The winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will last until January 26 in Strasbourg. The war in Ukraine remains in the center of attention of this body, and in the coming days, a debate with the participation of the First Lady Olena Zelenska on the situation of Ukrainian children is scheduled. In addition, a number of important elections will take place in PACE, including for the position of Commissioner for Human Rights.

This was stated by Yevheniia Kravchuk, the MP, Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, member of the Permanent Delegation to PACE.

“In fact, 2024 is a year of big elections, in particular, they affect the Council of Europe. The newly elected president of PACE, Greek politician Theodoros Roussopoulos, took an active part in the Committee's meeting on Ukrainian children deported by russia. Therefore, we hope for further active support of PACE in this matter. After all, very often PACE resolutions later move to the neighboring building of the European Parliament, and certain decisions are made or resolutions are voted on there,” the politician noted.

She also said that this week the PACE will hold important elections for the Commissioner for Human Rights.

“In general, the Council of Europe is an organization whose mandate is to protect human rights. The Commissioner is elected for five years. There are currently three candidates, and all three were in Ukraine in December at a conference on deported children and at a conference organized by the Human Rights Commissioner. This is definitely important for us, and we will ask each of the candidates how they see the return of Ukrainian children deported by russia, what mechanisms and tools can be used to monitor human rights violations in the territories temporarily occupied by russia. This is definitely at the heart of each candidate's program,” the MP said.

She reminded that the Council of Europe is the only international organization that has so far expelled russia from its membership in March 2022 after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

 

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