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PACE to hold two urgent debates

Adopting its final agenda this morning, the Assembly decided to hold urgent debates on “Threats to the health and life of Ukrainian prisoners in the Russian Federation and occupied Crimea” and on “International obligations of Council of Europe member States: to protect life at sea”.

PACE will also elect its new President. VIPs to address members include the Croatian and Slovak Prime Ministers as well as the Luxembourg Foreign Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia, will present the communication from the Committee of Ministers. An exchange of views with the organisation’s Secretary General is also scheduled.

Among the items on the agenda is the protection of human rights defenders as well as new restrictions on NGO activities in member states.

The Assembly will discuss the humanitarian situation of refugees in the countries neighbouring Syria and will hold a joint debate on the extra-territorial processing of asylum claims and the creation of safe refugee shelters abroad as well as the human rights impact of the external dimension of EU asylum and migration policy, with the participation of Dimitrios Vitsas, Minister of Immigration Policy of Greece.

Forced marriage in Europe and the balance between the best interest of the child and the need to keep families together are also scheduled for debate.

Also on the agenda are the persecution of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic, the deliberate destruction and illegal trafficking of cultural heritage, and women in the economy.