Strasbourg, 12.01.2012 – Speeches by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Finnish President Tarja Halonen will be among the highlights of the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to be held in Strasbourg from 23 to 27 January 2012.
Statements will also be made during the session by British Minister for Europe David Lidington, representing the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers; Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze; United Nations Under-Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet; and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova.
The Assembly will elect its next President at the opening of the session. The parliamentarians will also elect the new Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.
Other highlights include debates on guaranteeing the authority and effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights, on protecting human rights and dignity by taking into account the previously expressed wishes of patients, and on advancing women’s rights worldwide. There has also been a request for an urgent debate on “The Russian Federation between two elections” (the Assembly will decide at the opening of the session whether this is to be held).
The agenda will also include reports on the situation in Belarus, the functioning of democratic institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Ukraine, and honouring of commitments by Serbia.
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The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.
Monday 23 January
Election of the President of the Assembly
Election of the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly
Progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly and the Standing Committee
Communication from Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Tuesday 24 January
Election of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
The functioning of democratic institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly, presented by the Rt Hon. David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom, representing the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
The right of everyone to take part in cultural life and statement by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO
Guaranteeing the authority and effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights
Wednesday 25 January
The situation in Belarus
Address by Grigol Vashadze, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Address by Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
Address by the Rt Hon. David Cameron MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The honouring of obligations and commitments by Serbia
Protecting human rights and dignity by taking into account previously expressed wishes of patients
Thursday 26 January
Possible debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
Annual activity report 2011 by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and statement by Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Advancing women’s rights worldwide
Promoting the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and statement by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
The functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine
Friday 27 January
Enforced population transfer as a human rights violation
Demographic trends in Europe: turning challenges into opportunities
Live web stream: The session is streamed live over the web.
Press conferences: The outgoing PACE President Mevlüt Çavusoglu will give a press conference on Monday 23 January at 10.30 a.m. The newly-elected PACE President will give a press conference at 12.30 the same day. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. Press conferences are streamed live over the web.
For TV planning units: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free no later than two hours after the event. Further information from the Council of Europe Audiovisual Service, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 64 (prior to the session) or +33 3 88 41 35 00 (during the session).
For accreditation: Directorate of Communication, email@example.com.
Further details: see the Assembly's website.
Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; firstname.lastname@example.org.