The Council of Europe’s very structure (consisting of the Committee of Ministers and other intergovernmental bodies, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Conference of International NGOs, as well as the European Court of Human Rights) facilitates partnerships with and between national, regional and local authorities and civil society in member States and beyond to promote sustainable development. In addition, our inter-institutional agreements and contacts with other international organisations (in particular, the European Union, the United Nations and the OSCE) facilitate co-operation for SDG implementation.

 

The World Conference on Constitutional Justice, for which the Venice Commission acts as the Secretariat, unites 118 Constitutional Courts and equivalent bodies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia/Oceania and Europe. Its main purpose is to facilitate judicial dialogue between constitutional court judges on a global scale. Due to the obligation of judicial restraint, constitutional court judges often lack the opportunity to conduct a constructive dialogue on constitutional principles in their own countries. The exchange of information that takes place between judges from various parts of the world in the World Conference furthers reflection on arguments that promote the basic goals that are inherent to national constitutions. Even if these texts often differ substantially, discussion on the underlying constitutional concepts unites constitutional court judges from various parts of the world committed to promoting constitutional justice in their own country.

This year, the Constitutional Court of Indonesia will be hosting the World Conference’s 5th Congress in Bali (4-7 October 2022). The topic of this event will be “Constitutional Justice and Peace,” which will discuss the role of constitutional courts in preventing conflict, maintaining peace within the state and settling disputes that otherwise result in internal conflict, as well as reconciliation following internal armed conflicts.

 

The Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe and its courses on human rights, many of which focus on CoE Convention(s) standards are increasingly available in more European language and Arabic. They are more and more used beyond the European continent, including in the neighbouring regions (South Mediterranean and Central Asia) or third countries interested or party to CoE Conventions open for their ratification. This is particularly the case of some Latin-American countries. The online courses are accessible in the HELP e-learning platform

The Saint-Denis Convention promotes a multiagency integrated approach as the key for successful safe, secure and welcoming sports events, emphasising the need to reinforce partnerships between public and private stakeholders in the field of sport – Governments, law enforcement, local authorities, sports authorities, supporter organisations and local communities -, from local to international levels, to effectively meet these goals.

The Anti-Doping Convention provides a cooperation network between governmental institutions, international anti-doping and sport organisations for the harmonization and mutual support in implementation of programmes aimed at promoting clean sport and protecting athletes. This network consists of 52 States parties, 3 Observer states and 13 organisations, among which are the UNESCO, EU, International Olympic Committee, World Athletics, as well as organizations that have concluded Memoranda of Understanding with the Council of Europe – FIFA, UEFA, WADA.

The Macolin Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions provides for both a national and international framework of cooperation between all interested stakeholders, in the form of national platforms and their international network (the Group of Copenhagen).

See also:

Promotion of human rights in sport

 

New Council of Europe multilateral and multidimensional cooperation project on “Protection of human rights in healthcare during public health crises”

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe in a document published on 15 September 2020 : “A Council of Europe contribution to support member states in addressing healthcare issues in the context of the present public health crisis and beyond” announced a new multilateral and multidimensional cooperation project to address healthcare issues and devise effective, tailor-made solutions to be implemented at national level. The project was presented to the member states in February 2021.

Importantly, the project is based on the notion of developing solutions based on multilateralism, stronger cooperation and better experience exchange in the face of global challenges, such as managing a world-wide pandemic. The project adopts a transversal approach for the analysis and identification of the key human rights challenges and the identification of relevant best practices across the different fields concerned. It foresees multi-country partnerships with different stakeholders, including health and legal professionals, scientists as well as the civil society with a view to promote public dialogue and more inclusive approach of crises management. Cooperation with other intergovernmental organisations in particular WHO is foreseen in the framework of the implementation of the project.

Through its co-operation activities, the CoE works towards strengthening and promoting civil participation in decision making, particularly, in partnership with other NGOs and local authorities, an example being The “Kyiv Public platform” composed of over 40 NGOs that was established and became a sustainable structure and which is regularly consulted in policymaking and to facilitate the communication between the civil society and the Kyiv City State administration and Kyiv City Council.

