World / Europe

EU, Cuba hold first human rights dialogue meeting in Brussels

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-26 09:23

BRUSSELS - The European Union (EU) and Cuba here on Thursday held their first human rights dialogue meeting.

According to a press release issued by the European External Action Service, they agreed that dialogue should, in principle, take place on an annual basis. It should cover all human rights issues brought to the table by any of the parties.

The discussions focused on the modalities for the pursuit of this dialogue, to be based on universal human rights standards, including its objectives, principles, format and procedures.

Both sides agreed on the objectives for the dialogue of improving mutual understanding on human rights issues, exchanging experiences and best practices as well as seeking to identify potential areas of cooperation between the EU and Cuba.

The EU and Cuba also addressed subjects of mutual interest in order to identify potential areas for future discussion and cooperation, both bilateral and in the context of multilateral fora.

Among the issues discussed were gender and violence against women, children's rights, sustainable development in the context of the post-2015 agenda, health, education, freedom of expression and association, migration and rule of law.

"The talks demonstrated the commitment of the EU and Cuba to deepen their relations in order to support respect for human rights. They allowed for a frank and respectful preliminary exchange on issues of substance with a view to build trust, enhance mutual understanding and develop cooperation," said the press release.

The EU delegation was headed by EU Special Representative on Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis. Director General for Multilateral Issues and International Law of the Cuban Ministry for Foreign Affairs Pedro Nunez Mosquera represented the Cuban side.

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