The FINANCIAL -- A current affairs debate on the crisis in Ukraine and a debate on countering neo-Nazism – with the participation of the Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament Olemic Thommessen – are among highlights of the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, from 29 September to 3 October 2014, according to PACE.
An urgent debate on "Threats posed by the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) and violence against Christians and other religious communities" has also been requested.
A ceremony on the opening day of the session will see the award of the second Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to one of three shortlisted nominees – Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, Malta’s Jesuit Refugee Service or Azerbaijani human rights defender Anar Mammadli. The €60,000 prize honours outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.
On Thursday, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will report to the Assembly on the latest activities of the Council of Europe’s executive body, the Committee of Ministers, and answer parliamentarians’ questions.
Also on the draft agenda are annual debates on the OECD and EBRD, with the participation of their leading officials, monitoring reports on Georgia and Albania, and a debate on possible changes to PACE’s monitoring mechanism, according to Parliamentary Assembly.