Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers

Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers: Armenia succeeds Andorra

Strasbourg, 16 May 2013 - The 123rd session of the Committee of Ministers was held today in Strasbourg with Gilbert Saboya Sunyé, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Andorra, in the Chair. At the end of the meeting, the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers was passed by Andorra to Armenia.

The Ministers' discussions chiefly revolved around a report by the Secretary General on strengthening the impact of the actions undertaken by the Council of Europe concerning democracy, human rights and rule of law. They encouraged the Secretary General to continue his efforts to optimise the functioning and co-ordination of the Organisation's monitoring mechanisms while taking care that better use was made of the conclusions drawn from the monitoring actions. For that purpose, the Ministers invited the Secretary General to present them regularly with a situation report on democracy, human rights and rule of law in Europe founded on the conclusions of the monitoring mechanisms, accompanied by definite proposals for action.

Co-operation with the European Union and Council of Europe policy towards neighbouring regions were also on the meeting agenda.

During the session, the Committee of Ministers also adopted Protocol No. 15 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Protocol will be opened for signature by member states on 24 June 2013.

Armenia will chair the Committee of Ministers for the next six months.

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27.03.2013 - Francesc CAMP, Andorran Minister for Tourism and Environment, speaks at the 7th Council of Europe Conference on the European Landscape Convention

27.03.2013 - "The preservation and enhancement of the landscape are important factors in building up harmonious coexistence in our towns and regions, within societies which are increasingly culturally diverse", said Mr Francesc CAMP, speaking on behalf of the Andorran Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. The Minister took this opportunity to present Andorra's National Landscape Strategy to the Conference.

Ms Maria José FESTAS, Chairperson of the Conference and Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP), Ms Gabriella BATTAINI-DRAGONI, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Ms Anne-Marie CHAVANON, Chairperson of the Committee on Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges of the Council of Europe's Conference of INGOs, took the floor alongside the Minister during the opening session of the Conference, held in Strasbourg on 26 and 27 March 2013.

The European Landscape Convention is the first ever international treaty exclusively devoted to all the dimensions of the European landscape. It thus covers not only landscapes which might be considered outstanding but also every day and degraded landscapes. The Conference informed all the parties involved of progress in the work of implementing the Convention, and addressed a number of practical questions raised in this connection.