Ivan Ga¹parovic, Angela Merkel and Yulia Tymoshenko to address PACE
spring session

Strasbourg, 02.04.2008 - Slovak President Ivan Ga¹parovic, 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 Ján Kubi¹ 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.


Draft agenda

Monday 14 April (opening at 11.30 a.m.)
* Opening of the second part of the 2008 Ordinary Session
* Progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly and the Standing
Committee, including the observation of elections in Serbia
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3 D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11534.htm> , Monaco
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3 D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11535.htm> , Armenia, Russia
<http://assembly.coe.int/MainF.asp?link= 3D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/FDOC11533.htm> and Montenegro

* Address by Ivan Ga¹parovic, President of Slovakia


Tuesday 15 April
* Election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3 D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11529.htm>

* European Muslim communities confronted with extremism
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?lin k=3D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11540.htm>

* Address by Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany
* Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary
Assembly presented by Ján Kubi¹, Minister for Foreign Affairs of
Slovakia, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers

* Annual activity report 2007 by the Council of Europe Commissioner for
Human Rights, and statement by Thomas Hammarberg

* Abuse of the criminal justice system in Belarus
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link= 3D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc07/EDOC11464.htm>

Wednesday 16 April
* Possible second round of the election of judges to the European Court
of Human Rights
* Access to safe and legal abortion in Europe
<http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/Worki ngDocs/Doc08/EDOC11537.pdf>

* Address by Yulia Tymoshenko, Prime Minister of Ukraine
* Possible current affairs debate
* Child and teenage suicide in Europe: a serious public health issue
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3D /Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11547.htm>

* The accession of the European Union/European Community to the European
Convention on Human Rights
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3 D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11533.htm>

Thursday 17 April
* Possible urgent debate
* Address by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
of France
* Promoting the teaching of European literature
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?li nk=3D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11527.htm&gt ; and statement by Amin Maalouf, writer
* The situation of national minorities in Vojvodina and of the Romanian
ethnic minority in Serbia
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3 D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11528.htm>

Friday 18 April
* Immigration from sub-Saharan Africa
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3 D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11526.htm>

* Sustainable development and tourism: towards quality growth
<http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=3 D/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc08/EDOC11539.htm>

Practical information

Press conferences:
PACE President Lluís Maria de Puig will give a press conference on
Monday 14 April at 10 a.m. in Room 1. Other press conferences will be
announced on the spot.

Further details:
See the Assembly's website, http://assembly.coe.int. Additional
information may also be found on the Council of Europe web portal,
http://www.coe.int/PAsession.

For TV planning Units:
Videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded
for free at http://dl.coe.int around two hours after the event.

Contact:
PACE Communication Unit: tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; [email protected]

For accreditation:
Directorate of Communication: Danielle Schreiber-Somoza,
danielle.[email protected] t , tel. +33 3 88 41 25 44.

Press Release
Parliamentary Assembly Communication Unit
Ref: 229a08
Tel: +33 3 88 41 31 93
Fax :+33 3 90 21 41 34
[email protected]
internet: www.coe.int/press

The Parliamentary Assembly brings together 318 members from the national
parliaments of the 47 member states.
President: Lluís Maria de Puig (Spain, SOC) ; Secretary General of the
Assembly: Mateo Sorinas.
Political Groups: EPP/CD (Group of the European People's Party); SOC
(Socialist Group); EDG (European Democratic Group);

ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe); UEL (Group of the
Unified European Left).

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress