For Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić it is clear that “Ukraine must take centre stage” at the Summit, and that “accountability for the death and destruction caused by Russian aggression is vital”.

In addition to providing support to the Ukrainian prosecutor and the Council of Europe’s comprehensive action plan for Ukraine, the Secretary General sees the organisation taking a lead role in the establishment of a Register to record and document evidence and claims of damage, loss or injury due to Russia’s aggression. Pejčinović Burić also expects member states will “acknowledge, halt and reverse the democratic backsliding that has been a hallmark of recent years” and that they should strengthen the institutions that protect human rights at both national and international levels”. The Secretary General regards the Summit as a chance for member states “to say what they will do to restore the specific rights, freedoms and features of democratic life that are in decline across our continent”, but also as an opportunity “to push forward with the application of our values to the new and evolving challenges facing our modern societies, so that environmental standards are strengthened and Artificial Intelligence improves our lives without undermining our fundamental rights“.