PACE invites the Security Council to support the Palestinian bid for UN membership and calls for more co-operation between the Arab world and the CoE

Strasbourg, 04.10.2011 – At the end of a debate on co-operation between the Council of Europe and the emerging democracies in the Arab world, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly invited members of the UN Security Council – in particular France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and Portugal, member states of the Council of Europe – to support the Palestinian formal request to join the United Nations as a full member state.

The Assembly believes that the stability of the Arab world aspiring to democracy would be facilitated by finding a solution to the main conflicts which remain in the region. It called, in particular, on the Israelis and the Palestinians to “take advantage of the opportunity brought about by the Arab revolutions to relaunch the peace negotiations”.

The Assembly encouraged the authorities of the Arab countries in the neighbourhood of Europe, which were engaged in the democratic process, “to intensify and broaden their co-operation with the Council of Europe” as the Organisation “can share with these countries its experience in the field of democratic transition”.

Taking up the proposals of the rapporteur, Jean-Charles Gardetto (Monaco, EPP/CD), the Assembly invited these states in particular to be guided by the standards of Council of Europe conventions in the field of human rights, to promote dialogue and co-operation between their parliaments and the Assembly, particularly in the light of the recently established “Partner for Democracy” status, and “to abolish the death penalty and, in the meantime, introduce or maintain a moratorium on executions”.

The Assembly, which called for the release of all those arrested for their political support for democratic changes, welcomed the success of the democratic forces in Libya and expressed its readiness to assist the transition authorities should they so wish.

Referring to the brutal crackdown against the Syrian people, the PACE invited European governments to impose “firm and effective sanctions” on those who had contributed or were contributing to the violence against the people. It invited the international community, including, as appropriate, the International Criminal Court, to “ensure that all such crimes are investigated and punished”.

The Assembly, which welcomed the positive developments in Tunisia and Egypt, paid tribute to Mohammed Bouazizi, whose desperate act of protest had triggered the Arab uprisings, and to the victims of repression who had lost their lives in the struggle for democracy.