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Relations between the Council of Europe and the United Nations

Recommendation 1252 (1994)

Parliamentary Assembly
See Doc. 7182, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteuse: Mrs Err. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 10 November 1994.
1. On 17 October 1989, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution No. 44/6 in which it decided to invite the Council of Europe to participate in its sessions and work in the capacity of observer. The purpose of the resolution was to promote co-operation between the United Nations Organisation and the Council of Europe.
2. The Assembly regrets the fact that the observer's seat reserved for the Council of Europe at the General Assembly of the United Nations has so far remained empty.
3. The contributions of the thirty-three member states of the Council of Europe and the eight states which have requested membership represent nearly 45% of the United Nations' ordinary budget. They therefore have a very important role to play in the definition of the United Nations' task on the European continent, while taking into account the Council of Europe's pan-European dimension.
4. Relations between the two organisations should be based on good knowledge of each other. Improved information on each other's activities should prevent duplication of effort in Europe and ensure that better use is made of available resources.
5. There is a wide range of issues which concern the United Nations and the Council of Europe alike and where the two organisations could co-operate at practical and operational levels. The United Nations could draw greater benefit from the Council of Europe's unique experience of human rights and parliamentary democracy.
6. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
6.1 find a pragmatic solution enabling the Council of Europe to be represented in New York, particularly during the sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations;
6.2 invite the Chairman-in-Office of the Committee of Ministers:
a to organise periodic meetings in New York of the permanent representatives to the United Nations of the member states, in particular in the run-up to the sessions of the General Assembly, in order to discuss the issues affecting both organisations, harmonise their positions and co-ordinate their initiatives, particularly in the field of human rights;
b to provide the permanent delegations of the member states in New York with details of current activities at the Council of Europe which are directly relevant to issues on the agenda of the Security Council or the General Assembly;
c to include in his communication to the Assembly a report on United Nations activities which directly concern the Council of Europe;
6.3 step up political dialogue and exchanges of information between the two organisations and, in particular, expand the co-operation which already exists with the Office of the United Nations in Geneva;
6.4 encourage member states to include parliamentarians in their national delegations to the General Assembly of the United Nations so as to increase its parliamentary character