Council of Europe urged to step up its conflict resolution role

The Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Nikos Voutsis, opening a hearing in Athens on 25 September of the Sub-committee on Conflicts between Council of Europe Member states, has said the Council should “not forget about” the conflicts in its geographical area and urged an approach to resolving them based on human rights and rule-of-law principles.

The head of the Greek delegation to PACE Ioanneta Kavvadia (Greece, UEL) pointed out that “parliamentary diplomacy” could also play an important role in helping to resolve regional conflicts and urged the Council of Europe to develop a more comprehensive institutional capacity on conflict mediation and prevention.

The chair of the sub-committee, Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), welcomed Greek support for its work and added that “the aim of the sub-committee is to explore how PACE can contribute to the work of the existing recognised mediation mechanisms, and not to duplicate their work”. 

Ambassador Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine, and his opposite number for the Transnistrian Settlement Process, Ambassador Wolf-Dietrich Heim, briefed participants on the latest developments in the mechanisms under their responsibility.

The sub-committee also held an exchange of views with the Deputy Permanent Representative of Austria to the OSCE, Klaus Kögeler, who highlighted the conflict-resolution priorities of the OSCE’s Austrian Chairmanship.