On 10 December the EU Delegation in Geneva commemorated the Human Rights Day. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action confirmed the universality of all human rights and led to historic advances in their promotion and protection. It continues to be a source of inspiration for the EU, which has human rights among its founding principles.
The Delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva gathered today to commonly honour a truly great man and to pay our respect.
The annual Meeting of the States Parties to the Anti-Personal Mine Ban Convention - also known as the Ottawa Convention – takes place for the 13th time in Geneva from 2-5 December 2013 (13MSP).
After four days of intensive negotiations an agreement was reached in the night of 24 November between the E3/EU+3 - France, Germany, United Kindgom, Russia, China and the US - led by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Iran.
The tropical cyclone "Haiyan", one of the strongest ever recorded, hit the Philippines on 7 and 8 November. In response, the European Union (EU) has been looking at the fastest and most effective ways to link immediate relief to longer-term rehabilitation of the affected areas, working closely with the Philippine government and other development partners. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, along with other representatives, expressed her sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims and stated that they "may count on the solidarity and assistance of the European Union".
What future for Europe? - The Geneva University invites to high-level conferences with European Commission President Barroso and European Court of Justice President Skouris
This year, the Institut européen, which was recently integrated into the Global Studies Institute, and the Centre d'études juridiques européennes of the University of Geneva celebrate their 50th anniversary. On this occasion the University invites to a series of conferences on European affairs with high-level European personalities, notably the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Court of Justice, Vasselios Skouris. More specifically on the subject of the EU in Geneva, a whole day will be devoted to the role of the EU in international organisations and in global governance.
On 15 and 16 October, the E3+3 and Iran, led respectively by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, held two intensive days of substantive and forward looking negotiations in Geneva. They agreed for the first time a joint final statement and decided to reconvene in Geneva on 7 and 8 November.
As every year, on 10 October, the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the EU will underline its strong and principled position against the capital punishment. The universal abolition of the death penalty represents one of the main objectives of the EU's human rights policy.
The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva and the European Commission's Directorate General for Internal Market and Services (DG Markt) organized on 26 September 2013 an event on "Intellectual Property, Economics and Development: the EU approach". The event took place in the margins of the 51st WIPO Assemblies.
From 9 - 27 September 2013 the 24th session of the Human Rights Council takes place in Geneva. The EU actively engages in the Council to address key human rights concerns and promote accountability for human rights violations.
The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva organized on 10 September a discussion on "The International Criminal Court after 15 Years: Prospects for the Future". The event took place in the margins of the 24th session of the Human Rights Council. It was an opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges of the ICC as the principal forum for international justice.
The EU Delegation and the Mission of Lithuania, in the context of the Lithuanian presidency of the Council of the EU, organised on 10 July 2013 a public discussion on the European Union's role in Afghanistan before and after 2014 at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. The keynote address was given by the EU Special Representative Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas, who has been the EU Head of Delegation in Afghanistan and Special Representative for the last three and a half years.
From 1 - 26 July the ECOSOC, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, took place in Geneva. ECOSOC meets every two years in Geneva and gathers national cabinet ministers, chiefs of international agencies and other high officials to discuss major economic, social and environmental policy issues.
The President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, visited Geneva on 14th June. On the agenda: Meetings with representatives of International Organizations in Geneva, as well as a keynote speech at the International Labour Conference.
Poland joined on 1st June the Ottawa Convention, the landmark treaty banning anti‐personnel mines, becoming binding law throughout the European Union. That means that all EU Member States are now legally bound to, never under any circumstances, use, produce, stockpile or transfer anti‐personnel mines.
The 23rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) discussed from 27 May - 14 June 2013 a wide range of human rights issues, many of them of paramount importance to the EU, such as Belarus, Syria and women's human rights.
The 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Geneva from 19 to 23 May. Governments, international organisations, representatives from NGOs, civil society and the private sector convened to assess where things stand in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and in advancing the strategic goal of a substantial reduction of losses in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries when disasters strike.
From 20-28 May, the 66th session of the World Health Assembly is taking place in Geneva. The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). It provides a platform to discuss specific issues on the international health agenda.
On 9 May 2013 Europe celebrated the 63rd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. Sixty-three years ago, on 9 May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made the first move towards the creation of what we now know as the European Union (EU). Europe Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the EU’s achievements in promoting democracy, human rights, peace and prosperity on the European continent.
Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons: The Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference meets in Geneva
The second meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) takes place in Geneva from 22 April to 3 May 2013. The European Union is actively contributing to the global efforts to seek a safer world and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.
The EU Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, visited Geneva on Wednesday 17 April. He participated at the 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns and gave a public lecture on "Towards a Green Economy - Are we moving forward?" at the Graduate Institute.
Androulla Vassiliou EU Commissioner for Education recalled the commitment of EU to scientific excellence at CERN
Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. During the visit, Commissioner Vassiliou was accompanied by CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer and Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.
Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, went on his first official visit to Geneva on 22 March in an effort to strengthen the ties between the European institutions and the UN and to underline the EU's committment to multilateralism. During his trip he met with the Heads of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
'The Power of Empowered Women' was organized on 26 February during the High Level Segment of the 22nd Human Rights Council by a core group of women Ambassadors from the Permanent Missions of Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Qatar, Romania, the European Union, United Kingdom and United States. Dedicated to advancing the cause of gender equality and women’s empowerment, the event aimed at highlighting the transformative impact of women in societies around the world.
The 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which gathered in Geneva from 25 February to 22 March 2013, adopted several resolutions of paramount importance for the European Union: on Syria, Myanmar/Burma, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Freedom of Religion or Belief, Rights of the Child and Sri Lanka. Four of these resolutions were presented and led by the EU itself.