The North-South Centre - an Enlarged Partial Agreement of the Council of Europe - was established as the organisation’s window to the world and to appeal for greater international solidarity, to promote North-South dialogue and to raise awareness on global interdependence. In pursuing this task, under the principles of dialogue, partnership and solidarity, through a quadrilogue bottom-up approach, it brings together representatives from national governments, national parliaments, local and regional authorities and civil society.

The North-South Centre’s Network of Universities on Youth and Global Citizenship also contributes to this goal. It encourages the definition of a common agenda, through the quadrilogue approach, and the implementation of common actions to foster democratic participation and global citizenship among young people, contributing to this goal of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

From 2016 to 2020 the North-South Centre’s Network on Youth and Global Citizenship has been focusing on SGD16. The umbrella theme of the Universities represent the thread that connects all the activities, advocacy efforts and awareness raising initiatives taking place in the framework of the universities, ensuring coherence and greater impact in the medium term. Every year, the umbrella theme is broken down into specific annual focuses. In 2018 “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies”, in 2019 “Youth and justice” and in 2020 the theme is “Institutions”.

Take an insight into the latest editions of the University on Youth and Development and Mediterranean University on Youth and Global Citizenship.

During the biennium 2018-2019 the North-South Centre’s contribution to the “Youth, Peace and Security” (YPS) agenda was recognised by its main stakeholders. Funded through a transversal scheme of projects and programmes - South Programme III funded by the European Union, the Euro-Mediterranean youth cooperation project and in synergy with the Network on Youth and Global Citizenship - the North-South Centre explored the complementary relationship between democratic participation, human rights and peacebuilding. To that end, the North-South Centre has been promoting and participating in a series of initiatives, following a path that goes form uplifting youth engagement in peace and democratic processes in the 2018 Lisbon Forum, to enhancing the interregional and multilevel cooperation to support such youth engagement in peace processes in the 2019 follow-up seminar organised in Jordan.

The 2019 Lisbon Forum addressed the relation between Development and Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Democracy: achieving together the Sustainable Development Goals. It not only promoted a Council of Europe coordinated approach but also prompted widespread support for the notion that the implementation of the UN SDGs could greatly benefit from a stronger regional (continental) effort of SDG governance and coordination.

For 2020-2023, the North-South Centre will implement a project which aims at ensuring youth partnership for development and global citizenship through interregional cooperation between Europe, the Southern Mediterranean and beyond. The project is a follow-up action of the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Cooperation Project (2018-2019), which incorporates in an integral manner the work of the North-South Centre's Network on Youth and Global Citizenship and its universities for the period 2020-2023.

The Parliamentary Assembly plays an active part in mobilising partnerships at local, national and international levels towards implementation of SDGs. In Resolution 2271 (2019) on Strengthening co-operation with the United Nations in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Resolution 2272 (2019) on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: synergy needed on the part of all stakeholders, from parliaments to local authorities, the Assembly called for enhancing the Council of Europe contribution to, and the role of Parliaments and local authorities in, implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Moreover, Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals: contribution by Parliaments was one of the main topics of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament organised by the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg on 24-25 October 2019.

 

The approach of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is based on three key principles: achieving SDGs is the shared responsibility of all levels of government; local and regional authorities must have the necessary competences and financial autonomy to achieve the goals in their respective areas; citizens must always remain at the heart of the action.

The Congress plays an active role in the field by promoting cooperation at all levels. In this context, the Congress is working towards the implementation of Objective 17, as demonstrated by its willingness to intercede among different NGOs and elected officials in different discussion forums. The Congress also cooperates closely with national associations of local and regional authorities. This partnership allows to establish a truly inclusive dialogue. That is why the Congress is redoubling its efforts to strengthen these associations and develop their efficiency and autonomy.

In order to implement successfully the SDGs, the Congress cooperates a wide range of actors:

  • its institutional partners within the Council of Europe, in particular, the Parliamentary Assembly which adopted, in 2019, a resolution calling for greater synergies between the two institutions in the implementation of the SDGs and the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes.
  • international organisations representing local and regional authorities, such as United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG),
  • European institutions, as the Committee of the Regions, the CALRE and the AER.

The Congress adopted the following texts in relation to SDG 17:

  • RES452 (2019) - Revised Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-making Process