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Council of Europe: Recommendations for action

Council of Europe: Recommendations for a plan of action

On the eve of his assuming the Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, Amnesty International has sent a Memorandum to the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs outlining the organization's recommendations for the Council of Europe's Third Summit of Heads of State and Government, scheduled to take place in Warsaw, Poland on 16-17 May 2005.

Amnesty International considers that the Third Summit of the Council of Europe presents an important opportunity for the Council of Europe to reaffirm its existing aims and mission; celebrate its accomplishments and articulate a plan of action, with measurable objectives, for its future work and functioning.

In particular in the memorandum, Recommendations for the Council of Europe's Third Summit of Heads of State and Government (AI Index: IOR 61/023/2004) Amnesty International urges the Committee of Ministers to ensure that the Third Summit:

- Includes an event at which States, who have yet to do so, can sign up as parties to a number of treaties which represent particularly topical and important aims of the Council of Europe to:

-- eradicate racism and other forms of discrimination which continue to plague the region;

-- truly establish the Council of Europe region as a death penalty-free zone; bolster the functioning of the European Court of Human Rights;

-- affirm the commitment to the fight against terrorism in a manner that protects and respects the human rights of all persons;

-- ensure enhanced respect for the human rights of trafficked persons.

- Commits its 46 Member States and the Council of Europe itself to prioritising the effective implementation of existing human rights standards;

- Reviews, and where appropriate, addresses the need for additional resources to support and enhance the effectiveness of the work of the full range of bodies and mechanisms of the Council of Europe;

- Commits the Council of Europe to articulate and publish action strategies on priority thematic issues and to ensure better implementation of human rights standards, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter and Revised Social Charter, in each of the 46 Council of Europe Member States;

- Commits to enhancing coordination and cooperation between the Council of Europe and the other international organizations, most notably the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations (UN), with the aim of achieving more effective implementation of the international human rights treaties by Council of Europe Member States;

- Considers, in particular, the opportunities and challenges presented by the possible future accession of the expanded European Union as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights;

- Commits to pursuing the possibilities of organizing a pan-European campaign against Domestic Violence, as recommended by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;

- Develops plans to enhance transparency of the Council of Europe activities for the some 800 million people living in its member states and to enhance the inclusion of National Institutions for the Protection of Human Rights and non-governmental organizations, in the work of the Council of Europe.

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