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Urgent debate on the role and mission of the Assembly

Adopting its final agenda at the opening of the 2019 Spring Session, the Assembly decided to hold an urgent debate on the theme “Role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly: main challenges for the future”. The Assembly holds its session in Strasbourg from 8 to 12 April 2019, with addresses by the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia.

Joint debates will be held on stopping hate speech and acts of hatred in sport - as well as the role of political leaders in combating hate speech - and on strengthening co-operation with the UN and implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals.

Other topics to be discussed include promoting parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment, the implications for human rights of social media, and a report on balancing the rights of parents, donors and children during the anonymous donation of sperm and oocytes.

The Assembly will also look at so-called “laundromats” and new challenges in combating organised crime and money laundering, and will take a stand on the creation of a new EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights will present her annual activity report for 2018 and take questions, while there will be the usual exchange of views with the current head of the Council of Europe’s ministerial body, Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Timo Soini, and question time with Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.

At the opening of the Session, the President regretted that the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not transmitted its credentials within the deadline foreseen in the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, that is to say before the April 2019 part session, following the parliamentary elections held in this country in October 2018.