to regularly assess compliance by States with their human rights obligations; supports, in particular, in line with its own proposals, a systematic discussion of human rights issues in the Association Council's meetings and welcomes the fact that the idea of establishing working groups on human rights with partner countries is gaining ground; appreciates, in particular, the 10 concrete recommendations to upgrade knowledge and expertise, improve the dialogue between the EU and its Mediterranean partners as well as to enhance cooperation on human rights issues, including through the development of MEDA National Action Plans on human rights and democracy with those partners willing to engage in such an exercise;

38.  Calls on the Commission to define a coherent EU strategy on human rights, which includes all relevant elements such as the human rights clause, dialogue, financial assistance and the reinforcement of international standards, and which is elaborated in the same way as the existing strategies for the Mediterranean partners, as well as other countries and regions;

39.  Welcomes the entry into force of the new ACP-EU partnership agreement (Cotonou) on 1 April 2003; considers that the human rights clause in the agreement has a clear implementation mechanism providing for procedures to make its application binding, suspension as a last resort and the establishment of dialogue between government and civil society, which merits being negotiated for further agreements with third countries;

40.  Stresses nevertheless that strengthening or resuming EU economic, financial and technical assistance to the developing countries, particularly the ACP countries, can only be envisaged if the authorities of the countries concerned give a parallel undertaking to remedy any continuing human rights abuses in a verifiable and lasting manner and demonstrate their commitment to good governance, democracy and the rule of law through joining in concrete action against persistent human rights violators such as the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe;

41.  In the framework of implementation of the "Wider Europe" policy, supports the Commission in its commitment to ensure that human rights and democratisation issues are fully taken into account in the political chapter of "Wider Europe Action Plans", to be negotiated with the Union's eastern and southern neighbours;

42.  Calls on all states, in the spirit of the UN Millennium Declaration, to put their commitment to uphold respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms into practice and to dedicate themselves to the full and effective implementation of international human rights treaties to which they are parties; this means that whenever domestic laws (e.g. Sharia laws) are contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties, these laws must be amended and brought into line with the commitments that have been given;

43.  Welcomes the UN Human Rights Sub-Commission guidelines on multinational enterprise (18 August 2003), as an important stepping stone towards a binding global code of conduct;

44.  Reiterates its call on all states that have not done so to establish a moratorium on executions, as a first step towards the universal abolition of the death penalty, which no state should reject; calls upon the EU to start a dialogue on invoking the human rights clause against those countries which continue to execute non-adult and disabled individuals;

45.  Regrets the deaths of UN staff in Iraq, symbolic of human rights defenders worldwide; insist that firm policies should be developed to support all those who campaign for the respect of human rights; welcomes therefore the initiative of the Irish Presidency to produce guidelines on the protection of human rights defenders;

46.  Expresses grave concern at the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has led to a seemingly endless spiral of hatred and violence and to increased suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians;

47.  Shares the deep concern expressed by the Council at the continuation of illegal settlements and expropriation of land for the construction of the so-called 'security fence', which leads to the violation of a number of basic human rights such as freedom of movement, and the right to family life, to work, to health, to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to education; the prohibition on discrimination contained in many international conventions is clearly violated in the closed zone in which Palestinians, but not Israelis, are required to have permits;

48.  Takes note of the fact that the situation in each of the Central Asian countries is different; reiterates its concern with regard to human rights violations and cases of political repression, particularly in Turkmenistan where the human rights situation has deteriorated dramatically recently and in Uzbekistan where there are continuing serious concerns;

49.  Welcomes the determined EU campaign against all forms of torture and degrading behaviour; regrets that by December 2003 only six EU Member States had signed (and ratified) the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture as adopted by the UN in 2002; insists that the human rights clause must be invoked against all economic and political partners of the EU which allow their judiciary and police services to continue torture practices against their citizens; reiterates its concern that the Commission undertakes the financing of torture prevention projects at the cost of projects for the rehabilitation of torture victims; urges that a ban be introduced on the production, sale and exportation of torture equipment;

