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The Council of Europe and its observer states - the current situation and a way forward

Recommendation 1827 (2008)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 23 January 2008 (6th Sitting) (see Doc. 11471, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Wilshire; and Doc. 11500, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Omtzigt). Text adopted by the Assembly on 23 January 2008 (6th Sitting).
1. The Assembly refers to Resolution 1600 (2008) on the Council of Europe and its observer states − the current situation and a way forward.
2. The Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to:
2.1 reiterate the position of principle that states enjoying observer status shall respect fundamental human rights and shall not apply the death penalty;
2.2 intensify its political dialogue with Japan and the United States, to urge both countries to finally place an immediate moratorium on executions, to abolish the death penalty as soon as possible, and to present to the Assembly by the end of 2008 a detailed account of its contacts with these countries;
2.3 present an annual report to the Assembly on the involvement of observer states in all aspects of the Council of Europe’s work;
2.4 consider amending Statutory Resolution (93) 26 on observer status for any future applications for this status in such a way that specific standards, formal commitments and a monitoring process, to be elaborated by the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, would be foreseen;
2.5 explore, with existing observer states, their readiness to subscribe voluntarily to any changes made to the statutory resolution;
2.6 consider introducing new designations, without altering in any way the status of the existing observer states, in order to distinguish between:
2.6.1 observer states which either obtained this status prior to any formal arrangements or were granted observer status under Statutory Resolution (93) 26; and
2.6.2 states which could be granted a status following a possible revision of Statutory Resolution (93) 26, as recommended in paragraph 2.4. above;
2.7 delay granting observer status to any more states until all the issues raised in this recommendation have been addressed.
3. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite observer states to take part in the Forum for the Future of Democracy.