Rapporto annuale 2006 sui diritti dell'uomo (english version)

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PREFACE

It is a pleasure for me to present this eighth EU Annual Report on Human Rights. The first Report was published in 1999, during the previous Finnish EU Presidency. During these years the basic objective of the Report has not changed: it is a unique source of information concerning the EU's human rights policies and the action it has taken to implement them. It is also a means to reflect what we in the EU have achieved, whether we have been coherent and consistent enough, and in which areas there might be room for improvement.

This Report covers the period from July 2005 to June 2006. During this time, the international human rights architecture has undergone a major change. In September 2005, the Heads of State and Government gathering at the UN Summit resolved to strengthen the UN human rights machinery with the aim of ensuring effective enjoyment by all of all human rights.

This commitment was followed by a decision in March 2006 to establish the Human Rights Council, mandated to protect and promote human rights. In the context of seeking membership of the Council, important commitments were made by UN Member States. In the inaugural session of the Council, Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that "lack of respect for human rights and human dignity is the fundamental reason why the peace of the world today is so precarious, and why prosperity is so unequally shared'. The Human Rights Council was called to open a new era in the human rights work of the United Nations.

In short, therefore, this year has seen a major global commitment to the cause of human rights. What will be the concrete outcome of this pronounced commitment? Will the men, women and children of the world, still too often victims of human rights violations, notice any difference?

The EU has emphasised that the commitments undertaken must imply making a fresh start, and a genuine effort to promote the implementation of human rights on the ground. Human rights are universal, not internal affairs of any state. On the other hand, no country is perfect in terms of human rights, and the EU, too, must be prepared to take a critical look at its contribution in the field of human rights and be open to outside scrutiny.

I am therefore happy that the present Report aims to be quite comprehensive in scope. It covers the EU's external policies, but also internal aspects. It covers bilateral human rights EU policies with regard to third countries, as well as action in multilateral fora. It covers thematic issues and efforts aimed at intercultural dialogue.

There can be no efficient human rights policy without adequate transparency. Human rights policy must be based on interaction between all relevant actors, public institutions and civil society alike. Human rights defenders have a specific role to play at national and international level. I hope this Report can contribute to a meaningful dialogue among all those interested in promoting a result-oriented EU human rights policy.

Mr. Erkki Tuomioja,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland
President of the Council of the European Union

(il documento completo può essere scaricato dal link seguente)

09 10 2006
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