50.  Reiterates its demand on the EU, and the Commission in particular, to fully support the cause of indigenous populations, in particular to provide all aid possible to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations;

51.  Recalls its priorities for the 60th Session of the UNCHR as spelled out in its abovementioned resolution of 10 February 2004;

52.  Reaffirms the importance of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights as the world's highest body for human rights protection to ensure public scrutiny of situations of gross and persistent abuse;

53.  Insists that, for the EU's global human rights policies to be effective, there cannot be 'double standards' in which human rights violations within the enlarged EU are not addressed properly and exemplarily;

54.  Welcomes the EU's support for the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) but reiterates that the EU and its current and future Member States should stand more firm and united against pressure from states which do not wish to adhere to the Court and who want to reduce the ICC's scope and efficiency;

55.  Underlines that no immunity, as recognised under Article 41, paragraph 2, of the Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961 on Diplomatic Relations, should ever afford the possibility of impunity for any individual accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, and is concerned about the fact that some regions of the world are still severely under-represented within the group of countries that have signed and ratified the Rome ICC Statute;

56.  Urges the Council and the Commission to use the EU's political leverage under Cooperation Agreements in order to promote the signature and the ratification of the Rome ICC Statute by as many countries as possible;

57.  Expresses its regret that an ad hoc International Criminal Court has not yet been established by the UN Security Council, as this would be the most expedient way of dealing with the case of the detainees held in Guantánamo;

58.  Asks the US authorities to put an end immediately to the current legal limbo in which the detainees held in Guantánamo Bay have, since their arrival, been placed and to guarantee immediate access to justice in order to determine the status of each individual detainee on a case-by-case basis, either by charging them under the rules laid down in the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (particularly Articles 9 and 14 thereof) or by releasing them instantly, and to ensure that those charged with war crimes receive a fair trial in accordance with international humanitarian law and in full compliance with international human rights instruments;

59.  Welcomes the projects undertaken by the Commission to promote freedom of expression under the EIDHR, and calls on the Commission to extend such projects specifically to the promotion of freedom of conscience and religion;

60.  Reiterates its call on the Council and the Commission to make the early identification of the abuse of religions for political purposes a priority of EU human rights policy, and calls for reinforced EU efforts to seek to prevent violent religious extremism which threatens human rights;

61.  Calls again on the Council, Commission and Member States to make religious freedom a priority for action in the European Union's relations with third countries where appropriate, and requests that penalties be laid down for violation of this freedom;

62.  Recalls the decision of the Valencia Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference to set up a EuroMed Foundation, providing a structure for intercultural and interreligious dialogue with and between the countries and societies on the Mediterranean's southern shore, and urges all governments involved to provide sufficient funding in order to make the establishment of the Foundation possible by the announced date of 1 July 2004;

63.  Calls on the Commission to enhance the dialogue with non-governmental organisations, including with religious and non-religious organisations, in order to promote peaceful coexistence between different religious and cultural communities; considers that such dialogue should, to start with, take place in the framework of the implementation of the abovementioned Commission Communication;

64.  Reiterates that access to modern communications technologies and language courses can facilitate inter-cultural exchanges, tolerance and understanding for other cultures and religions within and outside the European Union, and welcomes in this respect the many initiatives undertaken by the Commission such as the Euromed Youth programme, the Asialink and the eSchola Programmes, and looks forward to receiving annual evaluations of these programmes;

65.  Insists that there should be no diminution of support by the Commission and Council for mine action and stresses the importance of assistance to countries and NGOs engaged in activities to clear anti-personnel landmines and other unexploded ordnance, as well as assistance to mine victims; urges the Commission to publish regular progress reports to clarify how far the Member States of the enlarged EU adhere to their obligations under the Ottawa Treaty (a global ban on anti-personnel landmines) and to what extent these states follow Parliament's expressed wish that cluster submunitions no longer be used;

