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The participation of non-member States in Council of Europe conventions

Resolution 1961 (2013)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 22 November 2013 (see Doc. 13291, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Huseynov). See also Recommendation 2029 (2013).
1. The Council of Europe has taken a leading role in adopting conventions aimed at ensuring respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in its member States. Some Council of Europe conventions deal with subjects which also concern non-member States, such as the fight against terrorism, money laundering, human trafficking and the protection of personal data.
2. The majority of Council of Europe conventions are open to non-member States, but few of them have availed themselves of this opportunity.
3. Bearing in mind the need to preserve and consolidate its standards and values, the Council of Europe should promote the accession of relevant conventions by non-member States.
4. The Council of Europe should focus on States which have already been invited to accede to Council of Europe instruments, but have not yet done so. The following measures could be envisaged:
4.1 organising conferences, seminars and training workshops on themes covered by relevant Council of Europe instruments;
4.2 organising a ceremony in the context of ministerial sessions or conferences at which Council of Europe instruments are signed and/or ratified;
4.3 raising the subject of accession to Council of Europe conventions during high-level visits to relevant States, especially those States which have observer status with the Council of Europe and those whose parliaments have observer or partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly;
4.4 providing information on relevant conventions through the Council of Europe’s offices in charge of liaison with international organisations;
4.5 establishing contacts at the political and technical levels within the framework of the Council of Europe Neighbourhood Policy and the new co-operation programmes with countries in the Mediterranean region and central Asia.
5. With regard to future Council of Europe instruments, the Organisation’s offices in charge of liaison with international organisations should establish an “early-warning procedure” aimed at informing relevant international organisations and non-member States about the opening of negotiations for new Council of Europe conventions likely to provide for non-member States’ accession.