30.7.2005 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 200/1 I (Acts whose publication is obligatory) COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1236/2005 of 27 June 2005 concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment condemned to the death penalty or executed. On 29 June 1998, the Council approved ‘Guidelines on EU policy towards third countries on the death penalty’ and resolved that the European Union would work towards the universal abolition of the death penalty. THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 133 thereof, Having regard to the proposal from the Commission, (4) Article 4 of the said Charter states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. On 9 April 2001, the Council approved ‘Guidelines to the EU policy toward third countries, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. These guidelines refer to both the adoption of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports in 1998 and the ongoing work to introduce EU-wide controls on the exports of paramilitary equipment as examples of measures to work effectively towards the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment within the Common Foreign and Security Policy. These guidelines also provide for third countries to be urged to prevent the use and production of, and trade in, equipment which is designed to inflict torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and prevent the abuse of any other equipment to these ends. They also make the point that the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment imposes clear limits on the use of the death penalty. Therefore and in line with these texts, capital punishment is not to be considered a lawful penalty under any circumstances. (5) In its Resolution on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted on 25 April 2001 and supported by the EU Member States, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights called upon United Nations Members to take appropriate steps, including legislative measures, to prevent and prohibit, inter alia, the export of equipment which is specifically designed to inflict torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This point was confirmed by Resolutions adopted on 16 April 2002, 23 April 2003, 19 April 2004 and 19 April 2005. Whereas: (1) Pursuant to Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms constitutes one of the principles common to the Member States. In view of this, the Community resolved in 1995 to make respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms an essential element of its relations with third countries. It was decided to insert a clause to that end in any new trade, cooperation and association agreement of a general nature that it concludes with third countries. (2) Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms all lay down an unconditional, comprehensive prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Other provisions, in particular the United Nations Declaration Against Torture (1) and the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, place an obligation on States to prevent torture. (3) Article 2(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2) states that no one shall be (1) Resolution 3452 (XXX) of 9.12.1975 of the General Assembly of the United Nations. (2) OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.