EU stresses fair, inclusive polls for prosperity

The European Union said free, fair and inclusive elections in accordance with international standards will contribute to creating a more prosperous Bangladesh.

The EU, a political and economic union of 28 member states, also laid emphasis on the respect and promotion of human rights and democracy.

It encouraged Dhaka to continue its efforts to protect the rights of the Rohingyas, saying the EU remained vocal against the plights inflicted on the Rohingyas.

"The recent situation of the Rohingya community in Myanmar has once again reminded the world that almost 70 years after the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, these rights are still vulnerable to large-scale persecution and human rights violations due to differences in culture, religion and ethnicity," said the EU in a statement yesterday.

The EU embassy in Dhaka issued the statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day today.

"It is crucial for stability, economic growth and development that Bangladesh promotes and protects the human rights of all, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation, disability or socio-economic background," said the EU.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been accepted by virtually all states and has been incorporated into their laws and legal obligations.

Today the world marks the 69th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration.

Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights are core values embedded in the European Union (EU) treaties and working of the European Union.

In the Cooperation Agreement signed between Bangladesh and the European Union in 2001, both sides reaffirmed the importance they attach to the principles of human rights in the UN conventions.

The EU said human rights have become an integral part of the EU-Bangladesh relations.