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OSCE, Permanent Council No 556 : EU Statement in response to the Head of the OSCE Centre

Date of Speech : 19-05-2005

Place : Vienna

Speaker : Jacques Reuter, permanent representative of Luxembourg to the OSCE

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

The European Union welcomes Ambassador Djikic to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his detailed report.

The European Union takes note of the reform steps taken by Turkmenistan as outlined in the report but underscores the great importance it attaches to the rigorous implementation of all OSCE and other international commitments. In this context, the EU recalls that OSCE commitments recognize the inherent link between security and human rights.

The European Union believes that in order to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development, Turkmenistan has to undertake urgent efforts of reform, in particular in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, democratisation, including genuine plurality of political choice, as well as good governance and economic and market reforms. The EU is also seriously concerned about the developments in the field of education, and urges Turkmenistan to reverse negative trends.

The European Union notes the progress made in registering certain religious communities and in this regard urges Turkmenistan to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to present an independent report on the situation in Turkmenistan. The EU also urges Turkmenistan to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

The EU takes note that the President of Turkmenistan pardoned several prisoners who were considered to be prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International and other international human rights organisations. The EU shares, however, the concern expressed by the OSCE Centre with regard to the individual cases of Ms Yklimova and Mr. Esenov, Hajiyev, Aymuradov and Durdykuliev. In this context, the EU also recalls the cases of those imprisoned after the alleged attempted coup d’état in 2002. We urge Turkmenistan once again to grant full access for the ICRC in accordance with the latter’s statute, and to also invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

The European Union fully supports the activities of the OSCE Centre, and strongly encourages the Turkmen authorities to remove all relevant obstacles so that the co-operation with the Centre can be intensified, notably in the human dimension. The European Union takes careful note of the successful cooperation between the centre and the EU Tacis programme in this respect.

The European Union encourages Turkmenistan to make the most of the recent increase in Tacis assistance, which focuses on the development of the higher education sector as well as offering policy advice to the government, in addition to EU regional projects in the sectors of transport, energy, the environment, border management, and the fight against drugs.

The EU stands ready to further assist Turkmenistan in its reform efforts, including within the framework of the OSCE.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania and the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia* align themselves with this statement.

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

This page was last modified on : 23-05-2005

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