Secretary General

Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland is the 13th Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General has the overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Organisation. Mr. Jagland was elected in September 2009.  In June 2014, he was re-elected, and his second term in office commenced on October 1, 2014.

The former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland, aged 63, was also the President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) and the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party. He is currently the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize.




Statement by the Secretary General on the arrest of Leyla Yunus


I am deeply concerned about the reports relating to the detention of Leyla Yunus and the opening of a prosecution case against her husband, Arif Yunus, who are both well-known human rights defenders in Azerbaijan.

I conveyed my concerns and asked for further information and clarification of this case in a telephone conversation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Mr Elnur Mammadyarov.

I expect that the ongoing enquiry by the judicial authorities into the alleged actions of these two prominent civil society representatives will meet the required Council of Europe standards.