Armenian and Serbian Presidents, State Duma Speaker to address PACE Session

Strasbourg, 19.09.2013 - Addresses by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and the Speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin will be among highlights of PACE’s forthcoming autumn plenary session (30 September-4 October 2013).

Also on the agenda are debates on national security and access to information, on the functioning of democratic institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on children’s right to physical integrity. There have been requests for urgent debates on the situation in Syria, and on the EU’s human rights agenda.

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría will address the Assembly in the framework of an annual debate on the OECD’s activities, while Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will speak in a debate on missing persons from Europe’s conflicts.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers, will present the traditional communication to the Assembly and answer members’ questions. Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland is also due to address the parliamentarians.

On the first day of the session, a ceremony will also be held to award the first ever Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which rewards outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.
Draft agenda

Monday 30 September

• Statement by the President
• Election of Vice-Presidents of the Assembly
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Observation of the parliamentary elections in Albania (23 June 2013)
• Prize award ceremony: Václav Havel Human Rights Prize
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly presented by Edward Nalbandian, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
• Free debate

Tuesday 1 October
• Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Romania [tbc]

• The activities of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2012-2013 and statement by Angel Gurría, Secretary General of the OECD
• Address by Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation
• Children's right to physical integrity
• The progress of the Assembly’s monitoring procedure (June 2012 – September 2013)

Wednesday 2 October
• National security and access to information
• Address Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia
• Communication from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe presented by Thorbjørn Jagland
• The functioning of democratic institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
• The honouring of obligations and commitments by the Republic of Moldova

Thursday 3 October

• Possible debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
• Address by Tomislav Nikolic, President of Serbia
• Missing persons from Europe’s conflicts: the long road to finding humanitarian answers,
and statement by Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
• Food security – a permanent challenge for us all

Friday 4 October

• Combating discrimination against older persons on the labour market
• Strengthening the institution of Ombudsman in Europe

Practical information

Live web stream: The session is streamed live on PACE’s website.

Press conferences: PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon will give a press conference on Monday 30 September at 11.00 a.m. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. They are streamed live over the web.

For TV planning units: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free no later than two hours after the event. Further information from the Council of Europe Audiovisual Service, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 64 (prior to the session) or +33 3 88 41 35 00 (during the session).

For accreditation: Directorate of Communication,
Further details: see the Assembly's website.
Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93;