Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-01-29-Speech-3-096"

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"Mr President, I welcomed the reference made by the Council representative in his speech to a calm, pragmatic position, and I am thinking, in particular, of the need for pragmatic action to call strongly, for example, for ratification of all the international conventions, which are the tools available for the States and the citizens to use to protect their human rights. I would like to mention two, in particular, which are considered to be of particularly minor importance: the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. I then feel that we should continue to call strongly for a moratorium on the death penalty, not least in that it has become clear that, resisting any fatalistic tendencies or ideas of inevitable destiny, it is actually possible to persuade some US governors of the worthlessness of this barbaric practice: the fact that the governor of Illinois commuted 167 sentences shows that this is a battle that it is actually possible to win. We call upon the European Union, first and foremost, to fight to ensure that there are no off-limits zones in the protection of human rights. One such off-limits zone could be the fight against terrorism, which should be based firmly on respect for international humanitarian law. Another free zone could be the fact that the Rome Treaty establishing the International Criminal Court continues to be treated by some countries, particularly the United States, as extremely insignificant. The authority and effectiveness of this Treaty are in danger of being increasingly diminished by the attitude of the United States and its decision to adopt bilateral agreements with some countries. Lastly, Mr President, I would like us to go to Geneva with a conviction which I hope we all share – that the first and highest form of defence of human rights is to avoid the destruction, ignominy and violence of war."@en1

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