On 24 March 2021, Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth participated in the 40th session of the Congress on behalf of the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Minister Roth underlined the importance of ensuring Council of Europe values against the background of growing centralisation and human rights violations, including the rights of minority groups. He also expressed concerns over the non-implementation of ECHR decisions and the recently announced withdrawal by Turkey of the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty to combat violence against children and women, a phenomenon which has increased during the current pandemic. “No country can use the culture or traditions as a pretext for violation of human rights”, he added.
The Minister stressed that democracy can only thrive if all levels of government are involved, pointing out a pivotal role of regional and local authorities in promoting democratic values and human rights all over the European continent.
He also highlighted the importance of local and regional authorities in addressing such issues as artificial intelligence, hate speech on the Internet, and minority rights violations and stressed that it was crucial to reject the policies entailing violence towards the Roma and the LGBT people.
He called on the Council of Europe and the Congress to engage youth. “We can only build a respectable future if all generations are involved”, said the Minister.
** 40th Session of the Congress **
File 40th Session - Agenda - Photos -
Watch the full session: March 23 (English - French - Original) and March 24 (English - French - Original)