8 November 2021 - 14.00-16.00 / Council of Europe Hemicycle

Interpretation: FR/EN

World Forum for Democracy 2021: Plenary 2
Palais de l'Europe, Hemicycle 8 November 2021 - 14.00-16.00
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GERLACH Annette 2021


Journalist and TV host at Arte


Annette Gerlach is a German TV host and journalist of the Franco-German television channel Arte. She presents the programs in German as well as in French.



European journalist

Alex Taylor is a European journalist. He has produced and presented TV and radio programmes for 30 years, mainly on French TV and radio (France Télévisions, France Inter), but also for international broadcasters (Euronews, TV5 Monde, ARTE, BBC). He was Programme Director for Radio France Internationale in charge of implementing the current 24 hours news format. Parallel to journalism, he has hosted some 1 500 international conferences on a wide variety of topics, especially environmental issues. He has also written a best seller on his passion, languages, of which he speaks (more or less) 7. He also once worked as a camel trainer in a circus.

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SHAHID Abdulla

Abdulla SHAHID

President of the UNGA, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives


Abdulla Shahid is a veteran diplomat and politician, with over 35 years of experience in the Executive and Legislative branches of the Maldives. He is currently serving as the President of the seventy-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly. He is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives - a post he is holding for the second time, having held the portfolio previously in 2007.  As Foreign Minister in 2008, he introduced the Human Rights Council Resolution 7/23 on “Human Rights and Climate Change”, championing a rights-based approach to climate change. He ensured gender parity among Heads of Maldives’ diplomatic missions as well as the executive levels of the Ministry for the first time in 2020. President Shahid also holds the distinction of being the first democratically elected Speaker of The People’s Majlis (parliament) of the Maldives - having been elected to the post in 2009.


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Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe-PACE (UEL)


George Katrougalos, former Foreign Minister of Greece, is Professor of Public Law at Democritus University of Thrace, currently Member of the Hellenic Parliament for SYRIZA party. He is, since 2019, Vice Chair of the Group of the United European Left at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and since 2021 President of the Sub-committee on the Middle East and the Arab World of PACE. He was Alternate Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction (January-July 2015), has served as Minister of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity (September 2015-November 2016), as Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs responsible for European Affairs and International Economic Relations (November 2016 - February 2019) and as Minister of Foreign Affairs (February 2019-July 2019). Since he was a student he participated in youth movements and democratic struggles. He was secretary of the Board of Law Students Association of Athens and President of the Association of Greek Students in Paris. During 2000 – 2003 he was advisor to the Greek Permanent Mission to the United Nations for the works of the 3rd Committee of the UN General Assembly and a member of the committee of experts advising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the drafting of the European Constitution. Additionally, he has taught at several Universities in Europe, the USA and India and has been a visiting scholar at the Law School of New York University (2007 and 2012), as Emile Noel Fellow and Senior Emile Noel Fellow, respectively, and at Roskilde University (1994-1995), as a fellow of the Danish Academy of Science. George Katrougalos is a member of the board of KETHEA (Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals), of UNICEF Greece, of the Association of Greek Experts on Constitutional Law and founding member of the Audit Committee of Public Debt. He has published extensively in Greek, American and European legal reviews.



Head of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation to PACE


She chairs the parliamentary group of the Verkhovna Rada of inter-parliamentary relations with the the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union and a Member of the "Servant of the People" parliamentary faction, volunteer. Ms Mezentseva also co-chairs the parliamentary group of the Verkhovna Rada of inter-parliamentary relations with the Kingdom of Belgium. Mariia Mezentseva was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine in 1989. She majored in Mandarin and holds bachelor’s degree in international Economic relations from the National V. N. Karazin University in Kharkiv. In 2011 she was awarded MA in International Economic Relations, International Economy and English language by the Kharkiv National V.N.Karazin University, Kharkiv. In 2012 she received her master’s degree in International Relations with International Law from the University of Kent, School of Politics and International Relations, Canterbury, United Kingdom. She worked in a Law firm in Kharkiv, was a trainee in the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, the European Parliament (Brussels) and in the EU–Ukraine Business Council (Kyiv, Brussels, Kharkiv). In 2014 and 2015 she worked as a volunteer fundraiser and as a Compliance manager in the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformers in Brussels. In 2015, she became a Member of the Kharkiv City Council of the 7th convocation and a member of the commission on issues of international cooperation, investments, sports and image projects. She worked as a self-employed person on education projects and tourism until 2019, when she was elected a Member of the Verkhovna Rada of the 9th convocation of 168th district (Kharkiv) from the “Servant of the People Party”. She was appointed the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union. In 2021 she became the Chairperson of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.



Minister of Justice


Dr. Judit Varga was born in 1980 in Miskolc. In 2004, she graduated summa cum laude from the Faculty of Law of University of Miskolc. After obtaining her law degree, she worked as a trainee associate at Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer and then at Hogan & Hartson law firms in Budapest. After that, until 2009, she worked as a trainee judge at the Budapest Regional Court and the Central District Court of Pest. She passed her bar exam in 2009 and then worked for nine years as a political advisor to several MEPs, in Brussels, among others, for Mr. János Áder, President of Hungary during his MEP’s mandate. She also attended a summer training on energy law at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute in Florence in 2015. Since 2018, she has worked as Minister of State for EU Relations at the Prime Minister's Office and as Minister of Justice since July 2019. She speaks English, German and French fluently, Spanish at conversational level.

rapporteurs rapporteurs


Master's student in international relations, Sciences PO, Strasbourg

Mathilde MOREL

Master's student in international relations, Sciences PO, Strasbourg