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After the adoption of the Reykjavik Declaration, PACE President calls on member States ‘to walk the talk’

Tiny Kox, opening speech
©Council of Europe

“This week’s debate on the budget and priorities of the Council of Europe for 2024-2027 takes on its full meaning. We need to discuss how the decisions of the Summit can best be implemented in the years to come, including by the Assembly. I call on all Member States, after the adoption of the Reykjavik Declaration, to walk the talk, also in financial terms,” PACE President Tiny Kox said today in Strasbourg at the opening of the 2023 Summer Session.

Many decisions taken in the Icelandic capital “seem to be inspired by ideas formulated in the Assembly”, he underlined, referring to the Reykjavik Declaration as a "clear and challenging roadmap" to help protect and rebuild a sovereign Ukraine, restore rules-based European multilateralism, strengthen democracy, and “enable the Council of Europe to remain the guarantor of the rule of law, human rights and democracy throughout the continent”.

Referring to the war of aggression against Ukraine, and on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the PACE President said the Assembly mourned the victims of sexual violence “as we mourn all other victims in this brutal and illegal war, that should never have started and must end as soon as possible”.

“We will maintain our focus on the consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine during this session, with a view to generating new ideas on how Ukraine can be supported in a useful and meaningful way, and how peace based on justice can be brought back to Europe,” the President said.

Referring to the tragic fate of almost 80 migrants who lost their lives when a fishing boat carrying more than 700 people sank off the Greek coast, Tiny Kox stated that "this toll may still rise as hundreds of people remain missing. Such a horrific accident reminds us of tens of thousands of people who tragically died over the last decade trying to reach Europe and underlines the importance of addressing this issue in a concerted, holistic and rights-based manner".