The Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) met in Nicosia today, as the Cypriot Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe began. In his opening address, the President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris thanked Estonia for a successful Chairmanship and excellent cooperation. Estonia held the Chairmanship from May to November this year.
Marianne Mikko, the Head of the Estonian delegation to the PACE, was happy that Estonia ratified the Lanzarote Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse during its Chairmanship. “It is symbolic that we are coming together today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, because gender equality was one of the priorities of the Estonian Chairmanship. In the context of combating violence against women, Estonia plans to ratify the Istanbul Convention as well,” Mikko said.
Mikko referred to the complicated foreign and security policy situation in Europe during Estonia’s Chairmanship. This meant that Estonia had to react on behalf of Europe both to events in Turkey, as well as the continuing crisis in Ukraine.
The priorities of the Cypriot Chairmanship over the next six months include rights and freedoms for all people without any discriminations, democratic citizenship, and prevalence of the rule of law.