On 18 October 2017, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn JAGLAND, addressed Congress members during their 33rd Session in Strasbourg, France. “Our Organisation, which covers the European continent from the Atlantic to Vladivostok, promotes fundamental standards, particularly those of the European Convention on Human Rights”, he stated, reiterating that Council of Europe member states have a duty to ensure that those standards are respected. Concerning the rights of linguistic minorities, he highlighted the importance of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. “With regard to Ukraine, the authorities can of course promote their national language, but they must also allow minorities to nurture their own languages, such as Romanian, Hungarian and Russian”, he explained. The Secretary General also mentioned the situation in Catalonia and insisted that the Constitution, which ensures stability, be respected. Lastly, in response to a question on the situation regarding Dorin CHIRTOACĂ, Vice-President of the Congress and Mayor of Chişinău, he stated that the Council of Europe was closely monitoring the situation in Moldova, with respect to the introduction of judicial reforms. “We must be vigilant and careful, especially when decisions are made against groups such as journalists, human rights defenders and mayors”, he concluded. Several debates on these issues feature on the Congress Session agenda.