PACE President Anne Brasseur today urged all member States which are not already part to the Council of Europe North-South Centre to consider joining it.
Speaking on the margins of the PACE plenary spring session in Strasbourg on the occasion of the North-South Centre’s 25th anniversary, she stressed its role as a unique tool to promote the universal values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, and build up democratic citizenship and intercultural dialogue beyond Europe. “It can also contribute to the challenges arising from the mixed flows of irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees across the Mediterranean,” she said.
“Established to promote dialogue between North and South, to foster solidarity and to raise awareness of global interdependence, the Centre is faced today with renewed challenges. Called upon to contribute as an active partner in the implementation of the Council of Europe Policy towards neighbouring regions and the CoE/EU Joint Programme “Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean”, the North-South Centre and its networks could be increasingly used by other Council of Europe bodies and actors as a bridge to reinforce the Organisation’s action in the Southern Mediterranean,” the President stressed.
“It is precisely when the countries of South Mediterranean and the Middle East are struggling to implement democratic reforms and establish the foundations of democratic and pluralistic societies in which the rights and freedoms of all individuals are respected, that the Council of Europe should make available its assistance, with all of its relevant instruments, including the North-South Centre. It is my special pleasure to congratulate the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe on its 25th anniversary, in my capacity as President of the Parliamentary Assembly, the body which was at the very origin of the Centre’s creation,” the President concluded.