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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Assembly decides Debate + Vote on Aleppo at its November Session in Cyprus

CoE Assembly decides Debate + Vote on Aleppo at its November Session in Cyprus

Written by ACM
Friday, 14 October 2016
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- The PanEuropean, 47-Member Countries strong CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has just Decided, this Friday Morning/Noon in Strasbourg, to Hold a Topical public Debate on the currently very "Hot" issueof the "the situation in Aleppo" (Syria),  (nowadays discussed at UNO's HQ in New York, and between Paris - Moscow - Berlin, etc, as well as Tomorrow, Saturday, at nearby Lausanne, in Switzerland, etc),at its immediately forthcoming Session, on November 25, exceptionaly hosted in Cyprus, i.e. Near Syria's SeaCoasts.


EU and CoE Member Cyprus is the Incoming New President in office of the CoE's Highest Political body, that of its Committee of Ministers, for the period of November 2016 - May 2017. (The previous rotating CoE Chairmanship by Cyprus had taken place a long time ago, between 1994 and 1995, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora" co-Founders' NewsReports etc., already from the preparation of that event, published then at PIO, CNA, etc).


According to well informed Sources from the incoming Cyprus' CoE Presidency, at least the Initial Intention for that November 2O16 PACE event, was to Focus, in general, on "International Law and Human Rights".


Given that the Next full Plenary Session of the PACE concenes No Earlier than on January 2017 in Strasbourg, it will be its "Standing Committee" which is due to hold that public Debate and Vote on Aleppo at its much Earlier Meeting on November 2016 in Cyprus.


PACE's Standing Committee has, in Legal terms, Similar Powers as also PACE's full Plenary Sessions, and all its Leadership takes part, in principle, (even if the Number of participating simple MEPs is not necessarily the same).


But its Political Importance, in real Practice, can get a more or less Big Potential, according to the overall Context and relevant Developments, as well as Last Minute Decisions :


- F.ex., already, Back on 1999, Strasbourg's Journalists regularly covering the CoE (including "Eurofora"s co-Founder) had been Invited to a landmark PACE Standing Committee Session in Rome (Italy), initialy for a main Issue officialy pointing, then, at Ocalan's controversial kidnaping at Nairobi, in Africa, by a Turkish commando, and subsequent Detention Conditions at Imranli, in Turkey. But, just After arriving in Rome, suddenly, a radical Change appeared on PACE Standing Committee's Main Issue, which Now Focused, on the Contrary, to nearby Ex-Yugoslavia and the Kosovo crisis, resulting in an Exceptionaly "Hot" Debate and a very Disputed Vote of a Resolution which became, (after that matter had been practicaly Droped or comparatively Downplayed, earlier, both at the UNO and at EU Parliament, etc), the Only Official Document on which some Claimed to have Found some kind of (even if indirect)Legitimacy in order to Start Launching one of the Waves of Military Strikes in what became known as 1 among the 2 successive Ex-Yugoslavia Wars, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReport from that Historic, even if Controversial, Event, Published then at MPA Press Agency, etc).


Today's Decision on Aleppo (Syria) was Exceptionaly taken "by the Bureau" of PACE, i.e. its Highest Political Body after the Plenary itself, (whose Meetings are held "In Camera" and, in principle, Confidential), and Not on the Public Initiative of a Group of MEPs presenting a Draft Motion for Resolution, (i.e. Contrary to the Usual Procedure, which is used much More Often, for Most of Other Issues, including Many other "Hot" and Urgent matters).


It was officialy  Refered to PACE's Political affairs Committee "for Report", and this, practicaly, means that, normaly, a Written Text (such as a Resolution/Recommendation, etc) is due to officialy Emerge on that Issue at the CoE, sooner or later, for Final public Debate and Vote at that November 2016 PACE Standing Committee's meeting on November 25 - 26 in Cyprus, (Comp. Supra), and Not Only a mere "Urgent" Oral Debate, Contrary, f.ex., to what has just occured, this week in Strasbourg, where PACE's full Plenary Session didn't Discuss the notorious Mass Waves of Oppression against Tens of Thousands of various Dissident People, on pretext of a Strange, 6 Hours-long, "Coup" Attempt last July 2016, (See, f.ex. : ...), but Only Oraly, withOut any Written Text (f.ex. Draft Resolution, etc) to Vote.


