IVAN GASPAROVIC, ANGELA MERKEL AND YULIA TYMOSHENKO TO ADDRESS PACE SPRING SESSION

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02 April, 2008

Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel,
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and French Foreign Minister
Bernard Kouchner are among the leading personalities to address the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) during its
spring session in Strasbourg (14-18 April 2008).

An urgent debate has been requested on the functioning of democratic
institutions in Armenia, and a current affairs debate on the situation
in the Middle East.

Topics to be debated include access to safe and legal abortion in
Europe, Muslim communities confronted with extremism, child and
teenage suicide in Europe, and the teaching of European literature,
with an intervention by French-Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf.

Slovak Foreign Minister Jan Kubi~Z will present the traditional
communication from the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe's
executive body, and answer parliamentarians' questions. The Council
of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, will also
present his annual activity report.

On the fringe of the session, the Political Affairs Committee will
hold a public hearing on "The situation in China on the eve of the
Olympic Games" (Thursday 17 April at 8.30 am), to be attended by
a representative of the Dalai Lama and human rights organisations
working in China. The Chinese authorities have also been invited.

The Assembly will finalise its agenda only at the opening of the
session.