Strasbourg, 13.03.2009 – Italy today joined the Council of Europe North-South Centre and became its 20th member state.
“This decision is of major political importance, as Italy has been one of the ten founding States of the Centre in November 1989 and has been a big contributor until its withdrawal in July 2006,” said Claude Frey, Chairman of the Executive Council of the North-South Centre (NSC).
“The return of Italy, together with the accession of Serbia which took effect on 1 March, are convincing signals of the Centre’s renewed credibility and trust for the future,” he said.
Italy’s decision to re-join the NSC comes just before the Centre’s annual prize-giving ceremony to be held in Lisbon on 16 March. Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of Jordan, and Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, High Representative of the United Nations for the Alliance of Civilisations, are the winners this year.
More information on the ceremony and on the Council of Europe’s North-South Centre can be found in the thematic file.
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A political organisation set up in 1949, the Council of Europe works to promote democracy and human rights continent-wide.
It also develops common responses to social, cultural and legal challenges in its 47 member states.