“The Council of Europe supports the brave struggle of the people of Ukraine to protect, uphold and regain national sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country and our member State” President Tiny Kox said today at the opening the 2022 Autumn Session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
The parliamentarians held a moment of silence for all the victims of “a war that should never have started and must end as soon as possible”. Earlier this morning, the President said, the whole of Ukraine woke up under sirens “as another series of barbaric Russian strikes on residential areas and civilian infrastructure” took place targeting the historic centre of Kyiv, the cities of Zaporizzhya, Dnipro, Odessa, Lviv, Zhytomyr and many other. “These atrocities that deliberately and manifestly target non-military targets and aim to terrorise innocent people cannot be ignored and cannot be justified”, he said.
Russia’s unilateral aggression has led to a whole series of multilateral reactions, Tiny Kox underlined. “For tomorrow, I have convened a meeting of the joint committee of the Assembly and Committee of Ministers. There we will discuss the need to convoke at the earliest possible opportunity, a 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of all our 46 member States, to decide on the future role of the Council of Europe, as Europe’s oldest and broadest treaty based political community, in the future multilateral architecture to protect peace and promote prosperity for all European citizens, on the basis of respect for the rule of law, human rights and democracy”, he added.
Many other important challenges in Europe, Mr Kox stated, “require our close attention this week. One of them is the recent most worrying escalation in hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan which has led to further casualties on both sides. I urge both countries to double their efforts in finding a peaceful sustainable solution to the conflict that so negatively affects lives of millions of people in the South Caucasus region. I call on Armenian and Azerbaijani parliamentarians to use this Assembly as an agora of opportunities to discuss the most difficult issues and to establish a meaningful dialogue to try to bridge disagreements. Again: if not now, when then?”, the PACE President added.