December, 2012

MEP Leonidas Donskis/File photo

BRUSSELS: A member of Europe Parliament has called on the European Union to appoint a Special EU Representative on Tibet to reaffirm its strategy to support human rights and democracy.

The EU should prove its dedication to the policy of peaceful dialogue and support for human rights and democracy with a strong and consistent EU strategy for human rights, said Mr Leonidas Donskis, MEP from Lithuania, while speaking on the EU annual report on human rights and democracy in the world. The report was voted in a plenary session in Strasbourg on Thursday.

Mr Donskis underlined that the annual report calls on the EU to ensure high, uncompromised human rights standards in its relations with other countries,” especially with big partners such as Russia and China, where human rights are often trivialised and marginalised in the context of economic and other considerations.

He said this year’s annual report to be sharp, focused, strategic and useful in shaping EU policy on human rights in the world and not just a mere reflection of important developments of the past year.

“I believe that each annual human rights report should set ambitious, yet achievable goals, which the Parliament should push for. This year I want to focus on Tibet – a country which merely seeks to preserve its religious, cultural and historical identity, yet suffers from systemic human rights violations by China.  Given the dramatic situation there, the European Union should set up an office of a Special EU Representative on Tibet to monitor the situation more closely,” he said.

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