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Secretary General: member states must work together to learn COVID-19 health crisis lessons

Secretary General Strasbourg 17 September 2020
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Secretary General: member states must work together to learn COVID-19 health crisis lessons

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has called for increased multilateral cooperation among the organisation’s member states to draw lessons from the pandemic crisis and enhance preparedness for addressing health concerns on the basis of common principles and best practices.

The initiative was presented in the Committee of Ministers to all 47 Council of Europe member states. It follows up the Secretary General’s earlier interventions in response to the crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is greatly affecting our healthcare systems. Anticipating the challenges and assessing the capacities needed requires efficient management in line with ethical principles and respect for human dignity”, stated the Secretary General.

She urged member states to engage in a new multilateral cooperation project to be launched by the Council of Europe. The cooperation activities will be conducted on the ground in order to identify the most acute issues and effective solutions.

“The virus continues to destroy lives. We should do what we can to stop it, but also to prevent it from destroying our values and principles. Solidarity and multilateral responses are essential as we face the current crisis.” underlined the Secretary General. “This is where I see our organisation’s genuine added value”, she concluded.

The proposed action will promote and further develop the common European standards enshrined in the Council of Europe conventions, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter, the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (“the Oviedo Convention”), the Convention on the elaboration of a European pharmacopoeia and the Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health (“the MEDICRIME Convention”).


Information Documents
A Council of Europe contribution to support member states in addressing healthcare issues in the context of the present public health crisis and beyond


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