January 18, 2017

UNPO Hopes New EP President Will Take a Bold Stand on Pressing Human Rights Issues

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) extends its sincere congratulations to Antonio Tajani on his election as President of the European Parliament. Due to his long-time experience with the EU institutions – both as a Member of European Parliament and as a Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship – we are hopeful he will work in the interest of the European Union in this challenging moment it is facing.

UNPO sincerely hopes Mr Tajani will use his newly acquired position of influence to stand up for human rights in general, and more specifically for the rights of minorities, indigenous and oppressed peoples in and outside the European Union. The position of President of the European Parliament carries with it the unique opportunity to push the European Parliament to focus on issues that others would like to sweep under the carpet, as well as to shed light upon values that still too often remain in the dark. Such values include the respect of religious freedom and other issues affecting minorities such as the rights of women and children. An issue that ought to be at the heart of European politics as well is the fight against enforced disappearances and the torture of political dissidents, which is still happening in many countries inhabited by UNPO Members.

The issues mentioned above carry a very urgent relevance to the European people. Minorities, women and children and political activists continuously face grave threats to their lives and dignity in countries that border the EU, as well as countries that the EU interacts within the context of international trade and security or of which the EU is one of the main international partners. For these reasons, we call for a strong collaboration among all the EP Members towards guaranteeing rights and respect to all, and we call upon the newly elected President of the European Parliament to aid in this collaboration by giving these topics the priority they deserve.

UNPO strongly believes that Mr Antonio Tajani has the qualifications and the will to succeed as President of the European Parliament and wishes him a fruitful mandate.