Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand (independent) said on Tuesday at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that recent events around the world made it necessary to focus on cooperation in the fight against terrorism as well as the protection and promotion of human rights.
Kaljurand, who is currently chairing the Committee of Ministers, spoke to PACE's third plenary session giving an overview of the fight against terrorism, the migration crisis, protecting human rights in conflict regions, and Estonia's activities implementing its chairmanship priorities.
“The recent events in Turkey, France, and the United States confirm the need to focus on cooperation in combating terrorism and protecting and promoting human rights,” Kaljurand said.
Speaking about the migration crisis, Kaljurand stressed the importance of European unity and solidarity. “The European Convention on Human Rights states that it is the obligation of all Council of Europe countries to ensure the protection of the rights of refugees,” she said. She confirmed the readiness of the Committee of Ministers to intensify the fight against human trafficking, and to protect children who have fallen victim to the migration crisis.
Regarding conflict areas within the territory of the Council of Europe, Kaljurand stressed the responsibility of states and their obligation to protect human rights. She highlighted recent developments in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia as well as the human rights situation in the conflict areas of those countries.
“All of the inhabitants of these regions must be guaranteed all of their rights, and all bodies of the Council of Europe must similarly be allowed unrestricted, free and safe access to them,” Kaljurand stressed.
As chair of the Council of Europe, Kaljurand also presented the Rule of Law Checklist compiled by the Venice Commission to the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
“Its purpose is to provide countries, civil society organizations, and international organizations objective, thorough, transparent, and standards-based self-regulation. It is a practical tool which focuses on public power and the prevention of its possible misuse, and also stresses the commitment of the private sector to the importance of adhering to the rule of law when fulfilling public duties,” Kaljurand said. She also expressed hope that the survey would continue to be used by more countries all around the world.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn