jueves, 25 de junio de 2009

Council conclusions on Evaluation of the EU Common Position on Cuba

Council conclusions on Evaluation of the EU Common Position on Cuba
2951 st EXTERNAL RELATIONS Council meeting Luxembourg, 15 June 2009
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1-The Council welcomes the resumption of the political dialogue with Cuba that allowed
both sides to discuss openly issues of mutual interest including the respect and promotion of human rights. The Council believes that the political dialogue with Cuba should be pursued and deepened on a comprehensive, equal and result-oriented basis. Within the framework of this dialogue, the EU will give high priority to the principles of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Council confirms its renewed commitment to and relevance of the Common Position of 1996.
2-The Council takes positive note of the renewal of development cooperation with Cuba as atool for improving the lives of the Cuban people. The Council considers focuseddevelopment cooperation in accordance with the objectives and principles of the ECdevelopment policy to be an important part of the relations between the EU and Cuba.
3-The Council reaffirms its determination to pursue a result-oriented comprehensive dialoguewith the Cuban authorities as well as with representatives of civil society and peaceful pro-democracy opposition in accordance with EU policies. The EU reiterates the right of theCuban citizens to decide independently about their future.
4-The Council reaffirms that its policy for EU contacts with the peaceful pro-democracy opposition remains valid. During high-level visits, human rights issues should always be addressed: when appropriate meetings with the peaceful pro-democracy opposition will be part of high level visits. In this context the Council calls upon the Cuban government to allow for unimpeded contacts with civil society in the margin of high level visits.
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5-The Council remains seriously concerned about the lack of progress in the situation ofhuman rights in Cuba, in particular in the field of civil and political rights, and politicalreforms. This issue is one of the EU's key priorities. The Council reaffirms that the EUwill further continue to offer support to all sectors of society in order to promote respectfor human rights and real progress towards pluralist democracy in Cuba. The Council urgesthe Cuban Government to release unconditionally all political prisoners. including thosewho were detained and sentenced in 2003. For humanitarian reasons, the Council expressesits particular concern for prisoners with serious health conditions. The Council calls uponthe Cuban authorities to facilitate immediate access of international humanitarianorganizations to Cuban prisons.
6-The Council also underlines the importance of structural economic and social reforms inorder to improve living conditions of the Cuban people and encourages the CubanGovernment to take necessary steps. The EU stands ready to support Cuba in these efforts.
7-The Council welcomes the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection ofAll Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the invitation of UN Special Reporter onTorture and looks forward to the fixing of an early date for a visit by UN SpecialReporter. The Council calls upon Cuban authorities to ratify and implement theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights.
8-The Council reiterates its call on the Cuban Government to grant freedom of informationand expression including access to the Internet to the Cuban people.
9-The Council adopts this evaluation of the Common Position on Cuba. The Council willdecide in June 2010 on the annual review of the Common Position including an assessmentof the future of the political dialogue, taking into account progress as to the elements ofthese Council conclusions. in particular in the field of human rights.
In this context, the EU notes that Cuba rejoined the Rio Group in November 2008 and alsonotes
the decision taken by the General Assembly of the OAS on June 3rd 2009 toterminate the resolution of 1962 which excluded the Government of Cuba from itsparticipation in the Inter-American system."

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