EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore speaks at online event on ‘The EU and Human Rights’

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Dublin, 16 April 2021: Speaking at an online event this morning, organised by the European Commission Representation in Ireland and European Movement Ireland, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore spoke about the EU’s role in the protection and promotion of Human Rights and how the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted global inequalities that exist today.

Mr Gilmore said, “We have lived a year like no other in our lifetime, which has profoundly impacted all our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic has magnified every existing inequality in our society.  It has painfully exposed weakness and divisions in societies, worsened existing problems and generated its own human rights own challenges.  But the pandemic has also clearly shown us the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights. To protect life and health, we need to ensure many rights, including access to information, safe drinking water, food and adequate housing. I am convinced that placing human rights at the centre of our response will not only help us mitigate the impact of the crisis and make it more manageable, but it will help us to better face future crises. The EU will play its part in this global effort through the new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020 – 2024. This Plan has been approved by all 27 Member States of the European Union and it will reinvigorate the EU’s external work, as well as enrich and deepen our cooperation with all actors on human rights and democracy.  While this Action Plan is external in focus, it must be consistent with what we do at home and EU Member States, including Ireland play a vital role the promotion and protection of human rights, at home and abroad.”

Moderating the event, Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, Andy Klom said, “Human rights are an issue that concerns everyone. In a shifting geopolitical landscape, the EU has remained steadfast as a defender of human rights and democracy worldwide. This is not only a matter of policy for Europe, it is a matter of values, and Eamon Gilmore’s role as the EU’s Special Representative for Human Rights is key to strengthening the EU’s role as a global leader.”

For more, follow #EUHumanRights

The event is available to watch back on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diGWF_pna5E

or the EMI Player: https://www.europeanmovement.ie/emi-player/

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