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Council of Europe at the Internet Governance Forum 2023

8-12 October 2023, Kyoto, Japan

The Council of Europe participated in the 18th United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum (IGF) hosted by the government of Japan and organised under the theme “The internet we want - empowering all People”.

In his remarks at the opening of the Forum, Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge commended the inclusive approach taken by the IGF when tackling challenges related to internet governance: “That is why we have been so supportive of it from its early days, as the World Summit on Information Society, twenty years ago”.

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Conference of Ministers of Justice

11 September 2023, Riga, Latvia

The ministers of Justice of Council of Europe member and observer states have adopted a declaration outlining a series of principles (“Riga principles”) to achieve comprehensive accountability for the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine and provide redress to all victims of the war, including through the focused and efficient functioning of the Register of Damage caused by the aggression. 

These principles underline that the Register of Damage for Ukraine should have a victim-centred approach to provide remedies in particular for the most vulnerable, such as women and children. They also stress the importance of providing assistance to national authorities to facilitate the coordination of domestic efforts to support the Register’s functioning and of meaningfully consulting civil society and non-governmental organisations, including human rights defenders, as well as victims and victim rights organisations.

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HELP Network Conference 2023

6-7 July 2023, Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) held its 2023 Network Conference under the auspices of the Latvian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The Conference was held in the Council of Europe (CoE) premises in Strasbourg and was attended by 125 participants and by hundreds more, who followed it online.

The HELP Annual Network Conference is the main gathering of the HELP Network members (Justice Training Institutions and Bar Associations) and partners such as European Judicial Training Network (EJTN), Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), UNHCR etc. The event was also streamed online to a wider audience. The recording of the Conference will be made available shortly.

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Council of Europe annual Conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services

6-7 June 2023, Berlin

The Council of Europe annual Conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services, held in Berlin on 6 and 7 June, is exploring innovative responses to challenges such as the increasing number of people with mental health problems in prison or under the supervision of probation agencies, prison overcrowding, the need to improve conditions in prisons and how to better help offenders reintegrate into society.


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60th anniversary of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

30 May 2023, Strasbourg

On 30 May 2023, on the margins of its 100th plenary meeting (30 May-1 June 2023), the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) held a celebration event bringing together former and current members of the CDCJ alongside external speakers to discuss achievements over the last six decades as well as the legal challenges ahead.

This event was opened by the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Bjørn Berge, the Chair of the CDCJ Christoph Henrichs, and the Chair of the Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation, Ambassador Petr Válek.

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4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe

16-17 May 2023, Reykjavík

At the Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, Heads of State and Government of the organisation’s 46 member states have decided to establish a Register of damage caused by the Russian Federation’s aggression as a first step towards an international compensation mechanism. The leaders agreed to strengthen the Council of Europe and its work in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law by adopting a declaration on democracy principles, recommitting to the European Convention on Human Rights and developing tools to tackle emerging challenges in the area of technology and the environment.

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The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in practice

3 May 2023, Strasbourg

With the urgent global challenges posed by environmental degradation and the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution, and nature and biodiversity loss, the question of the need for an autonomous right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment has never been more timely.

On 3 May 2023, the Icelandic Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, with the support of the Council of Europe Secretariat, organised a high-level conference on "The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in practice."

The conference was opened by the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić, followed by a keynote speech from former President of the European Court of Human Rights, Robert Spano.

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High-level meeting of MONEYVAL

25 April 2023, Warsaw

Ministers responsible for anti-money laundering policies from the member States and territories of the Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL Committee have committed to improve the effectiveness of their regimes to prevent and fight money laundering, the financing of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

In a Declaration adopted at the end of a high-level meeting in Warsaw organised by the Ministry of Finance of Poland and MONEYVAL, the ministers underscore that illicit finance poses a major threat to economic development and security, making the need for effective anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures more apparent than ever.

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Justice Ministers' Conference

20 March 2023, London

Justice Ministers from over 40 countries and representatives of international organisations met in London on 20 March, at a conference co-hosted by the UK and the Netherlands authorities, to discuss means of pursuing international criminal accountability for breaches of international humanitarian law and gross and serious human rights violations. 

Reparation and compensation for damages stemming from Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine were also discussed. The Director General Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe, Christos Giakoumopoulos, held bilateral meetings on issues of accountability and the Council of Europe’s role in supporting Ukraine’s and international community’s efforts in this respect.

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International conference “United for Justice”

3-5 March 2023, Lviv

On 3-5 March 2023, the Council of Europe contributed to the high-level conference "United for Justice", organised by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine in Lviv. The conference facilitated discussions on the accountability for the Russian Federation´s aggression against Ukraine.

The event brought together key national and international actors, including the Presidents and First Ladies of Ukraine and Latvia, all high-level political and justice sector establishment of Ukraine, Ministers and Prosecutors General of several countries, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, judges of international courts, high-level representatives of several international organisations as well as international and national NGOs. The Council of Europe delegation at the conference was led by Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director General Human Rights and Rule of Law.