Pakistan News

Govt assures EU of complying with UN conventions

Govt assures EU of complying with UN conventions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to continue implementation of the 27 international conventions covered by the European Union’s GSP+ scheme, and to submit the four pending reports to the UN monitoring bodies by the end of this year.

At the sixth EU-Pakistan Joint Commission meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, the two sides took note of the considerable increase in bilateral trade in 2014, while stressing that further opportunities for trade and investment should be explored to spur economic growth and create jobs.

While appreciating progress made in the field of labour rights, the EU called for stepping up efforts on implementing international commitments on human rights as embedded in the GSP+ obligations.

They emphasised the role of the private sector and agreed to explore possibilities to strengthen the dialogue between Pakistan and EU businesses.

On development cooperation, implementation of ongoing programmes and the new EU Multiannual Indicative Programme for 2014-20 were discussed. Under the new MIP, the EU has committed to provide assistance to Pakistan amounting to 653 million euros to support rural development, education, good governance, human rights and rule of law.

They also agreed to explore further the potential for cooperation on science and technology under the Horizon 2020 programme and highlighted opportunities for cooperation on higher education in the context of Erasmus+. The two sides also agreed to explore the possibility of new initiatives in anti-narcotics and water management, especially floods.

On security and counter terrorism they took note of the EU-Pakistan CT dialogue held in February 2015. They expressed their commitment to international cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

The two sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the EU-Pakistan Dialogue on Disarmament and Non-proliferation on Dec 9, 2015 in Brussels.

They reaffirmed the EU-Pakistan relationship and discussed progress made, as well as outstanding issues, in the implementation of the EU-Pakistan five-year Engagement Plan, encompassing a broad range of areas including political dialogue, security and counter-terrorism, human rights, migration, trade and development cooperation.

The EU side expressed its concern over issues such as the lifting of the moratorium on death penalty, and the transfer of civilian cases to military courts.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2015

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