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Honouring of commitments by the Russian Federation; humanitarian crisis in Syria; definition of political prisoner

Strasbourg,19.09.2012 – Debates on the honouring of obligations and commitments by the Russian Federation, the humanitarian crisis in Syria (for which a request for a debate under urgent procedure has been made) and the definition of political prisoner, as well as speeches by the Presidents of Albania and Moldova, are among the highlights of the 2012 autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in Strasbourg from 1 to 5 October.

Assembly members will also hold debates on the right to freedom of choice in education in Europe, human rights and foreign policy, and restoring social justice through a tax on financial transactions. A further item on the agenda is a joint debate on the themes of “For more democratic elections” and “Best practices for promoting gender equality in political parties”. A request has also been made for a current affairs debate on “The Safarov case”.

Bujar Nishani, President of Albania, Nicolae Timofti, President of the Republic of Moldova, and Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, will address the parliamentarians. Edmond Panariti, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Albania, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly and will reply to members’ questions. Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the OECD, will speak during the debate on the organisation’s activities.

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Draft agenda
The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.

Monday 1 October
• Opening of the part-session
• Statement by the President
• Possible Election of Vice-Presidents of the Assembly
• Address by Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation
• Free debate

Tuesday 2 October
• Possible election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation
The honouring of obligations and commitments by the Russian Federation
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly by Edmond Panariti, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Albania, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
• Joint debate:
- For more democratic elections
- Best practices for promoting gender equality in political parties

Wednesday 3 October
The activities of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2011-2012 and statement by:Angel Gurría, Secretary General of the OECD
• Possible second round of election Judges to the European Court of Human Rights
• Address by Nicolae Timofti, President of the Republic of Moldova
The definition of political prisoner
Human rights and foreign policy

Thursday 4 October
• Possible debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
• Address by Bujar Nishani, President of Albania
Code of conduct of members of the Parliamentary Assembly: good practice or a core duty?
The right to freedom of choice in education in Europe

Friday 5 October
Restoring social justice through a tax on financial transactions
• Joint debate:
- The consolidation and international openness of the European Higher Education Area
- Governance of higher education institutions in the European Higher Education Area

Practical information

Live web stream: The session is streamed live over the web.

Press conferences: PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon will give a press conference on Monday 1st October at 10.30 a.m. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. Press conferences are streamed live over the web.

For TV planning units: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free no later than two hours after the event. Further information from the Council of Europe Audiovisual Service, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 64 (prior to the session) or +33 3 88 41 35 00 (during the session).

For accreditation: Directorate of Communication, accreditation@coe.int.

Further details: see the Assembly's website.

Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; pace.com@coe.int.