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Winter session 2012

David Cameron and Tarja Halonen to address the Assembly

Strasbourg, 23-27 January 2012

Speeches by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Finnish President Tarja Halonen will be among the highlights of the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to be held in Strasbourg from 23 to 27 January 2012.

Statements will also be made during the session by British Minister for Europe David Lidington, representing the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers; Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze; United Nations Under-Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet; and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova.

The Assembly will elect its next President at the opening of the session. The parliamentarians will also elect the new Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

Other highlights include debates on guaranteeing the authority and effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights, on protecting human rights and dignity by taking into account the previously expressed wishes of patients, and on advancing women's rights worldwide. There has also been a request for an urgent debate on "The Russian Federation between two elections" (the Assembly will decide at the opening of the session whether this is to be held).

The agenda will also include reports on the situation in Belarus, the functioning of democratic institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Ukraine, and honouring of commitments by Serbia.