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Dutch initiative for human rights investigation Yemen blocked by Saudi Arabia


Today, Marietje Schaake submitted parliamentary questions to High Representative Mogherini in response to Saudi efforts to block a Dutch-Canadian initiative in the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent inquiry into human rights violations committed in Yemen.

The UN Human Rights Council will today vote on a resolution tabled by the Netherlands and Canada condemning the ongoing violence and human rights violations in Yemen and calling for an independent commission of inquiry to investigate ongoing atrocities (1).  

Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to block the resolution, has threatened that countries supporting the resolution will face a deterioration in economic and diplomatic relations with the Kingdom.  

Five EU member states, including the United Kingdom, France and Greece do not support the joint Netherlands-Canadian initiative.  

1. Is the VP/HR aware of the threats issued by Saudi Arabia to EU member states and if so, will she issue a strong EU response or alternatively discuss this situation with Saudi authorities at the highest level?

2. One of the EU’s priorities for the 36st UNHRC session is the situation in Yemen and the ‘setting up of independent investigations into all alleged violations and abuses’. How does the VP/HR assess the fact that countries such as the United Kingdom not only deviate from the EU’s position but hereby also undermine efforts undertaken by other member states and how will she respond to this?

3. Will the VP/HR consider putting in place measures, including an EU arms embargo, against Saudi Arabia?