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C 309 E/116 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 12.12.

2002

only if it results in faster and more substantive progress towards national reconciliation, respect for human
rights including the release of political prisoners, the end of minority abuse and the return of democracy in
Burma/Myanmar. When renewing the EU Common Position in October 2001, the Council agreed to
reconsider the EU Common Position at any time, should developments in Burma/Myanmar so require.
That continues to be the case.

At the June 2002 meeting of the ILO, the Spanish delegate, on behalf of the EU and Associate Members,
welcomed the appointment of an Interim ILO Liaison Officer to Burma/Myanmar. However, concern was
expressed over the many reforms still required if forced labour is to be permanently ended. In view of the
only limited progress made, the EU noted that any possible consideration of removing the ILO measures in
place against Burma remains some way off.

Burma/Myanmar is not a member of ASEM and will not therefore be attending the ASEM Summit in
September.

(2002/C 309 E/136) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1390/02


by Anna Karamanou (PSE) to the Council

(15 May 2002)

Subject: Security and human rights

Following the tragic events of 11 September, serious concerns have arisen over the way in which national
security has become the overarching concern of many governments to the detriment of human rights, with
secondary, parallel systems for the dispensation of justice being created in many cases.

Recently Amnesty International, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and other non-governmental
organisations published an open statement addressed to the United Nations Commission on Human
Rights, asking states to ensure that any measures taken to tackle terrorism complied with their human
rights obligations. The above-mentioned non-governmental organisations expressed their support for Mary
Robinson’s appeal for the creation of a mechanism to monitor the human rights impact of anti-terrorism
measures taken by states, and requested the High Commissioner to produce a report on the effects of such
measures on human rights, which will lead to recommendations for their effective observance.

What is the Council’s position in relation to the views of the non-governmental organisations and
Mrs Robinson, and does it intend to take steps to support and implement them?

Reply

(30 September 2002)

At the Laeken European Council the European Union reaffirmed ‘its total solidarity with the American
people and the international community in combating terrorism with full regard for individual rights and
freedoms’ (paragraph 17 of the conclusions).

During the last session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the European Union actively
supported a Mexican draft initiative on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while
encountering terrorism. However, Mexico decided to suspend the presentation of the initiative when it
became clear that its final adoption by CHR was, unfortunately, far from guaranteed. In principle, this
important initiative will be submitted to CHR next year.

The Council has not taken a position yet on the High Commissioner’s proposals mentioned by the
Honourable Member.