Back Ministerial 2024: a vision for an agile and flexible Commissioner's mandate

Ministerial 2024: a vision for an agile and flexible Commissioner's mandate

Address at the 133rd Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

Mesdames et Messieurs les Ministres, Monsieur le Président, Excellences,

Il y a un an, à Reykjavik, les chefs d’État et de gouvernement ont décidé de renforcer l’institution du Commissaire aux droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe, je cite « notamment à la lumière de la nécessité d’une action rapide et fondée sur des principes pour faire face au recul et aux autres défis évolutifs en matière de droits de l’homme ».

Depuis que j’ai pris mes fonctions au début du mois d’avril, j’ai consacré les ressources supplémentaires mises à la disposition de mon Bureau à la réalisation des domaines prioritaires identifiés par le Sommet.

L’un de ces domaines est la capacité de réagir rapidement aux situations qui nécessitent une attention urgente. Cela correspond à ma vision pour une institution agile et flexible.

Mais la déclaration du Sommet fait également référence au rôle du Commissaire dans trois domaines supplémentaires.

First, on Ukraine: I visited Ukraine immediately after I took office in order to witness first-hand the devastating consequences of the Russian aggression. The Reykjavik Declaration’s call to action on the human rights situation of Ukrainian children was my guiding light.

I have returned convinced of the need for all of us to continue to pay close attention to the human rights of Ukrainian children, wherever they are. Every effort must be made to ensure the speedy return of all children transferred to Russia and Belarus, and I urge you to keep this issue at the top of your agendas.

There are other things that cannot wait until the war is over. Helping Ukraine to ensure that every Ukrainian child can go to school, in dignity and safety, is another urgent concern where you, as European leaders, have a key role to play.

The existential threat facing Ukraine is at the same time the supreme challenge for the entire human rights system on our continent. I intend to play my part by offering my voice as well as the advice and expertise of my Office for the benefit of the victims of Russia’s aggression.

Second, on the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights: their timely and full execution is an unconditional obligation under the European Convention. This international legal obligation should be coupled with political commitment at domestic level. I will engage with member states to sustain or generate such commitment and ensure that unexecuted judgments contribute to informing the agenda of my country-specific work. I also intend to continue to support the Committee of Ministers in its supervisory role.

Third, on the protection of the environment: human rights and the environment are interdependent. The recent landmark rulings delivered by the Court confirm that climate change poses an existential risk for humankind and that this has an impact on human rights and that triggers a duty for states. I intend to use my mandate to ensure that the green transition is a just one and that it fully respects human rights. 

There will be other priority topics, too, with the human rights of Roma and other forgotten people of Europe as paramount. I will also focus on a human rights respectful regulation of artificial intelligence, and stand up for the rights of women.

Finally, I will invest in working with human rights defenders and National Human Rights Structures to help ensure that they are allowed to play their essential role in our societies.

None of this can be achieved without the close cooperation of member states.

I look forward to engaging with you to realise these goals.

Thank you.

Strasbourg 17/05/2024
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page