Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers

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Austria hands over chairmanship to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan took over from Austria the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers for a period of six months beginning on 14 May.

On 6 May in Vienna, at the end of the 124th session of the Committee of Ministers, the outgoing Chair, Sebastian Kurz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria, gave an overview of his country's achievements during its chairmanship. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, then presented the priorities of his country’s chairmanship.

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Back Council of Europe-OSCE conference: protect victims, prosecute criminals of human trafficking

Council of Europe

At an international anti-trafficking conference in Vienna (17-18 February), European officials are calling on governments to intensify the fight against modern-day slavery by taking specific steps to protect victims and prosecute the criminals who commit this crime.

"For all our economic and political advances, we have not managed to curb this new form of slavery," said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland at the opening of the conference. "It ruins the lives thousands of innocent people, most of them women and children; many victims are Roma, which represent Europe's largest minority."

The conference, organized under the Swiss Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Austrian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, is taking stock of work done by both organizations, including the work of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

Conference participants are assessing existing challenges and discussing possible solutions, including stronger partnerships with NGOs and private companies, increased training for law enforcement and more assistance and protection for trafficking victims.

"This conference is a milestone in joint awareness raising of the tragedy of trafficking in Europe," Secretary General Jagland said. "I am confident it will also be an important stepping stone on the way to better co-operation between all actors concerned." 

Live Webcast

Speech by Secretary General Jagland
Conference programme
Anti-trafficking committee GRETA

Vienna 17/02/2014
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