Council of the European Union: EU-Turkmenistan human rights dialogue
On 30 June 2009, the European Union and Turkmenistan held the second round of human rights dialogue in Brussels. The human rights dialogue between the EU and Turkmenistan took place for the first time in June 2008 in Ashgabad.
The dialogue was held in a constructive atmosphere with Turkmenistan demonstrating openness and considerable interest in engaging with the EU on a wide range of issues.
The recent adoption of a new constitution as well as Turkmenistan’s Universal Periodic Review, held last December in Geneva at the Human Rights Council, provided a useful background for the EU to address the human rights situation and developments in Turkmenistan. The EU and Turkmenistan focused in particular on the functioning of civil society, freedom of the media, expression, association and assembly, freedom of thought and religion, freedom of movement and forced displacement, prison conditions and torture and the reform of the judiciary. The EU handed over a list of individual cases.
Both sides also discussed human rights cooperation within international organisations, in particular the UN Human Rights Council, UN General Assembly and the OSCE.
In keeping with the EU’s practice of incorporating the voice of civil society into its meetings on human rights with third countries, the EU met representatives of Turkmen and international NGOs prior to the consultations.
The next regular human rights dialogue is planned to take place in the summer under the Spanish EU Council Presidency in 2010.
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