PACE President Anne Brasseur met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the crisis developing between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea.
“We spoke about the important roles of the UN and the Council of Europe in keeping avenues of dialogue open between the parties,” said Ms Brasseur. “Rhetoric should not be allowed to rule the day. We agreed that both organisations must use their greatest strengths – namely the power of diplomacy – to bring the parties to the table to find solutions.”
A number of other issues were discussed, the President said, including the consequences of the Arab Spring, the crisis in Syria and the backlash in Europe against migrants and Roma.
Ms Brasseur also highlighted the importance of not diluting human rights standards, stressing that Council of Europe conventions – such as the European Convention against Trafficking and the European Convention on Preventing Violence against Women and Domestic Violence – were open to everyone, and that lower standards should not be negotiated.