Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-03-15-Speech-3-030"

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"Mr President, on behalf of the Group of the Party of European Socialists, I would like to express my support for the motion for a resolution tabled by Mrs Malmström. It is easy to reduce human rights to general principles, and very often we use the issue as a convenient way to appease our consciences. However, this resolution takes into account the changing nature of human rights, and the need to continually adapt our legal instruments and our capacity for dealing with fresh risks and emergencies and meeting fresh challenges. Another strong point of this resolution is the way it considers, reconsiders and reaffirms that human rights are an essential component of the identity of the European Union, a European Union which is a community of values and in which human rights are the basis of our every endeavour and intent. Either the European Union will be an area where rights are upheld or it will not exist at all. If we cannot require all the third countries with which the European Union has economic and political relations to respect human rights, then the 15-Member State Europe will be condemned to remaining merely an economic convention. Mr President, I would like to touch briefly on two points, which are based on the fact that, frequently, the West is not only a participant but also a protagonist in violations of human rights. For this reason, we consider that it was right to call upon the countries of the European Union to cancel the Third World debt in this resolution. We feel that the right to development should be a global priority and that it is an essential condition if human rights policies in these countries are to be genuinely implementable. If we want to avoid being insensitive, we should also consider the offences against less traditional rights perpetrated by the processes of globalisation. For example, observance of economic and social rights would avoid our future society being made up of the privileged few who assuage their consciences by carrying on noble, general battles against the death penalty, for example, and a large number of people who are living under a death sentence imposed by the processes of exclusion and economic marginalisation. I also believe that there should be greater focus on the right to privacy – and this is the subject of an amendment which we are going to table in tomorrow’s plenary sitting. We are men and women, citizens, not mere numbers. We want to safeguard our right to protect our ideas, feelings and emotions against the invasion of the technology of our Big Brothers, as has been shown to be necessary by the recent ECHELON affair which is shortly to be tackled by Parliament. Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to remind the House that over a hundred Members’ signatures have been collected in support of the nomination of the Mothers of for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is important not only as a symbolic action but also because it reaffirms the right to remember as an inalienable right: it is our right, and also our duty, not to forget. For the sake of its political civilisation and values, we call upon Parliament to help the Union ensure that every unpunished violation and every offence committed against human rights, from Plaza de Mayo to Tiananmen Square, is recalled at every possible opportunity."@en1
"Plaza de Mayo"1

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