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Friday 25 June 2010

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
Sexist stereotypes in the media – a barrier to gender equality
[25/06/2010]  In a resolution adopted today, the Parliamentary Assembly recommends a series of measures designed to combat sexist stereotypes in the media. It invites in particular the member states to set up regulatory and self-regulatory media authorities to reduce gender-based discrimination and to devise codes of good practice with partners in the profession to promote the balanced presence of women and men in the media.  (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
Steps to preserve our forests: a precious natural resource
[25/06/2010]  PACE today called for a series of measures to protect the world`s forests in both member and non-member states especially considering how illegal logging has led to mass deforestation in developing countries. These measures include establishing more effective monitoring mechanisms and drawing up binding international agreements to limit deforestation, and proposing the development of sustainable forest management techniques.  (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
PACE calls for ban on acoustic ‘youth dispersal’ devices
[25/06/2010]  PACE has called for a ban on all acoustic devices which discriminate against young people, such as the Mosquito “youth dispersal” device which emits a powerful sound signal audible to almost everybody under 20, but few over 25, in order to prevent young people from loitering. In a recommendation unanimously adopted today, based on a report by Piotr Wach (Poland, EPP/CD), the Assembly – which brings together parliamentarians from the 47 member states of the Council of Europe – said the “highly offensive” device discriminates against young people, treating them as if they are “unwanted birds or pests”. (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
PACE calls for decent pensions for women
[25/06/2010]  Many elderly women are poor because they have no pension or their pension is insufficient, PACE warned today. Also, traditional pension systems favour the linear career paths of men and are disconnected from the realities of present-day society. Following the proposals by Anna Curdová (Czech Republic, SOC), the Assembly called for “fair and equitable pensions offering every man and woman a reasonable standard of living”. The adopted text urges European states to guarantee a personal pension entitlement and to revise their pension laws in order not only to prohibit discrimination between women and men but also to provide for “positive discrimination in favour of women”. 

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
Handling of the H1N1 pandemic: PACE calls for safeguards against ‘undue influence by vested interests’
[24/06/2010]  At the end of a debate on the handling of the H1N1 pandemic, PACE today endorsed the conclusions of its Health Committee, which were published on 4 June last. According to the Assembly, the handling of the pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), EU health agencies and national governments led to a “waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public”. The adopted text says there was “overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO”, resulting in a distortion of public health priorities. (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
PACE calls on Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza
[24/06/2010]  PACE today called on Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza “without prejudice to its own security”. In a resolution adopted by a large majority following an urgent debate, the Assembly welcomed the announcement of a partial easing of the blockade as a “first step”, but said there should be access by land and sea to allow in the goods necessary for “normal living conditions” and to permit economic development. Presenting the report to the Assembly, Piero Fassino (Italy, SOC) said lifting the blockade was “essential” to defuse tension and pave the way to a resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.  (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
Appointment of new monitoring and post-monitoring dialogue rapporteurs
[25/06/2010]  Following the new rules governing the duration of the mandate of its co-rapporteurs, now limited to five years, the Monitoring Committee appointed yesterday as co-rapporteurs: (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
President Ivanov: Council of Europe ''best protection of the continent in time of crisis''
[24/06/2010]  Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly on 24 June, President Gjorge Ivanov recalled the priorities of his country’s current Chairmanship of the Organisation’s decision making body, the Committee of Ministers: strengthening human rights protection, fostering integration while respecting diversity, promoting youth participation.  (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
Azerbaijan: the forthcoming parliamentary elections must be in full compliance with European standards
[24/06/2010]  Ahead of the parliamentary elections in November 2010, PACE today called on the Azerbaijani authorities “to ensure the necessary conditions for the full compliance of the forthcoming elections with the European standards”. In line with the conclusions of the monitoring co-rapporteurs, Andres Herkel (Estonia, EPP/CD) and Joseph Debono Grech (Malta, SOC), it encouraged the authorities to co-operate with the Venice Commission in order to continue with the revision of the electoral code and to “generate conditions for a fair electoral campaign” by fully implementing the law on the freedom of assembly and by ensuring the freedom of the media. (more..)

Environment, Agriculture, Local and Regional Affairs
The right to a healthy environment demands a new energy model
[24/06/2010]  While deploring the tragic consequences of the accident that befell the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coast, PACE’s Committee on the Environment today adopted a statement which recalls that Europe is not safe from a disaster of the same type. The text advocates stringent official formulation and supervision of standards of caution and safety to be observed for offshore oil drilling, application of the polluter pays principle where the realisation of the hazard causes pollution, and enforcement of civil, possibly criminal, sanctions in the event of proven infringement of aforementioned rules. 

PACE rapporteurs urge Armenian authorities to revise media legislation
[24/06/2010]  PACE co-rapporteurs on Armenia, John Prescott (United Kingdom, SOC) and Georges Colombier (France, EPP/CD), have welcomed a series of initiatives outlined in the reply of the Speaker of the Armenian Parliament to their letter recommending the establishment of a clear roadmap for reforms in Armenia. While not able to give a detailed assessment of the initiatives outlined in the letter at this stage, they cautioned that more needs to be done to ensure that the reforms address the important issues raised by the Assembly. (more..)

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
PACE unanimously opposed to a general ban on wearing of the burqa

Summer session: 21-25 June 2010
Combating islamophobia: Jorge Sampaio offers increased cooperation