PACE winter session: ‘Faked pandemics, a threat to health’

Strasbourg, 12.01.2010 – “Faked pandemics: a threat to health” will be one of the major themes of the next plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in Strasbourg from 25 to 29 January. The PACE Social Affairs Committee has proposed the holding of an urgent debate on this subject. If the Assembly agrees when it adopts its agenda on the opening day, the debate is likely to be held on the morning of Thursday 28 January.

The committee will be holding a public hearing on the same subject on Tuesday 26 January at 8.30 am, attended by representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European pharmaceutical industry and experts on the subject.

Other highlights of the session will be the debates on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the situation in the Middle East and action against trafficking in human beings.

With Lluís Maria de Puig coming to the end of his term of office, the Assembly is also due to elect a new President. The only candidate to date is Mevlüt Çavusoglu (Turkey, EDG).

Prominent personalities due to address the Assembly include George A. Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, Franco Frattini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers of the “47”, and Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

The other topics on the agenda include, in particular, respect for media freedom, judicial corruption, the detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants, and the functioning of democratic institutions in Albania and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Draft agenda

 
The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.
 
Monday 25 January 2010 (opening at 11.30am)
  • Opening of the first part of the 2010 Ordinary Session
  • Election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly     
  • Progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly and the Standing Committee
  • Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly presented by Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
  • Communication from Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe  
Tuesday 26 January
 Wednesday 27 January
 Thursday 28 January
 Friday 29 January
Practical information
 
Press conferences:
Lluís Maria de Puig, PACE outgoing President, will give a press conference on Monday 25 January at 10.30 am. The new-elected President will give a press conference the same day at 12.15 am.
 
A press conference in connection with the hearing on faked pandemics will take place on Tuesday 26 January at 10 am. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot.
 
Press conferences can be viewed live at http://tv.coe.int/internet/press.html. Recordings of some press conferences may also be available.
 
Further details: see the Assembly's website, http://assembly.coe.int. Additional information may also be found on the Council of Europe web portal,http://www.coe.int/t/dc/files/pa_session/default_EN.asp
 
For TV planning Units: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free at http://dl.coe.int no later than two hours after the event.
 
Contact: PACE Communication Division: Tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; pace.com@coe.int
 
For accreditation: Directorate of Communication:
Danielle Schreiber-Somoza, danielle.schreiber-somoza@coe.int, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 44