European Parliament: NPWJ welcomes strong commitment against impunity and defense of human rights

Brussels, 21 January 2021

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) strongly welcomes the approval of two strategic reports for the EU foreign policy and for the defence and promotion of human rights in the world by the European Parliament during the plenary session held this week.
 
NPWJ stresses the importance of the full implementation of the 2020 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy so that the EU is fully capable of pursuing a policy capable of defending and developing an international order that guarantees multilateralism, democracy and respect for human rights.  NPWJ underlines the approval of paragraph 32 of the McAllister report which highlights the serious violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the the sides in conflict, such as indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian facilities, which are fully qualified as war crimes.

Also very important is Parliament's decision to call on the EU and its Member States, first of all, to ensure that there is no impunity for crimes - including by supporting the referral of the terrible situation in Yemen to the International Criminal Court - and then to take strong action: to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at European level. The arms sales do nothing but make the two monarchies complicit in perpetuating the conflict and prolonging the suffering of the Yemeni people.

With respect to the annual report on Human rights and democracy in the world and the EU’s policy on the matter, NPWJ welcomes the commitment of the EP to develop an explicit strategy to counter the growing withdrawal of States from the international framework of human rights and to improve the effectiveness of foreign and security policy of the Union through the use of qualified majority voting in the Council. NPWJ stresses, finally, the importance of human rights clauses in international agreements - in particular trade and association agreements - between the EU and third countries as well as the suspension of visa waivers in case of serious violations.

Now more than ever it is necessary that the principles solemnly reaffirmed by the European Parliament find an effective echo in the external action of the European Union in favour of human rights and democracy.