Colloquy on “New global challenges for human rights and democracy” - Strasbourg, 24-25 April

The question of how to safeguard democracy and human rights in the context of globalisation will be the focus of a colloquy organised by Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer in association with the European Democracy Forum at the Palais de l’Europe (Room 5) in Strasbourg on 24 and 25 April 2003. Participants discussed the challenges posed to human rights and democracy - two of the guiding principles of the Council of Europe - by extremism, diversity, international environmental issues and scientific and medical developments. (more…)


List of participants

Texts of the participants’ contributions

Walter Schwimmer: Meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century without sacrificing human rights

The main challenge for democratic societies is to meet the new threats of the 21st century without losing sight of human rights, Council of Europe Secretary General told the opening session today of the Colloquy on new global challenges for human rights and democracy. (more…)

''We want to be a proving-ground of ideas that knows no geographical divisions''

At the opening of the Colloquy on ''New global challenges for human rights and democracy'', Francis Rosenstiel, President of the European Democracy Forum, put this proposition to the participants as a response to the sweeping changes of the last few decades. We should open up what he described as our intellectual closed circuits, paradigms of yesteryear, and also ponder the scope and the implications of the pan-Atlantic concept ... a wide-ranging programme that overturns the avenues of traditional diplomacy and alliances wavering between dormancy and uncertain mutations. (more…)


European Democracy Forum website


Professor François Gros, French geneticist and Permanent Secretary of the Academy of Science - ''Greater ethical awareness is needed in scientific research''

Miguel Poiares Maduro, professor of law at the University of Nova in Portugal - "We cannot at the same time protect our democracy and not apply its principles to others"

Pal Csaky, Deputy Slovak Prime Minister for European Integration, Human Rights and Minorities - "Tolerance is the basis for freedom"

Piano recital for four hands

At the opening of the concert in the Council of Europe Hemicycle on 24 April 2003, Francis Rosenstiel stated : ‘’Tonight we wanted to give the floor to music in the persons of two magnificent international artistes, Itama Golan and Natsuko Inoue, from Israel and Japan, brought together by their love of the piano and by marriage and living in Paris. They are with us thanks to the generosity of Robert Parienti, Delegate General of the Weizmann Institute of Science.There is a threefold message here: that of music and science serving the cause of peace. It is this message we wanted to share with you in this place which is itself a living symbol of reconciliation and hope.”

Address by Francis Rosenstiel, President of the European Democracy Forum

Artists presentation

New : Website of the Secretary General’s Colloquies

A new website, dedicated to the Secretary General’s colloquies, has just been launched. It presents the themes of the colloquies organised since 1981, as well as the texts of contributions from key figures and experts who have participated in the colloquies since 1995.

Access to the Colloquies site