Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland is on an official visit to Helsinki, in preparation for Finland’s upcoming presidency of the Committee of Ministers, which will run from 21 November 2018 until 17 May 2019.
He said ”Finland will take up the presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers at a time when human rights are being challenged in Europe and elsewhere. Therefore, they need to be protected more than ever. With its priorities and the programme published today in Helsinki, I am confident that Finland will defend the core values of the Council of Europe”.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini said: ”During the presidency Finland will strongly highlight the core work of the Council of Europe in strengthening of human rights, the Rule of Law and democracy. Our aim is to promote the rules-based multilateral international system”.
Other priorities for the Finnish Presidency include promoting equality and women’s rights, as well as openness, inclusion and a focus on youth and preventing radicalisation.
Secretary General Jagland also had meetings with President Sauli Niinistö and Parliament Speaker Paula Risikko.