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EU-Cuba Human Rights Dialogue in Havana

EU-Cuba Human Rights Dialogue in Havana
08/06/2016

On 6th June, the EU and Cuba held their second high-level discussion on
human rights in Havana. This was the first such meeting to take place on
the island.

The EU delegation was headed by EU Special Representative for Human
Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis and included the EU Ambassador to Cuba,
Herman Portocarero, and representatives of the EEAS and the EU
Delegation to Cuba. Mr Pedro Nuñez Mosquera, Director General for
Multilateral Issues and International Law of the Cuban Ministry for
Foreign Affairs led the Cuban side, and was accompanied by colleagues of
the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, the Interior as well as the
National Statistics Office.

Both sides had an extensive discussion on constitutional, legal and
administrative aspects of freedom of association, including on
engagement with peaceful civil society activists in Cuba and the EU, as
well as on possibilities of all civil society to freely participate in
public life.

The EU and Cuba also addressed gender equality in the context of the
SDGs Agenda 2030, racism and xenophobia, and the treatment of vulnerable
groups, including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. On the latter
topic, they discussed root causes of migration flows as relating to Cuba
and the EU and addressed the related human rights standards. Finally,
the two sides also discussed human rights issues in the multilateral
context.

The talks demonstrated the firm commitment of the EU and Cuba to discuss
openly and constructively issues of interest and of concern to each side
with a view to enhance mutual understanding and explore possibilities of
joint action and cooperation, aiming at achieving concrete progress.
They agreed to explore the possibility of further engaging at technical
level on some of the topics discussed in Havana before their next meeting.

Date and venue for the next meeting will be agreed through diplomatic
channels.

High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini and the Foreign
Minister of Cuba Bruno Rodriguez agreed in April 2015 to start working
towards establishing an EU-Cuba Human Rights Dialogue, anticipating on
the negotiations of a bilateral Political Dialogue and Cooperation
Agreement. These negotiations were completed in March 2016. The
agreement is now undergoing internal scrutiny and decision-making, in
preparation of signature. The PDCA includes provisions for setting up a
Human Rights dialogue between the parties. Human rights are an essential
element of EU-Cuba relations and dialogue will help both parties to
advance work in this area.

Source: European Union – EEAS (European External Action Service) |
EU-Cuba Human Rights Dialogue in Havana –
eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2016/160608_03_en.htm

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