The Arab Spring, lives lost in the Mediterranean, ethics in sport and combating match-fixing

Strasbourg, 12.04.2012 – The effects of the Arab Spring will be a major theme of the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in Strasbourg from 23 to 27 April 2012. There will be an address by the Foreign Minister of Morocco and a debate on “Equality between women and men: a condition for the success of the Arab Spring” attended by Morocco's minister responsible for womens’ issues. There has also been a request for an urgent debate on the situation in Syria (1).

Other highlights include a report on who is responsible for lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea, the result of a nine-month inquiry into the deaths of 63 people fleeing the conflict in Libya by sea, and a joint debate on good governance and ethics in sport and on the need to combat match-fixing.

Other speakers include the Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the British Minister for Europe, who will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly on behalf of the United Kingdom Chairmanship.

A current affairs debate has also been requested on the future of the European Court of Human Rights and the Brighton Declaration (1).

Other items on the agenda include the situation of IDPs and returnees in the North Caucasus region, and the protection of freedom of expression and information on the internet and online media.

(1) The Assembly will decide on these requests at the opening of the session.

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Draft agenda

The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.

Monday 23 April

• Statement by the President
• Election of Vice-Presidents of the Assembly with respect to Luxembourg and Spain
• Adoption of the agenda
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly, presented by the Rt Hon. David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom, representing the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
• Free debate

Tuesday 24 April

• [Possibly] Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Belgium
Lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea: who is responsible?
• Address by Saad dine El Otmani, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Morocco
Equality between women and men: a condition for the success of the Arab Spring, and statement by Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister of Solidarity, Family, Women and Social Development of Morocco
The promotion of active citizenship in Europe

Wednesday 25 April

• [Possibly 2nd round] Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Belgium
• Joint debate on Good governance and ethics in sport and the need to combat match-fixing
• Address by Zlatko Lagumdžija, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The protection of freedom of expression and information on the Internet and online media

Thursday 26 April

• [Possibly] Debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
The situation of IDPs and returnees in the North Caucasus region
• Follow-up by the Committee of Ministers to the work of the Parliamentary

Friday 27 April

Promoting an appropriate policy on tax havens
Decent pensions for all

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Practical information

Live web stream: The session is streamed live over the web.

Press conferences: PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon will give a press conference on Monday 23 April at 10.30. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. Press conferences are streamed live over the web.

For TV planning units: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free no later than two hours after the event. Further information from the Council of Europe Audiovisual Service, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 64 (prior to the session) or +33 3 88 41 35 00 (during the session).

For accreditation: Directorate of Communication, accreditation@coe.int.

Further details: see the Assembly's website.

Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; pace.com@coe.int.