Put human rights on top of agenda: EU to candidates
"Respect for human rights must form an essential part of the future political agenda for Afghanistan", said Ambassador Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, the European Union Special Representative and Head of the EU Delegation to Afghanistan in a press release issued by the office on occasion of International Human Rights Day celebrated a day earlier.
He said despite progress made during the past decade, human rights violations remained a daily reality for many Afghans. The respect for human rights in Afghanistan, including women's rights and minority rights, is a constant concern to the EU and to all Europeans.
He said the EU was committed to supporting the Afghan people and their leaders in building on the achievements of the past decade to ensure the human rights for all Afghans.
“Afghanistan's future stability rests ultimately on its accountability to all its citizens, and its respect for constitutional, legal and international commitments, including those related to human and women's rights.” He stressed Afghanistan needed to do more to protect its citizens from violations.
With the 2014 elections approaching, the European Union called on all candidates to commit to doing their utmost to ensure human rights, including women's rights and minority rights, if they should win.
“Will and political courage must pave the way for basic human rights to all Afghans", said the EU Special Representative concluded.
On occasion of the International Human Rights Day, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton stated: "We are concerned by the increasing level of intimidation, violence and censorship that the media and human rights defenders face in many countries. “
“Our thoughts go out today to all those who are subject to persecution because they defend human rights. The EU will continue to offer unwavering support for human rights and democracy, and those who defend them".
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