Autumn Session: honouring of commitments by the Russian Federation; humanitarian crisis in Syria; definition of political prisoner

Strasbourg, 1-5 October 2012

Debates on the honouring of obligations and commitments by the Russian Federation, the humanitarian crisis in Syria (for which a request for a debate under urgent procedure has been made) and the definition of political prisoner, as well as speeches by the Presidents of Albania and Moldova, are among the highlights of the 2012 autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in Strasbourg from 1 to 5 October.

Assembly members will also hold debates on the right to freedom of choice in education in Europe, human rights and foreign policy, and restoring social justice through a tax on financial transactions. A further item on the agenda is a joint debate on the themes of "For more democratic elections" and "Best practices for promoting gender equality in political parties". A request has also been made for a current affairs debate on "The Safarov case".

Bujar Nishani, President of Albania, Nicolae Timofti, President of the Republic of Moldova, and Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, will address the parliamentarians. Edmond Panariti, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Albania, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly and will reply to members' questions. Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the OECD, will speak during the debate on the organisation's activities.