Back Secretary General: “We need ideas, voices, and energy of young Europeans to win the fight for human rights, democracy and the rule of law”

Secretary General: “We need ideas, voices, and energy of young Europeans to win the fight for human rights, democracy and the rule of law”

Young people have a role to play in making sure that our standards prevail in the long term, but it will only be possible if the Organisation opens its ears, mind and doors to young people, stressed Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić in her opening address at the youth event “Confidence in Tomorrow” at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg on 14 May.

“From the beginning of my mandate, I have been clear about my determination to embed the youth perspective more deeply in the Council of Europe’s work,” the Secretary General said. She spoke about the Council of Europe tools and structures that help ensure this, such as the European Youth Centre and the European Youth Foundation established in 1972, the unique system of co-management on youth issues, as well as the Youth sector strategy 2030.

The forum is paying special attention to the application of the Reykjavík Principles of Democracy. The Secretary General mentioned that these principles serve “to measure and address the health of European democracies“.

“Human rights, democracy and the rule of law don’t just happen, we must fight for them, and win them, over and over. Together, I have no doubt that we can win the tug-of-war with authoritarians and ensure a future where Europeans can live in freedom, security, and dignity. I have confidence in tomorrow because I have confidence in you”, the Secretary General concluded.

The event, from 14 to 16 May, is organised as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe, under Liechtenstein’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. The programme features plenary sessions, working groups on various themes (peace and war, climate crisis and environmental degradation, equality and non-discrimination, social and economic progress, democratic participation, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, access to quality education, young people’s health and mental well-being).


 Speech by the Secretary General

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The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation, with 46 member states, including Armenia. All our member states are party to the European Convention on Human Rights, which is the cornerstone of human rights protection in Europe.

The Council of Europe Office in Yerevan, represents the Secretary General in Armenia. It closely co-operates with national authorities supporting the implementation of statutory obligations to the Council of Europe by Armenia through co-operation projects.


Armenia and the Council of Europe – bringing human rights from the conference table to your kitchen table

The Council of Europe works for you. We want to give visibility to the role, standards and work of the Council of Europe in its member states, to show how Council of Europe membership has helped achieve particular results or changes. Our aim, through a variety of events and actions, is to highlight ways in which the Council of Europe’s action has helped improve the life of individuals and contributed to improving people’s enjoyment of fundamental rights.


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