Secretary General on official visit to Helsinki, 8-9 June 2010

Helsinki , 

Finland supports Roma rights and reform for the Council of Europe

As the Council of Europe prepares an international debate on the situation of Roma in Europe for its Parliamentary Assembly session later this month, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland praised Finland for the priority it has given to promote the rights of Roma people.

‘It is a pressing issue to advance the rights and living conditions of Roma throughout Europe,’ Jagland said just after a successful two-day visit to Helsinki on 8-9 June. ‘I am confident that with the support of Finland, we will be able to put this question at the top of our agenda.’

Invited by Finnish President Tarja Halonen, the Secretary General met Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Stubb and other high- ranking officials. Discussions also focused on ongoing reform at the Council of Europe and its importance to future European security and institutional architecture.

‘Finland is a very active and supportive member of the Council of Europe,’ said Jagland. ‘The country joined this Organisation comparatively recently, but Finland’s policies and human rights efforts mark it out as a proud member of the European family

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