Parliamentary Assembly session : 04 to 08 October 2004 

Jan Petersen: Council of Europe steps up action against terrorism

05.10.2004 - The Foreign Minister of Norway, Jan Petersen, addressed the Assembly in his capacity as Chairman in office of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Reporting on recent activities of the Committee, his speech covered a wide range of topics. He began by condemning the terrorists responsible for the school siege in Beslan, Russia, and emphasising the commitment of the Committee of Ministers to strengthening the Council's contribution to international action on terrorism.

He then reported on the political and economic challenges facing the Balkans, following a recent visit to Sarajevo, Belgrade and Pristina. Mr Petersen also underlined the importance of solving continuing problems in the Southern Caucasus, notably the Nagorno Karabach conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the tensions in the South Ossetia region of Georgia. Mr Pedersen also mentioned recent developments in the Transnistria region of Moldova, and in Belarus, as areas for concern.

Referring to the European Court of Human Rights, he called on member states who have not yet signed Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights to do so as soon as possible. Finally, Mr Pedersen stressed the importance of improving cooperation between the Council of Europe and other European organisations, in particular the OSCE and the EU. He concluded his address by emphasising the importance of agreeing upon a well defined agenda for the Third Summit in Warsaw in May 2005.

Speech
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