66.  Underlines that the fight against terrorism has to take place in the framework of international law; calls on the Council and the Member States to work actively in the preparation of the Draft International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which should include an internationally recognised status for victims of terrorist acts, as a means of further developing a comprehensive legal framework of conventions dealing with terrorism and to inform Parliament regularly about important developments in this area;

67.  Acknowledges that the legal or regulatory policy concerning reproductive health falls within the Member States' sphere of competence, but considers that on an international level the EU is obliged to do its utmost to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to ensure that obligations are fulfilled in the framework of the UN Charter, UN Conventions and many other agreements covering the issue;

68.  Calls on the Commission to pay particular attention to assisting not only developing countries, but also countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia, which are not covered by the Cotonou Agreement, and to provide financial and technical support as well as training for personnel;

69.  Welcomes the action taken by ECHO in the field of humanitarian aid, which often has a component of reproductive health, and urges it to pay even greater attention to the dramatic situation caused by the lack of access to all aspects of reproductive health in emergency situations and in refugee camps;

70.  Insists that the Council and the Member States have to address even more firmly the magnitude of HIV/AIDS, which represents a major threat to global security, with 3 million people dying yearly despite the possibility of treatment; underlines that the fight against HIV/AIDS must include effective public health programmes involving education, prevention, treatment, care and support;

71.  Calls on the Commission to step up its funding of educational programmes devoted to reproductive health, focusing on the fight against sexual violence and female genital cutting or mutilation, and educating people on responsible sexual behaviour and the use of modern family planning methods, as well as available HIV/AIDS preventive methods;

72.  Calls on the Council to act upon its stated intention to step up funding for the Global Fund, specifically for programmes in the field of reproductive health as well as funding of NGOs under all assistance programmes (TACIS, PHARE, MEDA, CARDS, etc.) via not only health projects, but also projects dedicated to drug problems and general educational and awareness-raising projects;

73.  Asks the Commission, in particular, to step up its reproductive health programmes in the TACIS area as the situation is increasingly worrying and the countries concerned do not have the means to meet educational and supply needs, which results in a sharp increase of HIV/AIDS transmission (1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe/Central Asia), an extremely high rate of abortions (3.6 abortions per lifetime per woman), poor-quality contraceptive methods and a high infant mortality rate (up to 74 per 1000 compared to 5 per 1000 in France);

74.  Calls on the Member States to meet their obligations under the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as one of the most effective means in the fight against AIDS and other contagious, poverty-related diseases;

75.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to take all appropriate measures as soon as possible, including the necessary legislative measures, to fulfil their commitment to act upon the decision of the General Council of the World Trade Organisation on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health;

76.  Welcomes the report on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health presented to the 60th Session of the Commission on Human Rights, and the report on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and other aspects related to the issue;

77.  Calls on the Commission to make up for the loss of funds due to the Mexico City Policy, and to the US policy advocating exclusively abstinence promotion programmes, in particular to step in for the funds withheld from UNFPA and the funds cancelled for NGO programmes;

78.  Urges all Member States and applicant countries to respect the human right to privacy and the right to travel freely, and to fully respect the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in this area; is outraged at recent attempts by applicant countries to disregard this ruling;

79.  Calls on the Commission and Council to make ratification of the Maputo Protocol one of their priorities in relations with third countries affected by the phenomenon of female genital mutilation;

80.  Regrets that people arrested in Egypt on grounds of their sexual orientation are all too often denied certain aspects of their fundamental human rights, including the right to a fair trial;

81.  Following persistent arrests and harassment of homosexual men in Egypt and the entrapment of homosexuals by security services over the internet, expresses deep concern about the denial of fundamental rights, including the right to free association, the right to privacy and the right to a fair trial;

