Sarah's speech to Parliament on Human rights in the world and the European Union's policy on the matter
Sarah Ludford (ALDE ). - Madam President, I am pleased that the rapporteur is backing the amendment that I originally tabled in committee on the need for European accountability for rendition and torture abuses if the EU is to lead in the promotion of human rights in the world. I hope it will get wide support in plenary and that we will also push all EU states to sign and ratify the Convention against Forced Disappearances.
The EU is taking an international lead on the abolition of the death penalty, but a reply to a written question that I put to the High Representative has not reassured me that EU funding for a regional partnership in central Asia and neighbouring countries against drug trafficking avoids indirect facilitation of the execution by Iran of drug smugglers. I have had the chance to mention this to her and I will take it further.
I applaud her work on amending the Torture Goods Regulation last year to require export controls on pharmaceutical drugs, like anaesthetics, which are being outrageously misused in lethal cocktails for executions, principally in the United States.
Finally, I would stress to Richard Howitt that I sought and obtained assurances that it is UK Government policy for the EU to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights. They are, perhaps, being a little anoraky about the details. I cannot speak for France, but I am told that in London there is no reneging on a policy commitment on the EU acceding to the Convention.