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Foreign ministers support Ukraine, define the organisation’s priorities and adopt a treaty on artificial intelligence

As the organisation celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Council of Europe’s 46 member states came together at their annual session to reaffirm their support for Ukraine on the road to justice and reconstruction. Following on from the Reykjavik Summit, they also set the organisation’s future policy directions and adopted a new treaty on artificial intelligence.

With regard to Ukraine, the ministers reiterated the importance of the Register of Damage, the first building block in a comprehensive international compensation mechanism, and welcomed the progress made at international level towards the possible establishment of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression. They also welcomed the steps taken to provide better protection for the children of Ukraine and ensure the return of those who have been forcibly deported and transferred by Russia.

On the basis of a report on follow-up to the Reykjavik Declaration prepared by their Deputies, and in the light of the annual report by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (“Our rights, our future”), the ministers discussed the work done since the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government (Reykjavik, 16-17 May 2023) and agreed future policy directions in many areas, including the environment, migration, trafficking in human beings and the protection of journalists.

The Session was preceded by a youth event, “Confidence in Tomorrow”, held from 14 to 16 May 2024 as part of the celebrations to mark the Council of Europe’s 75th anniversary. With a view to enhancing participation by young people in democratic life and in decision-making processes, it was agreed that a conference of ministers responsible for youth would be held in 2025.

The ministers also adopted a Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence, the first international instrument on the subject, which will be opened for signature in Vilnius during the Lithuanian Presidency, in September.

Lastly, the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers made a declaration to mark the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

 Decisions adopted

 Video of the press conference

Committee of Ministers Strasbourg 17 May 2024
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