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Council of Europe: Sereni – keep our guard up on human rights

Vice Minister Marina Sereni took part, by video conference, in the 130th Session of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. Italy will hold the Committee’s Presidency for the semester from November 2021 to May 2022.

“The Council of Europe,” said Ms Sereni, “engages in a task that is not always immediately visible to its citizens but, in effect, it has a far-reaching impact on their lives, protecting the highest values on which our society is founded. It was precisely in Rome, 70 years ago, that the Heads of State and Government of the Member Countries of the Council of Europe gave rise to the European Convention on the safeguarding of human rights. This protective system is still without equal today and we should be particularly proud of it, since it stands as an essential point of reference for safeguarding rights worldwide”.

“Europe,” continued the Vice Minister, “is dealing with the global health emergency. Covid-19 hides many insidious facets, including obscuring the basic elements on which our democracies are founded, that is, safeguarding human rights and fundamental liberties, and the application of the rule of law. The Council of Europe exists precisely to keep our guard up and to increase the resilience of the Member Countries in these situations as well. This is the sense and profound value of this Organisation, which we must preserve”.

“Our semester of Presidency,” concluded Ms Sereni, “will focus on both emerging questions of interest to the Council of Europe, such as risks connected with undisciplined use of Artificial Intelligence, and on some questions particularly dear to our Country, such as protecting women against violence and empowering them in society, as well as safeguarding our cultural heritage”.