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Spring plenary Session: the situation of Ukrainian civilians, including children, forcibly displaced to Russia; political strategies to prevent natural disasters


An urgent debate on "The situation of Ukrainian civilians, including children, forcibly displaced or transferred to the Russian Federation or Ukrainian territories under the de facto control of the Russian Federation", with the online intervention of Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, was one of the main topics debated at the Spring plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which took place in Strasbourg on 24-28 April 2023. The was followed by a current affairs debate on "Russia’s role in escalating tensions in the Republic of Moldova". 

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the Assembly debated a report on political strategies to prevent, prepare for, and face the consequences of natural disasters.

On the #RoadToReykjavik, the Assembly held a current affairs debate on the fourth Council of Europe Summit, which takes place in the Icelandic capital on 16-17 May 2023. Síofra O'Leary, President of the European Court of Human Rights, delivered a statement during this debate.

The parliamentarians also heard an address by Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson. Icelandic Foreign Minister Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir presented the Communication from the Committee of Ministers, which Iceland currently chairs.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović presented her annual activity report for 2022, while Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić held her usual question time with members.

Other topics discussed included the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and national constitutions, youth and the media, and safeguarding democracy, rights and the environment in international trade.

Finally, the Assembly assessed the functioning of its partnership for democracy status and  looked at San Marino’s honouring of its Council of Europe membership obligations.

Session’s special page


Note to editors

Due to ongoing renovation work in the debating chamber of the Palais de l'Europe, the plenary sittings were held in the debating chamber of the European Parliament. 

All PACE committee activities and meetings, as well as all side events, took place in the Palais de l’Europe premises, as did all media-related activities (press room, interviews, press briefings, MediaBox, etc.