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Autumn session: the Ukraine crisis, Human Rights Prize, countering neo-Nazism

A current affairs debate on the crisis in Ukraine and a debate on countering neo-Nazism – with the participation of the Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament Olemic Thommessen – are among highlights of the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, from 29 September to 3 October 2014.

An urgent debate on "Threats posed by the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) and violence against humanity" has also been requested.

A ceremony on the opening day of the session will see the award of the second Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to one of three shortlisted nominees – Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, Malta’s Jesuit Refugee Service or Azerbaijani human rights defender Anar Mammadli. The €60,000 prize honours outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

On Thursday, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will report to the Assembly on the latest activities of the Council of Europe’s executive body, the Committee of Ministers, and answer parliamentarians’ questions.

Also on the draft agenda are annual debates on the OECD and EBRD, with the participation of their leading officials, monitoring reports on Georgia and Albania, and a debate on possible changes to PACE’s monitoring mechanism.

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

Draft agenda

Monday 29 September
• Statement by the President
• Request(s) for current affairs debate or urgent debate
o Current affairs debate: "The crisis in Ukraine"
o Urgent debate: "Threats posed by the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) and violence against humanity"
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Observation of the presidential election in Turkey (10 August 2014)
• Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize Award Ceremony
• Free debate

Tuesday 30 September
Counteraction to manifestations of neo-Nazism
Women’s rights and prospects for Euro-Mediterranean co-operation
• Joint debate
o Good governance and enhanced quality in education
o Raising the status of vocational education and training

Wednesday 1 October
• The activities of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in
2013-2014 and statement by Angel Gurría, Secretary General of the OECD
The functioning of democratic institutions in Georgia
• Possible current affairs debate on the crisis in Ukraine
The progress of the Assembly’s monitoring procedure (October 2013–September 2014)

Thursday 2 October
• Possible urgent debate
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly presented by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
The activities of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2013-2014 and statement by Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the EBRD
The honouring of obligations and commitments by Albania

Friday 3 October
The alternatives to immigration detention of children
Towards optimum breast cancer services across Europe

Practical information

Live web stream: The session is streamed live on PACE’s website.

Press conferences: PACE President Anne Brasseur will give a press conference on Monday 29 September at 10.30 a.m. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. They 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