Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Council of Europe’s 46 member states are holding their annual session today, Friday 20 May 2022 in Turin (Italy). The meeting takes place against the background of the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which resulted in the exclusion of the Russian Federation from the Organisation.
It will be an occasion for the ministers to show their support for and solidarity with Ukraine and its people. They will also reaffirm their unity around the Council of Europe values: peace, democracy, rule of law and human rights and their belief in multilateral co-operation around these values. They will furthermore define steps to strengthen the Organisation’s ability to carry out its mission in the new political context.
Chaired by Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Italy, the session will provide an opportunity for ministers to review the state of human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the basis of Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić’s annual report. They will also discuss the Organisation’s role in solving conflicts and crises in Europe and its co-operation with the European Union.
The session will also be an opportunity for ministers to take decisions on the work of the Organisation in areas such as artificial intelligence and cybercrime, freedom of expression, combatting hate speech, Council of Europe monitoring, including improving the protection of social rights, human rights and the environment, participation of civil society organisations and national human rights institutions, restorative justice, culture and cultural heritage, rights of the child, protecting the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls as well as inter-religious dialogue. At the end of the ministerial session, Italy will hand over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to Ireland. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney will present the priorities of his country’s Presidency.
Speech by Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General
Speech by Luigi Di Maio, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy