PACE President Rik Daems has ended a two-day working visit to Finland, during which he received strong support for his proposal of a “paradigm shift” on the environment and human rights, moving from policy to principle.
In addition to this priority issue, discussions also focused on relations with member and non-member States, and on gender equality - notably violence against women and the important role that parliamentarians must play to ensure efficient implementation of the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention at national level.
The unique role of the Parliamentary Assembly as a pan-European forum for addressing key issues of human rights, the rule of law and democracy was considered increasingly important in the present context. Opportunities for co-operation with other multilateral institutions, such as the parliamentary wings of the Nordic Council and the Arctic Council, in addressing issues of common concern were also discussed.
During his two-day visit, the President met with the Speaker of the Parliament Anu Vehviläinen, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and senior officials from that Ministry, members of the Finnish parliamentary committees on Foreign Affairs, Constitutional Law, Environment and the Grand Committee, as well as the Finnish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly.