Jagland: Izmir European Court of Human Rights Conference ''critical'' to reform process

A conference later this month in Turkey on the European Court of Human Rights’ future must deliver ''concrete results'' if the institution is to maintain its ''authority and sustainability.''

In his 11 April address to the Parliamentary Assembly, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland pointed to the 26-27 April event in Izmir as ''critical.''

''This is a make-or-break point in the whole process,'' he said. “The conference next week in Izmir is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. We need concrete results and I am confident that we shall be able to do so.''

''It is absolutely essential that we bring about changes allowing the Court to function without the backlog we are facing today.''

''This is not only indispensable for the authority and sustainability of the Court, but for the credibility of the Council of Europe and for the survival of the system which has helped to uphold human rights and democratic stability in Europe for more than six decades.''

The Secretary General confirmed that second stage reforms to the Council of Europe, now ''in full swing,'' enabled the organisation to concentrate resources on ''programmes and activities which can have a stronger impact.''

He prioritised the fight against trafficking in human beings, terrorism, cybercrime, internet security, money laundering and corruption and committed the organisation to doing more on Roma and migration issues.

''We had to change direction,'' the Secretary General added. ''We are now heading for more relevance with lesser activities but with far more real action.''

- Speech