The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the European Union (EU) held their second Strategic Dialogue on Human Rights to discuss areas of respective interest and advance cooperation within the framework of the UN Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights and the EU Joint Communication on strengthening the EU’s contribution to rules-based multilateralism. The dialogue wasco-chaired by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights.
The meeting took stock of progress on joint EU – OHCHR initiatives since the previous Strategic Dialogue in October 2021. This includes experts’ exchanges and joint events in the areas of climate change, migration, and human rights in the digital sphere. The EU reaffirmed its full support for the independent and impartial mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Strategic Dialogue also covered geographic developments and specific country situations. At a time of unprecedented challenges to peace, people and planet, the Dialogueconsidered the impact of overlapping crises on human rightsand the international human rights system. It focused on the urgent need to strengthen multilateral action with the core objective of protecting people and putting their rights first. The EU and the OHCHR emphasised that upholding human rights is the best way of preventing conflict and violence and that there can be no lasting peace and stability when widespread human rights violations and abuses occur. OHCHR and the EU affirmed the importance of accountability for all perpetrators of violations of human rights and humanitarian law.
Reaffirming the role played by the international human rights mechanisms in preventing and addressing threats to peace and security and the enjoyment of human rights, OHCHR and the EU discussed how to intensify cooperation in promoting follow-up to the work and recommendations of such mechanisms, either bilaterally or through the UN system.
Both organisations also agreed on the need to promote compliance with international human rights law and humanitarian law in engaging with security and defence forces, and discussed respective practices and experience, including the development of due diligence policies.
OHCHR and the EU further agreed to accelerate action, through mutual cooperation, for racial justice and gender equality. This would also contribute to advancing the Sustainable Development Agenda and building back better from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OHCHR and the EU agreed to continue to constructively cooperate at both senior and technical levels.
More information: European Union External Action