PACE to debate the state of human rights and democracy

Parliament EU

The spring plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is scheduled to the state of human rights and democracy in Europe - with contributions from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the heads of the main Council of Europe human rights monitoring mechanisms, as well as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. There will be a special debate to address the issue at the session takes place from April 16-20, 2007 in Strasbourg.

According to PACE, there will also be the subject of Montenegro's accession to the Council of Europe, on April 17 with the participation of the Speaker of the Montenegrin Parliament Ranko Krivokapic.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych may also address the Assembly while San Marino Foreign Minister Fiorenzo Stolfi will present the traditional communication from the Committee of Ministers in the afternoon, and answer parliamentarians' questions on behalf of the Council's executive body.

The PACE communique listed other issues as Azerbaijan's honouring of obligations and commitments, fair trial issues in criminal cases concerning espionage or divulging state secrets, the suppression of counterfeiting and the quality of medicines in Europe. Moreover, the last frontier with explicit lack of democracy, Belarus will feature as there will be a hearing on "Belarus: strategies towards democratisation" bringing together PACE members and members of the opposition in Belarus, including Alexander Milinkievich, Anatoly Lebedko and the wife of imprisoned opposition leader Aleksandr Kozulin.