Spring Session : the Arab Spring, lives lost in the Mediterranean, ethics in sport and combating match-fixing

Strasbourg, 23-27 April 2012

The effects of the Arab Spring will be a major theme of the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in Strasbourg from 23 to 27 April 2012. There will be an address by the Foreign Minister of Morocco and a debate on "Equality between women and men: a condition for the success of the Arab Spring" attended by Morocco's minister responsible for womens' issues. There has also been a request for an urgent debate on the situation in Syria 1.

Other highlights include a report on who is responsible for lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea, the result of a nine-month inquiry into the deaths of 63 people fleeing the conflict in Libya by sea, and a joint debate on good governance and ethics in sport and on the need to combat match-fixing.

Other speakers include the Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the British Minister for Europe, who will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly on behalf of the United Kingdom Chairmanship.

A current affairs debate has also been requested on the future of the European Court of Human Rights and the Brighton Declaration 1.

Other items on the agenda include the situation of IDPs and returnees in the North Caucasus region, and the protection of freedom of expression and information on the internet and online media 1.

1 The Assembly will decide on these requests at the opening of the session.