Plenary speech on the 16th session of the United Nation Human Rights Council (Geneva, 28/2 - 25/3)

Marietje
Mr President, the UN Human Rights Council has the potential to address the ever more urgent and elaborate human rights violations across the world in different countries – Iran, Belarus, Burma, Tunisia, Libya, etc., there are too many to mention – but also horizontal themes such as LGBT rights, free expression, rape as a war crime and the role of human rights defenders. In a sense, the UN Human Rights Council is in a similar position to the EU and it has to act as a global player. But both bodies suffer from the same problem – a lack of credibility, double standards at times, and they are not able to act quickly enough. The EU thus far has been unwilling to scrutinise its own human rights record sufficiently, for example, its participation in renditions and the lack of press freedom in some of our Member States. Until last week, Libya was a member of the UN Human Rights Council. It has, rightfully, been removed. This is a very important precedent.