SPEECH BY MR MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU,
PRESIDENT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY,
AT THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION « VIA STORIA »
(Strasbourg, Monday 26 April 2010, 13h00, PACE Lobby)
I wish to thank our Swiss friends for organizing this exhibition. Or rather, for giving us the opportunity of breathing some fresh air for a short while. They invite us today to take a walk along the cultural paths that cross Switzerland. A walk across nature, culture, and history: the Via Storia.
Here, at the Council of Europe, we deal with very serious matters, Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms. However, these matters are not disconnected from simple, basic freedoms which we seem to take for granted, such as the possibility of having a walk in nature. At the Parliamentary Assembly, we believe that even a healthy environment is a right for every human being. A right very often threatened, which needs to be protected.
Some of these cultural itineraries link Swiss spots to ones in France, Germany and Italy. They make Switzerland look like a bridge between the countries which surround it. That brings us back to the mission of our Organisation, which is also about building bridges between different countries and cultures, fostering mutual understanding.
I hope one day we will actually have the occasion to walk the paths of Via Storia. In the meantime, let’s take the time to walk around this exhibition and enjoy it.