82.  Welcomes the statement of the Council in the EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2003 on the situation of disabled people and the steps taken in the international arena towards advancement of persons with disabilities; however, considers that although some progress has been made, persons with disabilities are still unable to fully enjoy human rights on an equal basis;

83.  Notes with regret that in some states there are numerous obstacles, unacceptable restrictions and/or limits to access to training and/or education for disabled children, adolescents or students, in so-called normal as well as special schools, disregarding the human right to education and training;

84.  Considers that accessibility and use of public space and the built environment, both public and private, is a fundamental right and an essential guarantee of disabled people's freedom of movement, equal opportunities, and freedom from discrimination and thus of respect for human rights;

85.  Stresses that disabled people exercising their right to mobility must not suffer any form of direct or indirect discrimination, whether deliberate or not, or financial discrimination, and regrets that public transport (buses, coaches, taxis, underground trains, trams, and transport by rail, air, river and sea) are still hard for disabled people (and their guide dogs) to access and use;

86.  Deplores the human rights abuse experienced by many disabled people in the world, notably disabled persons living in institutions subject to degrading treatment, violence and abuse, as well as exploitation of disabled persons by organised begging and cases of forced sterilisation, and calls on the Commission to draw up a specific report on the subject of human rights abuse of disabled people;

87.  Condemns the continued use of caged beds for some mentally ill patients in a small number of Accession countries and calls on the Commission to encourage and support a swift end to this inhuman and degrading method of restraint;

88.  Welcomes the programmes set up to provide proper medical assistance for at least some of the Chechen children terribly affected by the war in their country and calls on all Member States and the EU itself to help strengthen humanitarian programmes of this kind so as to cater for the enormous needs of the Chechen population in this respect;

89.  Asks the Commission to include in the horizontal EIDHR programme measures to increase awareness of the human rights of disabled people among various social and political actors and decision-makers in the partner countries, as is happening in the area of cultural dialogue, and to include in the various countries" strategic programmes objectives concerning the accessibility for disabled people of health care, education and public buildings in that country;

90.  Supports the assistance provided by ECHO and disability NGOs in emergencies; stresses that psychiatric problems caused by conflicts must be diagnosed and treated, particularly in children;

91.  Asks the Commission to record the various ways of caring for and treating disabled people in the countries with which it has Cooperation Agreements and to identify and reinforce good practice, while remaining aware of the particular circumstances of each country;

92.  Insists that the unacceptable differences between rich and poor countries in the options available for treating post-infection and post-trauma disabilities must be reduced as a priority through appropriate programmes;

93.  Calls on the Member States and the Council to continue their support for an International Convention to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities, to actively support its resolution of 3 September 2003 and to ensure that the UN Convention includes effective monitoring and implementation mechanisms at both national and international level, also guaranteeing the active participation of representative disability organisations throughout the process;

94.  Reiterates its call on the Commission and the Council to strongly support initiatives to promote and enhance the fight against caste discrimination in all relevant United Nations fora; calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the issue of caste discrimination and policies to combat this wide-spread form of racism is properly addressed in all country strategy papers, mid-term reviews of these and communications on countries affected by it;

95.  Deplores that no action has been taken by the Commission and the Council to enhance the political and human rights dialogue with caste afflicted countries on the issue of the continued dehumanising practice of caste discrimination, and that the effectiveness of EU human rights policy in terms of addressing caste discrimination still remains to be assessed;

96.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the accession countries, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the governments of the countries mentioned in this resolution and the offices of the main human rights NGOs based in the EU.

