The Commissioner published today her observations on the 4th Summit of the Council of Europe, which will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 16-17 May 2023.
The Commissioner underlines the importance of the Summit as an opportunity to reaffirm member states' commitment to the values and standards of the Council of Europe and to show strong determination to reverse the current backsliding on human rights.
“Russia's war in Ukraine has caused enormous suffering and widespread human rights violations,” said the Commissioner. “It is therefore important that the Summit places a strong emphasis on accountability and the need to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross violations of human rights.”
At the same time, the Commissioner calls for a renewed commitment to address other pressing human rights issues through better implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, in particular with regard to systemic non-compliance, and the protection of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.
She also hopes to see greater emphasis on the human rights dimension of environmental degradation, countering the anti-gender backlash, and strengthening social and economic rights and equality.
Finally, the Commissioner stresses that “in order to better future proof our human rights work, we need to respond rapidly to developments, create an enabling environment for civil society, National Human Rights Structures and human rights defenders and harness the power of youth”.