Claus Sørensen, Director-General of the European Union Office for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), attended the Syria Humanitarian Forum on 19 February, which is organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and co-facilitated by the European Commission/ECHO, as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva hosted on 23 January a full day meeting of the EU Permanent Representatives in Geneva as well as the Directors of Human Rights in capitals to prepare the EU action in UN human rights fora in Geneva and New York during 2013.
The Permanent Mission of the EU to the UN organised together with the Permanent Mission of the EU to the WTO a live broadcast of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo. Members of the international diplomatic corps in Geneva and representatives of the international organizations joined EU Ambassadors Zappia and Pangratis to consider the EU's contribution to peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The Heads of the UN Office in Geneva, IOM, WIPO and UNECE were also invited to say a few words about the European Union. In an op-ed [35 KB] published by Swiss newspaper Le Temps, EU Ambassadors Zappia and Pangratis argue why the EU deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
Stavros Lambrinidis, the newly appointed Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights, is visiting Geneva on 4/5 December 2012, where he will participate in the first ever Forum on Business and Human Rights.
The European Union was today awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 in recognition of its historic role in uniting the continent, transforming Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace" as the Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said when announcing the award on 12 October in Oslo.
On 5 November 2012, at the occasion of the Geneva launch of a study on principled humanitarian action funded by the EU and Norway, the EU Delegation to the UN hosted a roundtable to reflect on the ability of humanitarian actors to adhere to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in a context increasingly influenced by political and security strategies.
10 October is the International Day against the Death Penalty. The fight for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty has attained significant achievements over the past years. Today, 141 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice however challenges remain. This year will mark ten years of joint efforts. At that occasion, the European Union together with Mexico, Mongolia and Switzerland have organised in Geneva at the UN a high-level panel discussion with panellists from all over the world - politicians, activists and members of victims' families - to dicuss the progress made, the experience gained and the challenges remaining in the campaign against the death penalty.
The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union adopted on Monday 25th June two fundamental documents for the development of the human rights policy of the European Union: a Strategic Framework and an Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. The Council also appointed Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, former Vice-President of the European Parliament and Foreign Minister of Greece, as the first EU Special Representative for Human Rights.
HIGH-LEVEL FORUM ON SYRIA IN GENEVA WITH THE PRESENCE OF UN COMMISSIONER PILLAY AND SYRIAN ACTIVISTS
A year and a half after the beginning of the uprising in Syria, the human rights situation continues to deteriorate, triggering a spiral of violence and a humanitarian crisis. To draw attention to the situation, hear the direct testimonies of the victims and help identify ways to promote and ensure justice, the Diplomatic Missions of the European Union, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Qatar, the United States of America, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia organised on Monday 10 September 2012 in Geneva, on the very first day of the 21th Session of the Human Rights Council, a High-Level Forum on Syria. The Forum was opened by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Pillay, and the President of the Human Rights Council, Ms Dupuy Lasserre. Prominent Syrian human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers delivered their testimonies.
IOM, the European Commission (EC) services and the European External Action Service (EEAS) formally strengthened their partnership on 13th July in an exchange of letters between IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and EU Ambassador Mariangela Zappia in Geneva.
This year's celebrations in Solferino highlighted the 20 years of existence of the European Humanitarian Office and its contribution in providing assistance for humanitarian projects worldwide.
The EU Delegation to the UN and the Mission of Brazil jointly organised on Tuesday 19 June 2012, in the margins of the Human Rights Council, a side-event on Women Human Rights Defenders.
The 101st annual session of the International Labour Conference took place in Geneva between the 30th May and 14th June 2012. Almost 5000 delegates from ILO's 185 member states and from regional organizations attended. Each delegation has a tripartite composition, formed by governmental delegates as well as representatives from the employers and from the workers.
Public support for humanitarian aid has gone up in the European Union in spite of the economic crisis. This is one of the key findings of the latest Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid and civil protection. Nine out of 10 citizens (88 %) believe it is important for the European Union to continue funding humanitarian aid, a rise of nine percentage points since the last survey in 2010. Almost as many, 84 %, support maintaining humanitarian aid funding in spite of the current economic crisis and pressures on public finances.This year the European Commission marks the 20th anniversary of delivering humanitarian aid through ECHO, its humanitarian aid and civil protection department. The EU as a whole — the European Commission together with the Member States — is the world's leading humanitarian aid donor.
The World Health Assembly met in Geneva from 21st to 26th May 2012 for its annual meeting. It concluded its work on a number of important decisions.
The year 2012 marks ECHO's first 20 years of existence. Throughout this time, ECHO has brought help to people in need all over the world. While it will continue to do so it also focuses on improving its effectiveness and response capacity. ECHO has contributed around €14 billion for the relief of victims of conflict and disasters in over 140 countries around the globe. Since 2007, an average of €1 billion has been provided annually, helping nearly 150 million people each year. Support ranges from life-saving medical assistance in the hours following a disaster, to water and food assistance, or sanitation and schools for the long-term displaced in refugee camps.
Thirteenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII, 21-26 April 2012, Doha/Qatar)
The Conference is the most important high-level event within UNCTAD, meeting only every four years at ministerial level. The Doha Conference was the first to be held in the Arab world. It adopted UNCTAD's mandate and work programme for the next four years (2012-2016). Attendants included representatives of the highest level from the 194 UN Member States and renowned figures from business and civil society.
The Human Rights Council 19th session ended on Friday 23rd March 2012 after four weeks of intense deliberations with the adoption of 40 resolutions. The European Union was fully engaged and tabled five resolutions on Syria, Burma/Myanmar and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Freedom of religion and belief and Rights of the child, which were all comfortably adopted.