(1) NB: for all relevant basic texts, please consult the table annexed to report A5-0270/2004 of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy.
(2) OJ C 379, 7.12.1998, p. 265; OJ C 262, 18.9.2001, p. 262; OJ C 293 E, 28.11.2002, p. 88; OJ C 271 E, 12.11.2003, p. 576.
(3) CoE document 9901, 11.9.2003.
(4) OJ C 78, 2.4.2002, p. 66.
(5) OJ C 77 E, 28.3.2002, p. 126
(6) OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.
(7) P5_TA(2003)0370.
(8) OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.
(9) P5_TA(2003)0518.
(10) OJ C 20, 20.1.1997, p. 389.
(11) P5_TA-PROV(2004)0154.
(12) P5_TA(2003)0375 adopted 4.9.2003; OJ C 131 E, 5.06.2003, p. 138; OJ C 65 E, 14.3.2002, p. 336; OJ C 377, 29.12.2000, p. 336; OJ C 98, 9.4.1999, p. 270; OJ C 20, 20.1.1997, p. 161; OJ C 126, 22.5.1995, p. 15; OJ C 115, 26.4.1993, p. 214; OJ C 267, 14.10.1991, p. 165; OJ C 47, 27.2.1989, p. 61; OJ C 99, 13.4.1987, p. 157; OJ C 343, 31.12.1985, p. 29; OJ C 172, 2.7.1984, p. 36; OJ C 161, 10.6.1983, p. 58.
(13) OJ C 38 E, 12.2.2004, p. 247.
(14) P5_TA(2003)0462.
(15) P5_TA(2004) 0079.
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Worldwide, resistance and alternatives to free trade

29/11/2016

European Parliament, Brussels, 7 December 2016, 14:30, room ASP1G2 | Followed by three workshops for the follow-up, on 8 December at 09:30 and a short plenary from 11:30 to 13:00.

Worldwide, resistance and alternatives to free trade

Worldwide, resistance and alternatives to free trade

European Parliament, Brussels, 7 December 2016, 14:30, room ASP1G2

(Interpretation: FR, DE, IT, NL, EN, DA, EL, ES, PT, FI, SV, CS)

Introductory words: Gabi Zimmer, President GUE/NGL

Panel 1:  Why we oppose free trade deals, lessons from different parts  of the world:

Moderated by MEP Stelios Kouloglou, Greece

- Jane Nalunga, Southern & Eastern Africa Trade Information & Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Uganda

- Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO - America’s Unions, USA

- Luciana Ghiotto, Attac:TNI, Argentina

- Toni Salvador, Philippine campaign, The Philippines

Panel 2:   Building alternatives to FTAs:

Moderated by MEP Eleonora Forenza, Italy

- Emiliano Brancaccio, Sanio University, Italy

- Manuel Perez-Rocha, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington

- Representative of the Consumers Union of Japan

- Sergi Corbalan, Fair Trade Advocacy Office

Panel 3:  The way forward to consolidate alternatives

Moderated by MEP Helmut Scholz, Germany

-  Ana Cazzini, Campact anti-TTIP campaign, Germany

- Jorge Marchini, Fundación para la integración Latinoam. /CADTM AYNA, Argentina

-  Delmah Ndhlovu, Zimbabwe Small holder Organic Farmers Forum, Via Campesina

-  Adriana Espinosa, Universidad Carlos III, Spain

Concluding words

-  Brid Brenan, Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam

Followed by three workshops (see registration form) for the follow-up, on 8 December at 09:30 and a short plenary from 11:30 to 13:00.

Conference

The current debate over CETA and TTIP in Europe, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and the federal election campaign in the United States, among others, have highlighted how many people, in the both Southern and Northern  countries as well, are deeply concerned about free trade.

Deals like TTIP, CETA, TPP, TiSA, the EPAs, and EU bilateral free trade deals with Japan, Tunisia, Singapore, Mercosur (...) are facilitating an unprecedented level of power for multinational companies; the concentration of wealth among ‘the one per cent’; the liberalisation of public goods and services; an absurd division of labour; the ‘race to the bottom’ of endless and senseless competition; and favouring foreign investors. The neoliberal model of trade and economics is offering no future for those who cannot fit into this model or those who don’t accept exploitation and environmental destruction.

The more these deals and their consequences are imposed on people, the more opposition grows. While the far right is attempting to capitalise politically on this discontent without providing any credible and democratic solutions, progressive organisations and individuals are building real alternatives and fairer approaches to trade are rapidly expanding.

