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Thursday 26 June 2008

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
PACE calls on Turkey’s institutions “to respect each other’s competences” and join efforts to pursue political reforms
[26/06/2008]  Underlying the importance of “effective separation of powers”, PACE today called on Turkey’s institutions “to respect each other’s competences” and join efforts to pursue political reforms that will turn the country into a modern democracy. Following the proposals by the rapporteur, Luc Van den Brande (Belgium, EPP/CD), the parliamentarians said that, regardless of its outcome, the lawsuit against the ruling party, as well as the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic, “is seriously affecting political stability in the country” and the functioning of democratic institutions. The dissolution of political parties, they said, “should be regarded as an exceptional measure to be applied only in cases where the party concerned uses violence or threatens civil peace and the democratic constitutional order.”  (more..)

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
Member states must support the ICRC in applying international humanitarian law, says PACE
[27/06/2008]  In a resolution adopted today, PACE has invited member states to give active support to the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the field of international humanitarian law aimed at assisting states to accede to and implement humanitarian treaties. The Assembly also encourages member states to support the ICRC's future objectives with regard to protection activities, the prevention of enforced disappearances and assistance to civilian victims of landmines and cluster munitions.  (more..)

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
Jakob Kellenberger: respect for human dignity is an investment in security
[27/06/2008]  In his speech to the Assembly, Jakob Kellenberger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said fighting terrorism whilst respecting human dignity and rights ''is a long term investment in security.'' He also highlighted the role to be played by the Assembly in the fight against terrorism.  

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
PACE seeks dialogue with China over democracy and human rights
[26/06/2008]  PACE has invited the Chinese authorities and parliament to engage in political dialogue to promote parliamentary democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights in the country – and held out the prospect of observer status if there is “appreciable progress” in these fields. But it also called on China, which borders the Council of Europe area, to make "far-reaching" reforms, allow freedom of expression and end the crackdown on human rights activists. (more..)

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
Progress in Armenia insufficient, says PACE; full compliance expected by January 2009
[26/06/2008]  Despite the political will expressed by the Armenian authorities to meet the requirements outlined in Resolution 1609 (2008) on the functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) takes the view, in a resolution adopted yesterday at the end of an urgent debate, that "progress is at present insufficient”. It regrets "the delay in implementing concrete measures" to overcome the political crisis that broke out after the presidential election on 19 February, while acknowledging that "the time given to the Armenian authorities was short".  (more..)

Equal Opportunities
Promoting the cause of women and Europe - Gisèle Halimi's twin objectives
[26/06/2008]  What can we do to promote women's cause within a political entity such as Europe, Gisèle Halimi asked her audience at the 4th meeting of women members of the Parliamentary Assembly. What she proposes is a novel approach based on the principle of solidarity, a so-called "most favoured European woman clause". This would enable European women to benefit from whatever was the most advantageous legislation currently in existence in Europe in such areas as the family, work, domestic violence, parity and the choice of whether to give birth. The law, she says, must always give an impetus to changing attitudes. (more..)

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
PACE encourages integration as a facilitator for democratic participation
[25/06/2008]  The Assembly today called on member states to encourage integration as a facilitator for democratic participation and to facilitate access to nationality, including dual nationality. During a special debate on the state of democracy in Europe, the Assembly discussed the specific challenges facing European democracies, on the basis of three rapports by Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC), John Greenway (United Kingdom, EDG) and Serhiy Holovaty (Ukraine, ALDE). According to reliable estimates, 8.8 per cent of Europe’s total population are migrants, and the figure is increasing, In this context, parliamentarians stressed the need to strike the right balance between respect for diversity and the need for integration for the proper functioning of democracy.  (more..)

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
PACE to investigate allegations of organ-trafficking in Kosovo
[25/06/2008]  PACE is to prepare a report on the inhumane treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo. The Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights today appointed Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE) to prepare the report, who will visit the region to gather information before presenting his conclusions to the 318-member Assembly.  (more..)

Migration, Refugees and Population
Life without a home: school pupils share the experiences of refugee children

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
First guide to international parliaments presented

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
Human rights situation in Azerbaijan deteriorating ahead of election, says PACE

Summer session: 23-27 June 2008
PACE commends the EBRD for its sound overall performance

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