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Secretary General: Ukraine is our priority and Russia must account for its aggression; urges ambition for upcoming summit

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić
©Council of Europe

In her speech to the Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić said “Ukraine must take centre stage” at the Council of Europe Summit on 16-17 May in Reykjavik. Stressing that “accountability for the death and destruction caused by Russian aggression is vital”, she restated Council of Europe support for the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s investigation of Russian war crimes and underlined the importance of the Organisation’s plans to boost resilience and reconstruction through its comprehensive action plan for Ukraine.

She called for the upcoming summit in Iceland to be ambitious and for member states to “acknowledge, halt and reverse the democratic backsliding that has been a hallmark of recent years”. Member states should strengthen the institutions that protect human rights at both national and international levels, in particular by completing the European Union’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. The summit was a chance for member states “to say what they will do to restore the specific rights, freedoms and features of democratic life that are in decline across our continent”, she said.

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