The Next Meeting of PACE's Political affairs Committee has been Scheduled for Monday, November 7, in Paris, France, (as it happens quite often, but not necessarily always).


Its current President is Danish Socialist MEP Mogens Jensen, from the original "Christiansborg" Quarter of Copenhagen. But the Rapporteur had Not yet been officialy chosen.


Recently, after the BreakDown of an initial Americano-Russian Deal for a General Cease-Fire in Syria, the Out-going US President Barack Hussein Obama (Socialist/Liberal) notoriously Accused Moscow for Helping the Syrian Government to recuperate that BeSieged Part of Aleppo City which still remains Controlled by Armed Rebel Groups, and mainly Al-Nusra (an Al-Quaida offspring, classified as "Terrorist", ISIL, FSA, etc), and exchanged "Hot" Claims about alleged Blunders, reportedly with "Humanitarian" a.o. undue Casualties, in some Obscure and Controversial Circumstances, both there and elsewhere in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly Replied by Denouncing an alleged Attempt by some of those who are accused to Secretly Arm and/or Fund various Terrorist Gangs in Syria to Hinder a Liberation of Alepo from "Al- Nusra" and other (often also Foreign) Terrorists, by the Government of the Country, under Fallacious Pretexts, letting "Al-Quaida" affiliates to abuse of Civilian People as "Hostages" serving as a "Human Shield".

 

 

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Out-going French President Hollande (Socialist), was suddenly pushed to take a Similar position to that of Obama, tabling an Alternative Motion for Resolution on Aleppo by UNO's Security Council, and Accusing for alleged "War Crimes" Russia, which had already presented a Different Motion for Resolution at the UNSC on a Wider CeaseFire in Syria. This resulted, inter alia, also to an exceptional Postponement of a Visit in Paris that Russian President Putin had initialy planned and agreed for Next Week, on Octobe 19, (See, f.ex.: ...)


But in subsequent Tripartite Encounter by Phone between Hollande, Putin and German Chancelor Angie Merkel, (who Might, eventualy, Host in Berlin a Top Diner, in "Normandy 4" format, together with Hollande, Putin and Poroshenko on the still Pending issue of Ukraine, for the Implementation of the "Minsk"Agreements' Peace process, perhaps, also on October 19, according to some sources), an official Press Communique issued by the German Government in Berlin, (and made immediatly Accessible to registered Journalists, including "Eurofora"), significantly Focuses on ensuring a CeaseFire asap at the Syrian conflict in general.


Concerning particularly Aleppo, Russia said that it Backs a UN Envoy offer for "Al Nusra" a.o. Islamic Armed Gangs (Comp. Supra),  to Leave out of the City, in a special Evacuation operation, placed under a guaranteed CeaseFire for that purpose.

 

But the Obvious Question raised, in relation with Today's PACE Bureau Decision, (Comp. Supra), is whether, and in what measue, the PanEuropean Organisation's Assembly could, or not, Legitimately Debate and Vote on such a "Hot" Topical issue as Aleppo, etc., Despite the Exceptional current Absence of All Russian MEPs, (See,f.ex.:...): A Fact which has already had, in practice, indirectly but naturaly, Dissuaded the CoE to Debate several other  "Hot" Issues on the Dramatic on-going Developments in Syria, a Neighbouring to Europe and strategicaly located Country, until now.

 

OSCE rotating Chairman in office for 2016, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier, had just stressed, Yesterday at the CoE in Strasbourg, that "Channels of Dialogue with Russia" should be maintained, despite Difficulties,in order to search much needed Compromises and/or Solutions for Peace, f.ex. in Ukraine and/or Syria, etc., "including (at a) Parliamentary" level, as he had Topicaly added, (See, f.ex.: ....).

 => Is there any, eventualy "Special Formula" to Find for that Important forthcoming PACE Gathering in Cyprus, on November 2016, (particularly following also a Recent Summit of CoE Member States' National Parliament Speakers, held last September in Strasbourg, with the Participation also of the Russian Senate's Experienced President Valentina Matvienko - a close ally to President Putin :Comp. f;ex. her previous Statements to "Eurofora" at :...), or something else which might, perhaps, serve, in one way or another, the cause of Peace and Human Rights ? 

 

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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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