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THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid1 , and in particular Article 2, Article 4 and Article 15(2) and (3) thereof,
Having regard to Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ('Overseas Association Decision')2 , and in particular Article 79 thereof,
On Monday 16 October 2017 the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights And Democracy in the World in 2016.
2016 was a challenging year for human rights and democracy, with a shrinking space for civil society and complex humanitarian and political crises emerging. In this context, the European Union showed leadership and remained strongly committed to promote and protect human rights and democracy across the world.
This year, World Water Day (March 22) highlights the importance of international efforts to preserve and protect the world’s shared water resources.
The United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation. According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon: ‘Water is central to the well-being of people and the planet, we must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource.’