PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION

Foreign Minister Abela addresses the Council of Europe’s statutory decision-making body in Helsinki

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela addressed the 129th session of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

More than 30 ministers from the 47 member states attended the session, which marked the end of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe’s statutory decision-making body and saw the Presidency’s handing over to France.

The session, chaired by Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini, coincided with celebrations of the Council of Europe’s 70th anniversary. The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 and its most significant achievements include the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights.

In his statement, Minister Abela stressed the importance of multilateral systems like the Council of Europe in addressing present-day challenges. However, he noted that this important organisation is being stymied by an impasse at the institutional level, ushering in a precarious state of affairs that is impacting and limiting the Council’s operational activities and administrative framework. He also spoke about Malta’s commitment in respect of the recognition and observance of fundamental human rights, making specific references to recent milestones reached with regard to LGBTI persons, migrant integration, and emancipation of women.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the session, Minister Abela exchanged views with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis on issues of bilateral concern.

In Helsinki, the Minister was accompanied by Malta’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Joseph A. Filletti.

The Foreign Minister’s full speech is attached.

Source: Government of Malta