To continue receiving GSP+ benefits, Pakistan must comply with human rights conventions

October 30, 2022 10:53 am STI

Brussels [Belgium]Oct 30 (ANI): In order to continue to benefit from the GSP+ facility provided by the EU, Pakistan is required to ensure the implementation of 27 UN conventions relating to human rights, labor rights and climate change, the EU said in a press release.
Pakistan has benefited from the facility offered by the EU since 2014 and benefits enormously from the absence of import duties on 66% of tariff lines. The EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) gives developing countries a special incentive to pursue sustainable development and good governance.
This comes during the 12th meeting of the European Union (EU)-Pakistan Joint Commission which was held on October 5 in Islamabad to exchange views on all areas of cooperation between the EU and Pakistan.
The Mixed Commission was informed of the results of the meeting of the sub-group on democracy, governance, rule of law and human rights. Pakistan and the EU discussed civil and political rights, the rights of persons belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups and freedom of religion or belief, the press release said.
They discussed the role of civil society organizations, freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of the media and the fight against disinformation. Blasphemy in Pakistan was also discussed during the meeting.

The violation of women’s and children’s rights, transgender rights and the protection of journalists were part of the deliberations held in Islamabad. The two sides discussed legislative proposals, namely the Anti-Torture Bill and the Enforced Disappearance Bill.
Expressing its solidarity with those affected by the unprecedented climate-induced floods that are ravaging the country, the EU expressed its contribution to meeting the most urgent needs of the affected population.
Discussions took place on the process of electoral reforms during which the EU reaffirmed its commitment to multilateralism and to the Charter of the United Nations.
Notably, the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) led to an increase in trade between the EU and Pakistan to €12.2 billion in 2021. They discussed ways to address issues that hamper trade and l ‘investment.
The EU emphasized the effective implementation of the 27 international conventions related to GSP+. The EU briefed Pakistan on Global Gateway, a €300 billion co-investment strategy rooted in partnership, sustainability and the rule of law.
The Joint Committee was co-chaired by Gunnar Wiegand, Director General for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service, and Muhammad Humair Karim, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Representatives of relevant Pakistani government ministries as well as the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the EU and observers from Member States of the EU also participated in the meeting.
It has been agreed that the next session of the EU-Pakistan Joint Committee will be held in Brussels in 2023. (ANI)

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