The building of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg – Photo: wikipedia

Nemeth: CoE backs upcoming Hungarian presidency’s goals

The Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) are prepared to support the priorities of the upcoming Hungarian presidency, Zsolt Nemeth, the head of parliament's foreign affairs committee, said in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Speaking to MTI by phone on the sidelines of the PACE’s week-long session, Nemeth said he had reviewed the priorities of Hungary’s 6-month chairmanship set to begin on May 21 with PACE Speaker Rick Daems, PACE Secretary-General Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis and CoE Secretary-General Marija Pejcinovic Buric.

Nemeth noted that the Hungarian presidency will focus on boosting respect for the nations’ cultural, legal and historic traditions, the protection of ethnic minorities, family protection, on strengthening the dialogue between religions, and on meeting the challenges posed by artificial intelligence, cybercrime and climate change.

He said the CoE officials welcomed the assembly’s approval of a comprehensive report on minorities compiled by Elvira Kovacs, an ethnic Hungarian politician from Serbia’s Vojvodina region. The report aimed at monitoring compliance with the CoE’s minority protection convention more effectively proposes, among other things, the creation of an online platform for reporting violations of minority rights, he noted.

Nemeth said his talks with the CoE officials had also touched on the rights infringements committed against the Polish national minority in Belarus.

He also said the Hungarian presidency will organise a conference on fighting cybercrime in the autumn, which will be attended by Secretary-General Buric. In addition, the assembly’s speaker and secretary-general will visit Hungary next month, he said.

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