Across all continents, social movements and progressive political forces are organising more and more effectively against free trade agreements, the power of corporations and speculative investors. Millions of people are standing up to defend public health; public services; democracy; cultural diversity; sustainable and autonomous energy; small, medium and cooperative farming; the precautionary principle; the commons; the right of all countries to protect sensitive sectors of their economies; and the free movement of people. Millions of fair and sustainable alternatives based on principle of democracy and solidarity are emerging to replace the current unfair trade model.

GUE/NGL is organising this Conference to facilitate dialogue and coordination among the organisations and individuals who are resisting free trade and building better alternatives for people and for the planet.  

Registration: HERE                       Contact : paul-emile.dupret@europarl.europa.eu

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MEMO: Takeaways of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation

What are the main takeaways of the 39th ICAO Assembly?

The Assembly agreed to the following points:

  1. The establishment of a Global Market Based Measure (GMBM) to offset international aviation CO2 emissions.
  2. The prevention of risks arising from conflict zones
  3. The interaction between national, regional and global rules on drones
  4. The adoption of a CO2 standard for aircraft emissions
  5. Progress towards sustainable global air transport
  1. GLOBAL MARKET-BASED MEASURE (GMBM)

What is the issue?

The global aviation industry currently accounts for around 2% of all human-induced CO2 emissions but, in view of projected growth in traffic, these emissions are expected to increase fast and are set to rise by almost 300% over the next decades, unless adequate action is taken. The objective of developing a GMBM was agreed in the ICAO Assembly in 2013, but became even more imperative after the signal sent by the international community with the adoption of the Paris Agreement last year.

What happened at the Assembly?

On 7 October, the ICAO Assembly adopted a Resolution for the establishment of Global Market Based Measure to offset CO2 emissions from international aviation and contribute to the carbon neutral growth of the sector from 2020 onwards. This is the first-ever agreement to address CO2 emissions in a global sector of the economy. ICAO will now have to follow up on the Assembly Resolution and lay down the detailed technical rules which will be the basis for all participating States to make the necessary rules to put the system in place at national level.

How will the GMBM work in practice?

The Global Market-Based Measure will compensate for the CO2 emissions generated by international aviation activities above 2020 levels. This should enable carbon neutral growth over time. In other words, an increase of emissions above the set level must be offset. The emitter (airline) would need to buy and surrender "emission units" generated by projects in other sectors that will reduce CO2 emissions.

The GMBM in practice

When will the GMBM start to operate?

During the pilot phase and Phase I (2021-2026), participation of states will be on a voluntary basis. Routes between 65 states that have already announced that they will opt-in from the beginning of Phase I will be covered. Participation of states in the GMBM will become mandatory in Phase II (as of 2027). Exemptions will then apply for some states (small islands developing states, least developed countries, land-locked developing countries and states representing a small share of aviation activities).

However, this is a system based on the aviation market size, not on the number of participants around the world. By representing a big portion of the market, the countries opting in from Phase I potentially cover 80% of all international aviation emissions.

GMBM coverage

What are the 65 States that will participate in Phase I?

These are: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada , China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America

Which states will remain exempted after 2027?

Exemptions are based on objective and commonly agreed criteria:

  • Small Islands Developing States, e.g. Cape Verde, Haiti or Tuvalu.
  • Least Developed Countries, e.g. Afghanistan, Burkina Faso or Myanmar.
  • Landlocked Developing Countries, e.g. Niger, Turkmenistan or Zimbabwe.
  • Countries with small aviation activities ('de minimis') e.g. Venezuela, Senegal, Lebanon or Pakistan.

However nothing precludes these countries to opt-in to the GMBM nonetheless.

Is the EU satisfied with the GMBM?

