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PACE Standing Committee met in Riga

Standing Committee in Riga

Current affairs debates on “Excluding athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in the Olympics” (with a statement by Kaspars Cipruss, Secretary General of the Latvian Basketball Federation) and on “The follow-up to the Reykjavik Summit” (with the participation of Aoife Nolan, President of the European Committee of Social Rights) were two of the highlights of the Standing Committee meeting (*) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in Riga on Friday 26 May 2023.

After the opening of the meeting by PACE President Tiny Kox, Saeima Speaker Edvards Smiltēns gave a welcome address, followed by an exchange of views with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in the framework of Latvia’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. There was also an exchange of views with Carlo Monticelli, Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank.

Parliamentarians then held a Round Table on “Artificial intelligence, freedom of expression and disinformation: challenges and risks for democracy”, with interventions by Gundars Bergmanis-Korāts, Principal Scientist, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga; Gregor Strojin, Vice-Chair, Council of Europe Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAI); and Kaspars Kauliņš, International Business Development Director, Tilde.

The Round Table aimed to contribute to the on-going work by the Council of Europe Committee on Artificial Intelligence to elaborate a framework Convention on the development, design, and application of artificial intelligence.

(*) The Standing Committee, which acts on the Assembly’s behalf between plenary sessions, is made up of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, the chairpersons of political groups, the chairpersons of national delegations and the committee chairpersons, totaling some 60 parliamentarians from the Council of Europe’s 46 member States.