Stavros Lambrinidis

Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Human Rights.

July 26, 2012, Brussels: The International Campaign for Tibet welcomes the appointment of Stavros Lambrinidis as the first EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Human Rights. The July 25 appointment follows a proposal by Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission. Mr. Lambrinidis, a Greek attorney, will take office on September 1, 2012, with an initial mandate running until June 30, 2014.

Mr. Lambrinidis will be the EU’s first thematic Special Representative. His appointment follows the June 25, 2012, adoption of the EU’s Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. Mr. Lambrinidis will operate under a broad mandate, working closely with the European External Action Service.

ICT is confident that Mr. Lambrinidis will contribute to mainstream ing human rights in EU f oreign p olicy. Congratulating Mr. Lambrinidis on his appointment, High Representative/VP Ashton said: “Human rights are one of my top priorities and a silver thread that runs through everything that we do in external relations. This is therefore a key portfolio for the European Union and for me personally.“ ICT calls on the EU to view human rights as a “silver thread” in every aspect of its relations with the People’s Republic of China. Furthermore, given the current crisis in Tibet and the wave of Tibetan self-immolations, ICT appeals to the EUSR for Human Rights to ensure that the situation in Tibet will be a priority on his watch-list.

Tsering Jampa, ICT Europe Executive Director said: “We welcome the appointment of Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis as EUSR for Human Rights, ICT looks forward to interacting with him regarding the critical human rights situation in Tibet. This is a prime opportunity for the EU to show its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide, including in its relations with China. The EUSR for Human Rights should guarantee that human rights are included at every level of EU-China relations and particularly ensure that the EU is clear about what concrete improvements and benchmarks Chinese authorities should deliver in Tibet, and what the response will be if they do not.”

Born in Athens, Mr Lambrinidis is an attorney, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece and a former Vice-President of the European Parliament. Between 2004 and 2009 he served as Vice-President of the Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. Earlier in his career he was Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights in the Bar Association of Washington, D.C.