French President; German, Turkish and Estonian Foreign Ministers address the Assembly

Strasbourg, 10-14 October 2016

French President François Hollande, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu, and Estonian Foreign Minister Jürgen Ligi (who presented the activities of the Committee of Ministers, which he currently chairs) addressed the Assembly at its autumn plenary session in Strasbourg.

A current affairs debate took place on the situation in Turkey in the light of the attempted coup d'Etat. Parliamentarians also discussed the political consequences of the Ukraine conflict and on legal remedies for human rights violations in areas not under Ukrainian control.

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, addressed the Assembly in the context of a report on sport for all. The parliamentarians also debated reports on lessons from the "Panama Papers" to ensure fiscal and social justice, as well as on co-operation with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, answered questions from parliamentarians.

On the opening day of the session, the Assembly awarded the 2016 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi woman who managed to flee ISIS in northern Iraq, and who brings the plight of the Yazidi community to the forefront of international attention.

In addition, in the context of the #NoHateNoFear initiative against terrorism, members of several PACE committees organised a debate with the participation of Antoine Leiris and Luciana Milani – whose wife and daughter respectively were killed in the Paris Bataclan attack – and David Anderson, independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation in the United Kingdom. This initiative, launched in June 2016 by PACE President Pedro Agramunt, aims to encourage all players in society to stand firm against the terrorist threat by refusing to give in to hatred or fear.