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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Explanation of position by the EU after the adoption of the report of the special committe on Peacekeeping operations

Date of Speech : 18-04-2005

Place : New York

Speaker : Philip Helminger

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honor to take the floor on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.

Mr. Chairman,

The European Union welcomes the adoption by the 4th Committee of the report of the resumed session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34). By convening at such short notice, the members of the Special Committee confirmed their sense of urgency to tackle the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse expeditiously. The European Union would like take this opportunity to express its gratitude to H.E. Prince Zeid of Jordan for his excellent report, which served as a basis for our discussions.

While the European Union believes that good progress has been made in the limited time available, we believe that more needs to be achieved on some key recommendations, including those related to the creation of an investigative capacity and to the reinforcement of the individual criminal accountability. Given the strength of the political will expressed at our February meeting, the EU urges all partners engaged in this common endeavor, to carry out their commitment by swiftly and fully implementing all recommendations adopted in this report. To this end, the necessary means and mechanisms need to be made available. The group of experts which is to examine the legal aspects of outstanding recommendations should present its conclusions expeditiously. These findings will be crucial in completing the process.

The adoption of this report alone will not put an end to exploitation and abuse. However, the immediate and prompt reaction by the mission leadership in recent events in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda prove that a process of increased awareness and responsiveness has been initiated. Member States must also show their commitment to take their responsibilities.

Last week’s meeting was a first step of a process that must be concluded as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2007. The issue at hand is one that requires an immediate and comprehensive response. The European Union is and will remain strongly committed to this process and will not spare any efforts to continue to engage fruitfully with the Secretariat and other member states with the objective of putting an end to sexual exploitation and abuse.

Thank you Mr. President.

* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

This page was last modified on : 20-04-2005

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