David Zalkaliani, President of the Committee of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia, made the following statement to mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War:
“Today we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe - the most devastating war in history, which claimed millions of lives and brought immense suffering.
“This day of commemoration and remembrance offers an opportunity for us to express our profound respect and admiration to all who gave their lives for humanity.
“We have to make sure that such atrocities do not take place again. The best way to achieve this is to adhere to international law and recommit ourselves to the universal principles we all embraced in the aftermath of the war.
“By commemorating this important anniversary, it is of utmost importance to reaffirm our commitment to a peaceful, secure and stable Europe, as it still faces conflicts and other serious challenges that require immediate cooperation and joint efforts.”
“Finding a solution to the current political and institutional crisis would require close co-operation with all member States and both statutory bodies – the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers. It is time to start consolidating the different views into one,” said Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, addressing the Assembly today.
“If we want results, this will require constructiveness from all parties. All member States need to fulfil all their obligations. Payment of membership fees is also an obligation, for all member States,” he added.
Mr Soini believes that a common response would strengthen the Organisation as it would not be a response by one part only, but a response from the whole Organisation. “That would make the response strong, effective and legitimate,” he said, recalling that the aim was to have a constructive outcome at the Helsinki Ministerial meeting.
The Chairman of the Committee of Ministers also evoked a number of events organised in the framework of the Finnish Presidency with regards to its priorities, namely the strengthening of the system of human rights and the rule of law, equality and women's rights, and inclusion, with a focus on young people and the prevention of radicalisation.