Numerous dignitaries of all nationalities and beliefs have been the honoured guests of the Council of Europe. These men and women, often instrumental in the implementation of political, social and cultural initiatives, illustrate the dynamism and values which, since the 1950s, have governed the work of the Council of Europe
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Mary Robinson [1944 - ]
President of the Republic of Ireland
26 June 1994
What makes the Council of Europe special, I believe, marking it out from other international organisations is its concern with values
...You bear responsibilities that
could not have been imagined before the removal of the
Berlin Wall: to contribute to the construction of a new
visionary continent, stretching into the heartland of
central and eastern Europe, and anchored by a common
attachment to fundamental values. Success in this daunting
entreprise will sow the seeds for future peace and stability
on our continent and lead to an improvement in the
democratic conditions of millions of people.
What makes the Council of Europe special, I believe, marking it out from other international organisations is its concern with values. At the centre of those values is the human being. From this everything else radiates. It is the leitmotif of the Council of Europe. In a true sense, therefore, the Council is the ethical and humanist dynamo of the developing Europe.
What better place to hook into the democratic network - that closely woven web of links, exchanges and mutual assistance in Europe in all spheres of human activity and at all levels - governments, national parliaments, local and regional authorities, volontary associations and individuals?
We need to listen to the narrative of each other's diversities so that we can draw strength and not weakness from our differences. In this unique campaign the swinging door of this Organisation is the most creative and forceful answer to the scourge of intolerance and its close ally – indifference.