“While we are gathering here representing people of our member States and associate States, the peoples in our area are confronted with the harsh reality of natural and man-made disasters, earthquakes, floods, fires and tensions, confrontations and open violence. This includes the suffering of the people of Ukraine, the exodus of Armenians from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, and just last weekend the terrible explosion of violence by Hamas against innocent Israeli civilians,” PACE President Tiny Kox said today at the opening of the Autumn Session, before sharing a moment of silence to remember all the victims of recent events.
The Assembly President underlined that during this part-session, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice should update parliamentarians on the accession by the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights. “Once this accession is completed, hopefully soon, the cornerstone of this organisation – our convention system – will be considerably strengthened. This also reminds us that all member States of this Organisation must respect the Convention and fully abide by the binding verdicts of our European Court of Human Rights. A continuous refusal to implement the judgements of the Strasbourg court can no longer be tolerated and, during our session this week, this issue will also be high on our agenda,” Mr Kox said.
“At the beginning of my presidency, I said that alone we were quite weak, but that together we could show the strength that could be expected from Europe's oldest and widest treaty-based organization. At the Reykjavik Summit, we formulated a new set of democratic principles to help halt the general decline of democracy in Europe,” the PACE President added.