“We have been building our Common Home for 70 years now and yet, if we do not show commitment and political will, it runs the risk of fracturing, leaving 830 million of our fellow citizens without multilateral means of recourse to protect their rights and freedoms,” the PACE President warned this morning at the opening of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament.
“It was indeed through dialogue and co-operation that we succeeded in reconciling the continent at the end of the Second World War and ending ideological divisions after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, we must continue vigorously to defend our great political project: to build closer unity among European states in order to defend and promote – together – human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” she added.
The first topic of discussion at the conference is the state of our “Common European Home", as the Council of Europe marks its 70th anniversary, but the President also mentioned the other two topics on the agenda.
On the second conference theme, “Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals”, Liliane Maury Pasquier stressed that the Council of Europe’s standard-setting framework can “serve as a model for the development of global regulation” in several areas covered by the UN Programme.
On the third theme, “Women in politics and in public discourse”, the President said that without equality, societies cannot develop optimally, “because it is simply inconceivable, in a healthy and well-functioning democracy, to exclude half of society from decision-making”.
Some 60 Speakers and around 300 delegates are taking part in the conference today and tomorrow. Organised by the Parliamentary Assembly, the event takes place every two years, alternately in Strasbourg and in the capital of a Council of Europe member state. The first conference was held in 1975.