In line with its ambitious climate policy and the climate goals agreed under the Paris Agreement, the EU was always fully committed to reaching agreement on a robust and effective Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM) at the ICAO Assembly. This deal represents a positive first step forward to address international aviation emissions, which is imperative to keep the global temperature rise well-below 2 degrees Celsius as agreed in Paris. Now, the job is not over yet: key design elements will need to be developed, its environmental integrity fully secured, properly implemented and enhanced over time to make a meaningful contribution to climate change mitigation.

Assuming the above, the GMBM would achieve around 80% of carbon neutral growth. This means around 80% of the emissions above 2020 levels will be offset by the scheme between 2021 and 2035.

What is the consequence for the EU ETS aviation stop the clock?

The EU Emissions Trading System ("EU ETS") is the cornerstone of the EU climate policy. It is applicable since 2005 and aviation is included in its scope since 2012. However, in 2013, the scope was temporarily reduced to cover only intra-European flights in order to allow for a global agreement to be reached at ICAO ("stop the clock").

Following the agreement reached by the ICAO Assembly in Montreal on 6 October 2016, and in accordance with EU ETS legislation (Article 28a of Directive 2003/87/EC), the Commission will, in the coming months, report back to the European Parliament and the Council on the outcome of the Assembly. The Commission may, if appropriate, propose changes to the scope of the EU ETS for aviation, considering the necessary consistency with EU 2030 climate objective and policy. As Commissioner Bulc said, "The deal we have on the table is a good one – a good one for Europe - and a good one for world. It is in this spirit that we will move ahead".

What is the difference between the GMBM and the EU ETS?

While both are market-based measures addressing aviation emissions, there are some important differences between them. For instance, the EU ETS is a ‘cap and trade' scheme, which means that emissions cannot increase beyond a certain amount (cap). The GMBM on the other hand is an 'offsetting scheme' where emissions can grow without limit as far as they are compensated with offsets. The level of ambition (climate objective and associated baseline) and the type of units are other relevant differences.

  1. CONFLICT ZONES

What is the issue?

As illustrated with the tragic loss of the flight MH17 in 2014, one of the challenges civil aviation faces is the protection from the risks arising from conflict zones. This issue has an evident cross border dimension and cannot be effectively addressed by any States on its own. A need for action has therefore been recognised both at the European and global level, in the context of ICAO.

What are the main takeaways of the ICAO Assembly?

A joint position has been presented by Europe, Australia and Malaysia at the ICAO Assembly. It calls for the timely collection and rapid dissemination of information about conflict zones to ensure that airline operators are aware of the risks and avoid those zones. It also asks for States to take their responsibilities in the closure of their airspace because the safety of civil aviation operations could be endangered due to conflict zones. These proposals have been supported by the Assembly and will be implemented.

  1. DRONES

What is the issue?

The development of the drone industry has accelerated over recent years. To address this growing reality, a number of States have developed provisions regulating the use of drones. While most activities are likely to remain in a national airspace – and therefore outside of ICAO's remit - operations will eventually engage in international civil aviation. Action at global level will therefore be needed.

What initiatives have already been taken in Europe?

In the context of its Aviation Strategy, the Commission has proposed a framework to unleash the potential of drones on the EU market while ensuring the safety of operations. This framework should support innovation, boost the EU's economy and contribute to jobs creation in line with the Juncker Commission main priorities. The legislative proposal is currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.

What are the main takeaways of the ICAO Assembly?

The need to act at global level was agreed as well as the importance of ensuring consistence between actions at global level and those taken at national or regional level, and to take into account actions already developed by States of group of States.

  1. CO2 STANDARD FOR AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS

What happened during the Assembly?

The Assembly formally endorsed the first ever CO2 standard for aircraft, after six years of international negotiations. By 2040, the CO2 standard could help save up to 650 million tonnes of CO₂.

How will the standard work in practice?

