David Zalkaliani: ‘Let's keep the same determination to defend human rights as that of the authors of the Convention’

In his address to the Assembly today, the Georgian Minister for Foreign Affairs and President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, David Zalkaliani, highlighted the fundamental role of the European Convention on Human Rights, which enabled the setting-up of a unique human rights protection system, that constitutes “the anchor of European co-operation, both at governmental and parliamentary level”. “I hope that the new decade will bring us the same determination to defend human rights as that of the authors of the Convention 70 years ago,” he said.

Mr Zalkaliani also mentioned the main developments within the Committee of Ministers since October, and announced a number of events organised in the framework of the Georgian Presidency with regards to its priorities, namely: human rights and environmental protection, civil society and citizens participation in the decision-making process, the creation of a child-friendly justice system, as well as promoting democracy through education, culture and youth engagement.

With regard to the co-operation with international organisations, he announced that the Committee of Ministers had approved the mandate of its Steering Committee for Human Rights to finalise, in co-operation with representatives of the EU, the legal instruments setting out the modalities of the accession of the EU to the European Convention of Human Rights. “I very much hope that this work will be concluded successfully and as rapidly as possible. It is essential that the Council of Europe and the European Union ensure the coherence of the human rights protection system in Europe,” he underlined.

Georgia is holding the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers for the first time since joining the Organisation in 1999.