19 April 2002
Conflict in the Chechen Republic
Recommendation 1548 (2002)
Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 793rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (18 April 2002)
The Committee of Ministers has examined with close attention Recommendation 1548 (2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly.
The Committee of Ministers shares the Assembly’s interest in a continuing Council of Europe presence in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation with the purpose of contributing to full respect for human rights and the rule of law; and also to continue to provide consultative expertise to the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for ensuring human and civil rights of freedoms in the Chechen Republic.
Thus the Deputies on 20 March 2002 (789 meeting/item 4.3), in the context of their discussions on modalities for the continued Council of Europe presence in the North Caucasus, invited the Secretary General to take steps to arrange a provisional extension of the present mandate, “it being understood that negotiations will be pursued with the Russian authorities with a view to achieving a broader mandate in the near future.”
Subsequently, on 10 April 2002 (791 meeting/item 4.3), the Deputies took note of the terms of an exchange of letters (see document CM(2002)53, appended), in which the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation agree to prolong, until 4 July 2002, the Council of Europe consultative expert assistance to the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for ensuring human and civil rights and freedoms in the Chechen Republic, it being understood that negotiations will be pursued with the Russian authorities with a view to achieving a broader mandate in the near future, on the basis of the above-mentioned invitation of the Deputies to the Secretary General of 20 March.
The Assembly will be kept informed on developments in this respect.
One of the means by which the Committee of Ministers continues to encourage the Russian authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure that the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights are fully respected in the Chechen Republic, and that all violators of these rights are held accountable without further delay (paragraph 4 of the Recommendation), is by monthly discussions and dialogue in the Deputies on interim reports by the Secretary General (18 to date) under the item “contribution of the Council of Europe towards restoration of the rule of law, respect of human rights and democracy in Chechnya”, the most recent of which was discussed at the meeting of the Deputies on 18 April 2002. The discussions have also taken into account supplementary information regarding the situation in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation provided by the Secretary General. Both the monthly interim reports and the addenda thereto are transmitted regularly to the Assembly.
The Committee of Ministers also draws the attention of the Parliamentary Assembly to the report of its Chairman, on the visit to the Russian Federation (15-16 January 2002) (document CM/Inf(2002)7), forwarded to the Assembly on 21 February 2002, which reflects among other things, the concern, shared by the Committee and the Assembly, for improvement of the humanitarian situation in Chechenya and the region.
Finally, the Committee of Ministers expresses its continuing close interest and appreciation for the Parliamentary Assembly’s relevant work, including in the framework of the Joint Working Group with the Russian State Duma. It is also looking forward to implementation of the activities envisaged by the programme for the North Caucasus in the Tripartite framework (Council of Europe, European Commission, Russian Federation).”
CM(2002)53 5 April 2002
791 Meeting, 10 April 2002
4 Human Rights
4.3 The contribution of the Council of Europe towards restoration of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy in Chechnya: modalities for the continued Council of Europe presence in the North Caucasus
Exchange of letters between the Secretary General and Mr Igor Ivanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, prolonging, until 4 July 2002, the Agreement of 4 April 2000 on the Council of Europe consultative expert assistance to the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for ensuring human and civil rights and freedoms in the Chechen Republic