The stringency and applicability dates, which the CO2 standard imposes, will depend on the weight of the aircraft and whether it concerns a "new type" aircraft or an "in-production" aircraft. For large new aircraft types, the standard will apply from 2020. By 2028, existing aircraft types will also have to apply the new standard.

  1. SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL AIR TRANSPORT

What happened during the Assembly?

The Commission and ICAO signed a declaration of intent renewing their partnership to address climate change through financial assistance and capacity building projects. Through this partnership, the Commission will support the implementation of the GMBM in targeted states. The Assembly also reviewed the progress made with the assistance provided to States in implementing global air transport rules, notably in the context of the No Country Left Behind initiative.

More information

Statement by Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport

Press release: Commission welcomes landmark international agreement to curb aviation emissions

Infographics

The Resolution on the GMBM (ICAO Website)

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Press release – Human rights: Philippines, Somalia and Zimbabwe

Parliament condemns the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings in the Philippines, deteriorating security and widespread intimidation in Somalia, and growing violence against demonstrators and breaches of human rights in Zimbabwe, in three resolutions voted on Thursday.

Extrajudicial executions and killings in the Philippines

 

MEPs strongly condemn the attack on a night market in the city of Davao, Philippines, on 2 September 2016, which left at least 14 people dead and 70 wounded, and convey their condolences to the victims’ relatives. They call on the EU Delegation to "monitor carefully the 'rule of lawlessness’” declared by the Philippine Government after the attack.

Drug trafficking and drug abuse in the Philippines remain a serious national and international concern, note MEPs. They understand that millions of people are hurt by the high level of drug addiction and its consequences in the country but are also concerned by the "extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign": from 1 July to 4 September 2016, police killed a thousand suspected drug pushers and users and arrested more than 15,000 drug suspects, according to figures released by the Philippine National Police.

MEPs urge the Philippines government to put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings, launch an "immediate investigation" into them and adopt "specific, comprehensive policies and programmes", in full compliance with national and international obligations and respect for human rights.

 

Killings, arrests, and widespread intimidation in Somalia

 

The European Parliament condemns the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attacks in Somalia, attributed to the Al-Shabab insurgent group, and also the many killings and arrests, widespread intimidation, closure of critical media outlets, confiscation of equipment and blocking of websites. The Somali authorities should urgently act to ensure that all violations of the right to freedom of expression are fully investigated, it says.

Parliament calls for a strengthening of the national security architecture and protection of the population, as Somalia is now in a crucial transition period, after two decades of civil war, absence of state control and terrorism. An "all-inclusive dialogue is needed between the country’s social sectors, including the clans and tribes that compose the Somalian nation", say MEPs, recalling that lasting stability and peace can be achieved only through "social inclusion, sustainable development and good governance based on the democratic principles and rule of law."

MEPs urge the African Union (AU) and troop-contributing countries to ensure that allegations of sexual violence by the African Union Mission in Somalia’s (AMISOM), the 22,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission, are properly and thoroughly investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice. They call for better EU monitoring and capacity building to ensure accountability for abuses by AMISOM, especially given that the EU is responsible for the bulk of its funding.

 

Human rights breaches in Zimbabwe

 

MEPs express serious concern about the growing violence against demonstrators – informal traders, unemployed young people and, now, professional people – who have taken to the streets in urban centres across Zimbabwe to protest against job losses, mass unemployment and the government’s failure to meet people’s basic economic expectations. They also note with alarm the recently announced one-month ban on demonstrations. The "rise in the number of arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders" worries MEPs, who urge that the rule of law should be respected.

The Zimbabwean authorities should release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and not interfere with the independence of the judiciary, urge MEPs. They condemn the recent statements by President Mugabe attacking the judiciary.

The EU Council and Commission should consider reimposing certain EU restrictive measures against the Zimbabwe regime, while making it clear that these will be removed and that an assistance package will be made available once Zimbabwe is clearly on the path towards democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, say MEPs, who believe that the lifting of the bulk of restrictive measures was premature.

 

Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions


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