Strasbourg, 11.01.2013 – Addresses by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, and Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino (to be confirmed) are among highlights of the 2013 Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), taking place in Strasbourg from 21 to 25 January.
Other highlights include debates on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Azerbaijan and the follow-up to the issue of political prisoners in this country, the situation in Kosovo,* the state of media freedom in Europe and the humanitarian situation in the conflict- and war-affected areas of Georgia and Russia.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland will address the parliamentarians, and Andorran Foreign Minister Gilbert Saboya Sunyé will present the Communication of the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly.
Also on the agenda: the forthcoming Council of Europe convention to combat trafficking in organs, tissues and cells of human origin; ensuring the viability of the Strasbourg Court, focusing on structural deficiencies in States Parties; and post-monitoring dialogue with Bulgaria.
*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.
The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.
Monday 21 January
• Election of the President of the Assembly
• Election of the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly presented by Gilbert Saboya Sunyé, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Andorra, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
• Address by Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia
Tuesday 22 January
• The situation in Kosovo* and the role of the Council of Europe
• Communication from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, presented by Thorbjørn Jagland
• The activities of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and statement by Hans Peter Lankes, Vice-President of the EBRD
• Ensuring the viability of the Strasbourg Court: structural deficiencies in States Parties and statement by Paola Severino, Minister of Justice of Italy (to be confirmed)
Wednesday 23 January
• Georgia and Russia: the humanitarian situation in the conflict- and war-affected areas
• Free debate
• Joint debate:
o The honouring of obligations and commitments by Azerbaijan
oThe follow-up to the issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
• Towards a Council of Europe convention to combat trafficking in organs, tissues and cells of human origin
Thursday 24 January
• Possible debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
• Address by Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
•The state of media freedom in Europe
•Post-monitoring dialogue with Bulgaria
Friday 25 January
• Gender equality, reconciliation of personal and working life and shared responsibility
• Trafficking of migrant workers for forced labour
* * *
Live web stream: The session is streamed live over the web.
Press conferences: The President of PACE will give a press conference on Monday 21 January at 10.30 a.m. 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.