World NGO day: Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell
February 28, 2022
“On the World Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Day, we honour all civil society actors who, every day, are at the forefront of the fight for human rights, the respect of democratic values and the rule of law. The EU commends their role in supporting and giving a voice to the most vulnerable as well as their essential contribution to building peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
In 2022, the European Year of Youth, we pay special tribute to youth organisations as well as young human rights defenders around the world. They are crucial actors of change and their commitment and courage are all the more needed to build a sustainable, fair and equal world and to shape a better future for all.
Today, with the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation, international peace and rule of law are under attack. The EU stands firmly by the side of the Ukrainian and Russian people, its civil society and youth, whose future and voices are threatened by President Putin’s disregard of democracy, human rights and international rules.
[…] Between 2014 and 2021, the EU provided approximately €10 billion to support civil society organisations, representing the world’s largest provider of support to local civil society in partner countries. The EU has also been a leading donor for the protection and support to human rights defenders, with some 53,000 defenders and their families receiving support via ProtectDefenders.eu“