Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by Alexandr Avanesov
Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, delivered a speech at the PACE, on 30 September.
In his speech, Minister Nalbandian touched upon the activity report of the Armenian Chairmanship on the progress achieved over recent months and highlighted a few important developments, the Foreign Ministry reported.
"The consolidation of the Council of Europe system of human rights protection is becoming a topic of great importance and that is a reason why the Armenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe highly values the recent adoption of Protocols No.15 and16 to the Convention. On 10 July, the Committee of Ministers took note of the Parliamentary Assembly's opinion on draft Protocol No. 16 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as of the opinion of the European Court of Human Rights. It adopted the Protocol and agreed to open it for signature in Strasbourg on 2 October 2013," the minister said.
"The High-Level Conference on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Europe to be held in Yerevan on 21-22 October is considered as a timely response to these challenges. The purpose of the Conference is to reflect upon racism and xenophobia in political discourse, as well as topics related to combating hate speech and racial stereotypes in social networks and media. High-level state representatives, international and independent experts,
representatives of international organizations will come together with the aim to discuss challenges and the possible ways forward. We hope that the final outcome document of the Conference will help us to steer the course of our future actions," the minister said.
Edward Nalbandian presented preparations that are underway for several other conferences, which the Armenian chairmanship will hold during remaining two months.
"On 1-4 October the Conference of Parties foreseen by the 2005 Warsaw Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) will be held in the Dilijan, Armenia. Two events within the framework of the Conference will be organised. First event will be devoted to the issue of raising awareness of the Warsaw Convention and the second will be a special training course for the experts who will be assessing states parties' compliance with the Convention.
On 8-9 October we will host the 8th plenary meeting of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors in Yerevan.
On 11-12 of October the Armenian Chairmanship together with the Congress is organising another event, which directly concerns the work of the local authorities:
As I already told you in my previous address to the Assembly, I remain convinced that irrespective of the status of territories where individuals live, all people in Europe should be able to enjoy good governance, democracy, rule of law and the same legal and human rights," he said. Further in the speech, the minister recalled that implementation of the Council of Europe policy towards neighbouring regions continued to be on the agenda of the Committee of Ministers. On 3 July within the package of decisions related to the CoE external presence, Committee of Ministers decided to establish CoE offices in Rabat and Tunis.
After the speech, Edward Nalbandian answered the questions of the PACE members regarding the activity of the CoE, Armenia's chairmanship, and international and regional issues. The minister said that further improvement of the intergovernmental committee structure of the Council of Europe is welcome initiative by the Secretary General.