Jan Petersen, Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister
The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Council of Europe member states hold the Chair of the Committee of Ministers for a term of 6 months in rotation. At the end of each Session of the Committee of Ministers, the Chairmanship falls to the next member state in the alphabetical order of the English country names.
At the conclusion of the Session of the Committee of Ministers on 13 May 2004 in Strasbourg (France), Norway assumed the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe's executive body for the next six months.
Strengthening pan-European co-operation, promoting human rights and the rule of law, improving co-ordination between international organisations in Europe and further developing the Council of Europe’s role in conflict prevention will be the priorities of the Norwegian Chairmanship of the Organisation’s Committee of Ministers, according to the country’s Foreign Minister, Jan Petersen.
Addressing the 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers, Mr Petersen said that his country will focus on implementing reform of the European Convention on Human Rights, and will take measures to improve and accelerate the execution of the Court’s judgments. Norway will also support efforts to strengthen legal co-operation in the fields of terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime, he said.
Regarding co-operation with other international organisations, Mr Petersen said that Norway will seek to strengthen dialogue and practical co-operation between the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the EU. He also said that Norway will facilitate and contribute to the ongoing discussions surrounding a possible 3rd Council of Europe Summi, with the aim of strengthening the Organisation and pan-European co-operation.
Mr Petersen also said that Norway wishes to strengthen the role of the Council of Europe in the area of conflict prevention, in particular through measures to promote good governance and greater understanding across cultures and religions. His country also wishes to further strengthen co-operation between municipal and regional authorities in the Council of Europe member states, said Mr Petersen.