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PACE Autumn Session 2023: Havel Prize; humanitarian situation in Nagorno Karabakh; call for Osman Kavala release


The award of the 2023 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, as well as requests for urgent debates on "Humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh" and on "Call for the immediate release of Osman Kavala" will be some (*) of the highlights of the Autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), taking place in Strasbourg from 9 to 13 October 2023.

Other major topics to be debated by the Assembly, which brings together parliamentarians from the 46 Council of Europe member states, include Pegasus and similar spyware and secret state surveillance, as well as a report which examines the legitimacy and legality of the ad hominem term-limit waiver for Russia’s incumbent President.

There have also been requests for a debate under urgent procedure on "Ensuring a just peace in Ukraine and lasting security in Europe" and for a current affairs debate on "Migrants’ deaths at sea".

Parliamentarians will hold an exchange of views with Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice. Latvian Foreign Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, Chair of the Committee of Ministers, will report on the work of the Council of Europe’s executive body, and Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić will hold question time with members.

Other topics on the agenda include the challenge of far-right ideology to democracy and human rights in Europe, as well as migration and asylum in election campaigns and the consequences for migrant rights. The parliamentarians will also debate a periodic review of the honouring of membership obligations to the Council of Europe by France. There will be a joint debate on the impact of the fight against Covid-19 on the mental health and well-being of children and young adults, on the one hand, and on preventing addictive behaviours in children, on the other.

Finally, the Assembly will discuss how to combat violence against women with disabilities (with the participation of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and UN at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, United Kingdom, and Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict), the humanitarian crisis emerging for Afghanistan and Afghan refugees, and the role of the Council of Europe in preventing conflicts, restoring the credibility of international institutions, and promoting global peace.

(*) The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the opening day of the Session.